Tigers use Lange's gritty outing, timely offensive execution to prevail in series-opening pitchers' duel
INSIDE THE BOX
BOX SCORE | LSU 3, Mississippi State 1
Recap | Lange’s gritty effort, just enough offense lift LSU to 3-1 win
Point of emphasis | Bases-loaded situations are huge, one way or the other. The Bulldogs were 0-for-3 in those spots Thursday and finished with 12 men left on base.
The Tigers pushed home the tying run on their only chance and took the lead for good that same inning with a two-out hit.
W – Alex Lange (7-5)
L – Konnor Pilkington (6-5)
Sv. – Hunter Newman (9)
GW RBI – Zach Watson 2-out RBI 1B in the 4th inning
RECORDS: LSU 37-17, 19-9 SEC; Mississippi State 34-20, 17-11
CRUNCHING THE NUMBERS
SEC standings watch: LSU has clinched a share of the West Division championship and will win the division outright with one more win. With two more victories and a split between Kentucky and Florida in the rest of that series, the Tigers would win the outright SEC crown (all barring any cancellations due to weather). Arkansas still has an outside shot to win the West with two more wins at Texas A&M and two LSU losses based on winning percentage because the Razorbacks (17-10) will play one less game due to an earlier rainout.
- Opposing hitters have stepped to the plate 18 times against Alex Lange with the bases loaded this season and are 0-for-17 with one walk and 12 strikeouts.
- Lange has had some bumpy moments this season, but another strong performance Thursday evened his SEC record this season to 4-4 with a 2.71 ERA and 82 strikeouts – 8.2 a game vs. league foes. He finished with 69.2 innings in SEC games. Lange’s overall season ERA is down to 2.79 and his 11 strikeouts Thursday upped his season total to 111.
- Per David Murray of Genespage.com, LSU’s victory Thursday assures that the Bulldogs won’t sweep the Tigers – something that hasn’t happened since 1985.
- Zach Watson’s 2 RBIs Thursday were just his 11th and 12th in SEC play this season. But he continues to lead LSU with a .318 batting average in league play. Watson owns the Tigers’ top average in all games as well -- .331.
- Greg Deichmann walked four times Thursday, bumping his season total to 37, 20 in 28 SEC games.
- Antoine Duplantis recorded a pair of singles in the series opener to become the fourth LSU player with 18 or more multi-hit games this season (Deichmann 19, Cole Freeman 19, Kramer Robertson 18, Duplantis 18).
- LSU’s 14 strikeouts Thursday (Lange 11, Zack Hess 2, Hunter Newman 1) are the second most in an SEC game this season. On March 28, Lange fanned 12 and the Tigers notched 15 overall in a 4-0 loss.
- Newman has saved a game in each of the last four SEC series and has 6 in league play with an 0.87 ERA.
QUOTE OF NOTE
“Don’t give it up. It feels good to put yourself in a jam and then make some good pitches and get out of it with it still a one-run ballgame. That’s just. That’s keeping your team in the game.”
--- LSU pitcher Alex Lange on pitching out of bases-loaded situations
Game 2 | 6:30 p.m. Friday
Game 3 | 3:30 Saturday
WHERE: Dudy Noble Field | Starkville, Miss.
RADIO: 98.1-FM (Baton Rouge)
TV: Friday -- None; Saturday -- ESPNU
LIVESTREAM: SEC Network+, WatchESPN.com
ON THE WEB: TigerBlitz.com
TWITTER: @RandyRosetta, @LSUBaseball
PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS
Friday | LSU, Sr. LH Jared Poche (8-3, 3.16 ERA, 79.2 IP, 50 SO/25 BB, .231 OBA) vs. Mississippi State, Fr. RH Denver McQuary (2-2, 3.89 ERA, 39.1 IP, 31 SO/32 BB, .215 OBA)
Sunday | LSU, Fr. Eric Walker (6-1, 3.77 ERA, 74 IP, 58 SO/19 BB, .232 OBA) vs. Mississippi State, TBA
Mississippi State stats