LSU entered the series as the consensus choice for No. 1 in all six of the major polls. The Aggies came in with a No. 2 ranking in five of the six. The ramifications for the SEC and national seeding were evident.
LSU answered that challenge, taking two of three from the Aggies, solidifying their place as the best team in the country.
“It’s a huge step for the team,” said freshman pitcher Austin Bain. “We went out there trying to prove we deserve to be No. 1 in the nation. We did our job and won a big series.”
LSU won Game 1 in walk-off fashion, when Danny Zardon’s double down the left field line handed the Tigers a 4-3 victory. LSU needed more magic on Friday to clinch the series. The Tigers got seven runs in the final two innings to overcome a three-run deficit and win 9-6.
LSU came out a bit flat in the finale, falling 6-2, but the Tigers did all it needed in the first two games to come away with the positive result.
“Right now I’m wishing we would’ve gotten the job done [Saturday] and gotten a three-game lead in the league,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “But we won a series against a really good team… I’m proud of the two wins we got, and overall, we played really well and met the challenge.”
LSU entered the weekend tied with Texas A&M for the SEC lead. The Tigers finish one game ahead of the Aggies. Vanderbilt can overtake LSU if it completes its sweep of Missouri on Sunday, but as of Saturday night, the Tigers are still on top of the conference.
But there’s still a lot to be decided. Three series remain on the SEC schedule, including a home series against Missouri and road trips to Mississippi State and South Carolina.
So while the LSU can celebrate a big win this weekend against a No. 2 team, the Tigers have plenty of work left to do.
“There are still three weekends to go in this league, and that means nine tough games,” Mainieri said. “There aren’t going to be any trophies handed out after this weekend.