BATON ROUGE, La. -- For the third straight game, No. 1 LSU (32-2) sent nine batters to the plate in the opening frame, as the Tigers posted a 16-2 victory over Southern (12-14) Wednesday night at Alex Box Stadium.
LSU’s 16 runs on the night marks the most runs scored in a game this season. The Tigers have now won 14 straight and 27 of their last 28 games.
LSU resumes SEC play on Friday as it travels to Fayetteville, Ark. to take on Arkansas (24-10) in a three-game series.
“We’re glad to get our mid-week games out of the way and focus on facing Arkansas this weekend,” LSU coach Paul Mainieri said. “I was pleased that we got all of our position players into the game tonight and everyone was able to make a contribution. We’re looking forward to the challenge of playing at Arkansas - it’s a tough environment and we certainly respect their program, but we’re not going to be in awe of anyone. We’ve had some tremendous ball games with them over the years, and this weekend should provide the same type of excitement.”
Southern jumped ahead in the first inning Wednesday on an RBI single from third baseman Kevin Williams.
LSU junior outfielder Sean McMullen led off the bottom of the first inning with one of his three hits on the night. He later scored on a laser to center from shortstop Alex Bregman, who extended his hitting streak to 22 straight games.
LSU scored another run in the first with a single from senior first baseman Mason Katz, marking his NCAA-leading 60th RBI of the season.
RBIs from senior outfielder Raph Rhymes and Katz gave LSU two more runs in the second inning.
The Tigers exploded for seven runs in the fourth off of the bats of Rhymes, Katz and third baseman Christian Ibarra, who delivered a three-run double off of the left-centerfield wall.
Second baseman JaCoby Jones later scored Ibarra with a double and continued running home after a Southern throwing error, giving the Tigers a commanding 12-2 advantage.
Three more runs came in the sixth after an RBI single to right from sophomore infielder Tyler Moore and a two-RBI single from junior catcher Ty Ross.
LSU starting pitcher Hunter Devall (3-0) earned the victory in his first career start, allowing one run on one hit in two innings of work.
Southern starting pitcher Zephan Rochelle (1-2) suffered the loss, allowing seven runs on nine hits with one walk and one strikeout in three innings.
Auburn Escapes With Win Over Alabama State
AUBURN, Ala. – Blake Austin’s one-out double off the wall in left in the bottom of the ninth helped the Auburn baseball team rally for a 2-1 win over Alabama State on Wednesday night at Plainsman Park. With the win Auburn improved to 20-13 while Alabama State fell to 19-17.
“It was one of those games. At the end of the day you look at the score, the box score and the lines and neither team had much going on offensively. We were very, very fortunate to win tonight,” Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said. “As I told the team, win and move on.”
Tied at 1-1 going to the ninth, Garrett Cooper drew a leadoff walk and Damek Tomscha singled to put the winning run in scoring position. After a failed sac bunt by Bobby Andrews got Cooper at third, Austin launched his seventh double of the year off the green monster in left, scoring pinch runner Sam Gillikin from second for the win.
Auburn struggled to get hits off of the Alabama State pitching staff as it was no-hit until there was one out in the eighth and the team finished with just three hits total. Jordan Ebert broke up the no-hit bid with a single back up the middle, extending his hitting streak to 10 games, his second double-digit hitting streak of the season.
Auburn trailed 1-0 after the top of the first when Alabama State scored an unearned run off of Auburn starter Trey Cochran-Gill. Richard Gonzalez and Waldyvan Estrada had back-to-back two-out singles and then Gonzalez scored when Cooper’s flip to Cochran-Gill at first went high and over his glove.
Auburn tied it at 1-1 without the benefit of a hit in the third. Ryan Tella and Jordan Ebert both walked with two outs and Cullen Wacker was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Cooper. He then drew a walk to drive in Tella, his team-leading 27th RBI of the season.
Terrance Dedrick (3-2) earned the win out of the Auburn bullpen while Armondo Ruiz (2-2) took the loss for Alabama State.
Both teams used five pitchers on the night. Chase Williamson, Dillon Ortman, Justin Camp and Dedrick combined to allow just two hits over the final seven innings. As a team, Auburn had nine strike outs from its staff.
