LSU won its final Southeastern Conference series of the season following a 5-1 win against Auburn on Friday.
Freshman pitcher Landon Marceaux was the star of the night and had his best performance of the season. He went a career-high seven innings and allowed one run on two hits, no walks and seven strikeouts.
“Confidence was it for me,” said Marceaux, who had struggled with arm soreness as well throughout the year. “I’m not trying to be somebody I’m not anymore. First half of this year I think I was trying to be a big strikeout guy, come in and press people. Maybe a little bit selfish if that’s you want to call it.”
After a leadoff single in the top of the first inning, Marceaux retired eleven straight batters before giving up a solo home run in the fifth inning.
By that time LSU had gained a 4-0 lead in the fourth inning. The Tigers rallied off five of their nine hits in the inning and scored four of their five runs. Senior outfielder Antoine Duplantis led off with a single, and after a walk and a single by sophomore third baseman Hal Hughes, LSU had the bases loaded.
Freshman designated hitter Cade Beloso was hit by a pitch which scored Duplantis and sophomore left fielder Daniel Cabrera reached home on a wild pitch the next at-bat. Singles by sophomore catcher Saul Garza and junior shortstop Josh Smith scored Hughes and Beloso, respectively.
LSU added an insurance run in the eighth inning to extend the lead to 5-1 after Beloso hit an RBI single. The freshman finished with two hits and two RBIs in three at-bats while Garza finished with two hits and an RBI in one at-bat.
Junior Zack Hess entered the game for Marceaux in the eighth and picked up his second save of the season. Hess and Marceaux only faced 28 batters in the game and did not allow a walk.
“The key to the game tonight and the most thrilling thing, maybe in a long time, was the effort of Landon Marceaux,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “To see a young kid under these conditions tonight – a lot of pressure on him – he went out and absolutely dominated the game, and he was phenomenal.”
With the win and Ole Miss’ loss to Tennessee, LSU clinches the No. 5 seed in the SEC tournament next weekend and will play the No. 12 seed on Tuesday. It sets the stage for LSU to make a late season push for a regional host and play more games at Alex Box Stadium this season.
Eric Walker walked off the field to thunderous cheers from fans in Alex Box Stadium in the s…
The Tigers will go for the sweep against Auburn on Saturday – something LSU has only done once in SEC play this season.
“That’d be huge,” Marceaux said. “The confidence is high in the locker room, and that’s a big thing for us. We’re not up or down right now. We’re on a little win streak after a five-game skid and we’ve just got to keep it going. Keep the confidence high and keep it going.
“I don’t if you would call LSU an underdog, but we haven’t played our best and we know that. But from here on out is when the games matter, and we’re going to do whatever it takes to win.”