Tigers Drop Game Three Against Tennessee, 3-2
Published 7:00 am Tuesday, March 30, 2021
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – First baseman Luc Lipcius lined an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning Sunday to give ninth-ranked Tennessee a 3-2 win over No. 14 LSU.
Earlier in the day, a home run by centerfielder Drew Gilbert in the bottom of the 11th inning lifted the Vols to a 9-8 victory.
LSU is 16-8 overall, 1-5 in the SEC, while Tennessee is 21-4 overall and 5-1 in league play.
LSU returns to action on Tuesday when the Tigers play host to South Alabama at 6:30 p.m. CT in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
The game may be viewed on SEC Network +, and it can be heard on affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network.
“It was a tough weekend, obviously, and I really hurt for our kids” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “They played their hearts out the entire weekend and just came up short. We were just one at-bat or one pitch away from having a successful weekend. We’re disappointed in not winning the games, but the kids played with tremendous effort and heart, and we’re going to continue work as hard as we can and look forward to our next game.”
Tennessee took a 1-0 lead in the series finale when DH Pete Derkay doubled and later scored on a single by Gilbert. The Vols expanded the lead to 2-0 in the third on an RBI groundout by rightfielder Jordan Beck.
LSU cut the deficit in half in the top of the fourth inning on a solo homer by designated hitter Cade Beloso, his second dinger of the year. The Tigers tied the game in the sixth on shortstop Jordan Thompson’s RBI single.
The Vols loaded the bases in the bottom of the eighth – the contest was schedule for seven innings – and Lipcius delivered the game-winning single against LSU reliever Garrett Edwards (0-1). Reliever Sean Hunley (4-0), also the winner in the suspended game, earned the win in the series finale.
LSU starter AJ Labas delivered an excellent performance in the final game, working seven innings and limiting the Vols to two runs on four hits with two walks and three strikeouts.
The first game on Sunday had been suspended due to severe weather Saturday night with the Tigers leading 8-7 and batting in the top of the ninth inning.
Tennessee, however, tied the game in the bottom of the ninth on Gilbert’s double and won it with his homer. LSU reliever Devin Fontenot (1-1) was charged with the loss, and Hunley picked up the win.
LSU took the lead in the top of the first inning on Saturday when first baseman Tre’ Morgan unloaded a solo homer, his second dinger of the season.
The Tigers extended the advantage to 2-0 in the third when third baseman Cade Doughty lined an RBI single.
Leftfielder Evan Russell tied the game for Tennessee in the third inning with a two-run homer, his second of the year.
LSU regained the lead in the fifth when Morgan led off with a double, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a groundout by leftfielder Gavin Dugas.
Tennessee, however struck for four runs in the fifth, as the Vols were assisted by five walks and one hit batter in the inning. The only hit of the frame was another two-run homer by Russell.
Russell hit his third homer of the game – a solo shot – in the sixth inning to give Tennessee a 7-3 lead.
LSU narrowed the gap to 7-5 in the seventh on Morgan’s RBI double and a run-scoring single by Arnold.
The Tigers surged ahead with three runs in the eighth as rightfielder Dylan Crews launched a solo homer, and after a single by Doughty, Dugas blasted a two-run shot to give LSU an 8-7 lead.