ATHENS, Ga. – Freshman right-hander Kurt McCune on Friday night fired the first complete game by an LSU pitcher this season, leading the ninth-ranked Tigers to a 7-3 win over Georgia at Foley Field.
LSU improved to 17-5 overall, 1-3 in the SEC with the victory. Georgia dropped to 9-13, 1-3 in the conference.
Game 2 of the series is set for 3 p.m. CT Saturday. LSU freshman right-hander Kevin Gausman will start on the mound for the Tigers, while Georgia will counter with junior right-hander Michael Palazzone.
Saturday’s game will be televised by Comcast Sports Southeast (CSS), and it can be heard on the LSU Sports Radio Network. Live stats and audio of the game may be accessed at www.LSUsports.net.
“Kurt McCune was simply outstanding on the mound tonight,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “It was just a tremendous performance by a freshman who shows an inordinate amount of poise. To throw a complete game in your first SEC start on the road is truly remarkable.”
McCune (4-0) allowed three runs on six hits with one walk, and he tied his career-high with seven strikeouts. The complete game, the first of McCune’s collegiate career, was the first by an LSU pitcher since May 29, 2010, when Ben Alsup went the distance against Ole Miss in the SEC Tournament.
LSU grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first against Georgia pitcher Alex Wood when second baseman JaCoby Jones reached on a error, advanced to second on a passed ball, moved to third on designated hitter Raph Rhymes’ sacrifice bunt and scored on a sacrifice fly by third baseman Tyler Hanover.
The Tigers extended the lead to 2-0 in the second as rightfielder Mason Katz launched a solo home run, his third dinger of the year.
Georgia narrowed the gap to 2-1 in the bottom of the second as centerfielder Zach Cone doubled and later scored on rightfielder Kevin Ruiz’ RBI grounder.
The Bulldogs tied the game in the fifth when Ruiz led off with a double, moved to second on a bunt by first baseman Jonathan Hester and scored on catcher Brandon Stephens’ sacrifice fly.
LSU regained the lead in the sixth when centerfielder Mikie Mahtook launched a two-run homer, his seventh dinger of the season and his first since March 4 versus Princeton.
The Tigers extended the advantage to 7-2 in the eighth when shortstop Austin Nola delivered an RBI single to plate Hanover, and both Mahtook and Nola scored on the play when Wood fielded the relay behind home plate and sailed a throw into left field in an attempt to nail Mahtook at third base.
Wood (2-3) took the loss, as he was charged with seven runs (four earned) on eight hits in 7.2 innings with one walk and four strikeouts.