Left fielder Brian Fletcher and catcher Tony Caldwell drove in three runs each Saturday to lead Auburn to an 11-7 win over third-ranked LSU at Plainsman Park.
Auburn improved to 21-11 overall, 6-5 in the SEC, while LSU dropped to 26-5 overall and 8-3 in league play. The loss ended LSU’s four-game win streak.
Auburn’s win evened the series at one game apiece. Game 3 is set for 1 p.m. CT. Sophomore right-hander Joey Bourgeois (3-1, 5.50 ERA) is the scheduled starting pitcher for LSU while Auburn will counter with junior left-hander Grant Dayton (4-1, 4.86 ERA).
LSU left 13 runners on base in Saturday’s game, including seven in scoring position.
“This was a frustrating game, but one of the cornerstones of our program has been the ability to rebound after a loss,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “I’m confident our team will bounce back with the opportunity to win the series on Sunday. Although we faced a big deficit today, we still had the tying run on deck at the end of the game.”
Auburn sent nine men to the plate in the first inning to take a 4-0 lead against LSU starter Chris Matulis (5-1). Fletcher and Caldwell provided run-scoring singles to highlight the uprising.
The Tigers responded with a run in the second inning when designated hitter Grant Dozar lined an RBI single, reducing the deficit to 4-1.
Auburn extended its lead to 6-1 in the fourth when DH Trey Mummey launched a two-run homer, his third of the season.
LSU narrowed the gap to 6-2 in the sixth when right fielder Mikie Mahtook produced an RBI single.
However, Auburn added three runs in the bottom of the frame as Fletcher delivered a two-run single and Caldwell lifted a sacrifice fly.
LSU reduced the deficit to 9-4 in the eighth as Mahtook and second baseman Tyler Hanover registered RBI groundouts.
Auburn responded with two runs in the bottom of the eighth as Fletcher singled and scored on first baseman Hunter Morris’ RBI triple and Caldwell recorded his second sacrifice fly of the game.
LSU took advantage of three Auburn errors to score three runs in the ninth, but Auburn reliever Austin Hubbard struck out Hanover with runners at the corners to end the game.
Matulis was charged with his first loss in six decisions, as he allowed six runs on six hits in five innings with five walks and five strikeouts.
Auburn reliever Sean Ray (2-1) earned the win, limiting LSU to two runs on five hits in 4.2 innings with two walks and four strikeouts.