LSU takes the series

LSU needed all nine innings to take game two on Saturday, but head coach Paul Mainieri's crew was able to piece together the hits late to take the 7-6 win.

Louis Coleman braved a ten hit effort on the mound as the LSU hits came scattered throughout Saturday afternoon.

“I thought I started out poorly but gave us a chance to win in the middle of the game,” he said.

“The offense was able to come around for me, and I think I went seven pretty strong innings.”

Ben Jones and Dan Gamache got Auburn on the board to start the contest; both driving home runs over the right field fence in the second to put the visitor’s ahead, 3-0.

Freshman Tyler Hanover countered with his third home run of year in the bottom of the frame, bringing the Tigers back within two.

The following inning saw a bit of dazzle from LSU shortstop Austin Nola, who made just his seventh start on the year after taking over at the position for DJ LeMahieu at the start of week.

Hunter Morris reached base with two outs before Jones, who homered on his last at bat, rifled a shot off Coleman that looked to drop in right center.

Yet, a running-turned-diving catch by Nola would get the out to end the inning.

“Nola sure looked good out there, so I think the move is paying off for us,” Mainieri said.

Coleman ran into a bit of trouble in the fourth, walking Brian Fletcher before hitting Wes Gilmer to start the frame.

Gamache recorded his third RBI of the game on a single up the middle, scoring Gilmer and moving Auburn out to a 4-1 lead.

The visitors would strand two to end the inning, leaving Coleman with four earned runs on six hits through four.

Micah Gibbs countered with a triple for LSU in the fifth, driving a ball into the wind and off the wall in left. Buzzy Haydel’s RBI pop fly scored the runner, bringing the Tigers within two.

A double by Nola and triple by Mikie Mahtook would add another run to the Tiger total, leaving Auburn out front after five, 4-3.

Staying hot in the bottom of the seventh, Jared Mitchell and Gibbs would hit back-to-back home runs to left centerfield, moving LSU ahead, 5-4.

That ended the night for Auburn’s southpaw Grant Dayton, who allowed five runs, all earned, on eight hits over six innings of work.

Coleman’s outing ended shortly after, allowing four consecutive hits in the top of the eighth to hand the lead back over, 6-5. The senior allowed six runs, all earned, on ten hits over seven innings of work.

Freshman Matty Ott recorded three straight outs to get the home team out of the jam left by Coleman, including a double play by LeMahieu and Nola to end the inning.

LSU loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the frame, scoring Blake Dean from third on a Jared Mitchell fielder’s choice to tie the game, 6-6.

Auburn intentionally walked Gibbs with two outs to load the bases for Haydel, who flied out to right field to end the inning.

The dramatics would carry over to the bottom of the ninth, seeing Nola lead off with a single before Auburn walked Schimpf to get to Dean.

Dean flied out for the first out before LeMahieu singled up the middle, scoring Nola from second to give the Tigers the 7-6 win.

“Auburn got DJ into a 1-2 hole, and I just hoped that he would somehow leave one hanging for us,” Mainieri said. “Their pitcher had a great curveball, but he left one out and DJ was able to drive it.”

Ott (3-1) got the win for the tigers, allowing no hits over two innings of work.

The teams will be back in action for game three Sunday at 1 p.m. at Alex Box.

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