The win was Auburn’s SEC-leading 14th come-from-behind win of the season.
Auburn returns to Southeastern Conference action this weekend when it plays host to Georgia. Game times are 6pm on Friday, 3pm on Saturday and 1pm on Sunday.
Alabama Grabs Second Game Against Alcorn State
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – In his first collegiate start, freshmen pitcher Mike Oczypok threw five no-hit innings and earned the win as the No. 22 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide defeated the Alcorn State Braves, 7-3, on Wednesday night at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. Alabama is now 22-13 overall, as the Tide eclipse their win total from the previous season. The Braves drop to 8-30 this season.
“For starters, I thought Mike Oczypok did a real nice job today,” UA head coach Mitch Gaspard said. “He was outstanding for five innings. The bullpen came in and did a good job too. I thought we played pretty clean today. Offensively, we did what we needed to do to get the lead and then extend.”
Mike Oczypok (2-0) got the win for his effort in his first career collegiate start, dealing five scoreless no-hit innings and surrendering only one walk with one punch out. In relief of Oczypok, freshman right-hander Keaton Haack added another two no-hit innings with two walks and a strikeout. Ryan Fuentes (0-2) was charged with the loss in his start for the Braves, after allowing a run on three hits and two walks in four innings.
Sophomore right fielder Ben Moore was 1-for-3 with a triple, a walk, a hit by pitch and had two runs batted in. Senior third baseman Kenny Roberts was 1-for-1 with a single, two walks, two times hit by pitch, a RBI and two runs scored. Freshman shortstop Mikey White was 2-for-3 with two singles to record his ninth multi-hit game of the year and stretch his reaching base streak to 13 games.
Although a pitchers’ duel early, the Crimson Tide finally opened the scoring in the fourth inning. Roberts stroked a single to right center on the first pitch he saw and moved up to second when Moore was hit by a pitch. Although Brett Booth lined into a double play in the next at-bat, Kyle Overstreet drove a two-out single into right center to score Roberts for a 1-0 lead.
Alabama strung quality at-bats together in the fifth inning. Georgie Salem singled to left center and advanced to second after Roberts was hit by a pitch. Moore ripped his third triple of the year to deep left center to drive in both Salem and Roberts, giving the Tide a 3-0 advantage. Despite not allowing a hit in five innings, Oczypok’s night ended after 68 pitches to make way for Haack.
After Haack tossed another hitless inning in the sixth, the floodgates opened for the Alabama offense. After Austen Smith drew a leadoff walk, Cameron Carlisle doubled to left center and Smith came all the way around for the Tide’s fourth run of the game. Following a White groundout to advance Carlisle to third, Andrew Miller walked to set up runners on the corners. Salem pulled an RBI single to right to score Carlisle from third. Roberts and Booth were consecutively hit by pitches to load the bases and then force in a runner, pushing the lead to 6-0.
“We had the opportunity to get a few guys in the game there late,” Gaspard said. “We had Chance Vincent get his first action behind the plate. It was a little rough but for a first time for a guy that wasn’t a catcher it was good to see him back there. The main objective these past two days have been to win the game and try to get a little momentum going as we move into Oxford this weekend.”
The Tide added on another run in the seventh frame to make the score 7-0. Chance Vincent singled through the left side to lead off the inning, and Daniel Cucjen and Riley Colburn loaded the bases on a walk and a hit by pitch, respectively. Roberts’ second walk of the night forced in another run for Alabama to boost the lead to 7-0.
The Tide lost their combined no-hit bid in the eighth inning, as Mitch Greer allowed a solo home run to Alvin Jackson and a two-run homer to Angel Rosa, cutting the lead to 7-3. Jay Shaw came in to pitch the final inning perfectly, clinching the win for the Crimson Tide.
The No. 22 Alabama Crimson Tide travels to Oxford this weekend to take on the No. 18 Mississippi Rebels from Swayze Field at Oxford-University Stadium. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. CT on Friday, 4:00 p.m. CT on Saturday, and 1:30 p.m. CT on Sunday.
Follow the Alabama Crimson Tide baseball team on Facebook at Alabama-Baseball and on Twitter at @AlabamaBSB.