Michael Papierski grand slam vs. Tulane (Photo by Terrill Weil)

LSU drops midweek game vs. Tulane, 7-6, after plenty of opportunities to grab the win

LSU couldn't take advantage of a grand slam and couldn't find timely hitting as the Tigers fell to Tulane on Tuesday, 7-6, at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.

LSU got a huge grand slam in the fourth inning from catcher Michael Papierski to put LSU up 5-2, but it wasn't enough as the Tigers dropped its Tuesday night matchup against Tulane, 7-6. The last grand slam was from Greg Deichmann last season in the NCAA Regionals against Rice. 

The wind help Papierski's shot to left clear the wall unexpectedly, giving the Tigers a boost at the time.

"I definitely didn't think it was out, but the wind took it and I got a good swing on it and the wind helped me out," Papierski said. "We're just trying to barrel the ball up."

"Once 12 o'clock comes, it's a new day."

Tulane took a 6-5 lead after consecutive two-run innings in the fifth and six innings while the Tigers' bats were quiet until the bottom of the ninth as the team tried to rally from a 7-5 deficit heading into the bottom of the ninth. 

Freshman pitcher Zack Hess took the mound and went five innings, giving up five hits, four earned runs and walked one batter on 87 pitches. Hess won't be available for the series against Texas A&M with LSU coach Paul Mainieri saying they left Hess in to try in win the game.

"When it's going like that, you know it's going to be a high-scoring game and you were just trying to minimize damage," Hess said. "We just took it inning by inning."

The LSU bullpen of Russell Reynolds, Austin Bain, Matthew Beck and Nick Bush combined to give up five hits, three earned runs and walking one batter.

LSU threatened in the bottom of the seventh inning with runners at first and second, but freshman Zach Watson flied out, then Josh Smith reached first on an error, but Jake Slaughter lined out on a nice grab by Tulane's Kody Hoese to end the inning. Slaughter finished 0-for-5 with two strikeouts. 

After a 1-2-3 inning from relief pitcher Matt Beck, Beau Jordan got a piece of luck when his foul ball was mishandled, allowing him another chance to hit, which he did, singling to short center field. Papierski sac bunted to advance Jordan to second base, who then advanced to third base on a wild pitch. http://www.scout.com/college/lsu/story/1766664-watch-papierski-s-grand-s...

The LSU threat fell apart there when Kramer Robertson chopped one up the middle, but Jordan was thrown out at home, putting two outs on board and bringing Cole Freeman to the plate. The senior lined out to right to end the inning.

"It was a contact play with one out at third base so you're going no matter what," Jordan said. "If the ball is hit straight to the ground, you're going no matter what. I got a good jump, but the shortstop made a good throw."

Tulane gave themselves a two-run cushion heading into the bottom of the ninth when Hunter Williams drove in Grant Witherspoon all the way from first base on a double down the third base line. Earlier in Williams' at-bat, Papierski threw low in a run-down to Slaughter, not allowing him to tag out Witherspoon, giving Tulane the two-run advantage moments later.

The Tigers couldn't finish the comeback in bottom of the ninth after a Greg Deichmann walk and Smith's hard shot to the first baseman got through to right field on an error, allowing Deichmann to score from first to close the gap to one run. Slaughter flew out to end the game on the next at-bat.

"We hit a lot of balls hard ya know, we just had bad luck. They were hit right at people," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "Again, when you have good hitters, they're going to hit a lot of hard outs so you can't at the end of the day, complain to much. If you hit balls hard, some will fall and some will go over the fence. Got to get back to work tomorrow and get better."

The Tigers drop to 18-8 on the season. The Tigers have a quick turnaround with Texas A&M coming to Baton Rouge on Thursday. First pitch against the Aggies is at 6 p.m. CT on the SEC Network.

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