The LSU baseball team was in trouble for half an inning.
Coach Paul Mainieri compared it to LSU's national championship game against Texas in 2009.
In 2009, Texas tied the game in the bottom of the fifth inning and LSU scored five runs in the top of the sixth to "control the game."
Today, in 2019, the Tigers had the lead for most of the game before losing it in the bottom of the seventh inning and wasted no time getting it back in the top of the eighth to secure a victory.
Freshman designated hitter Cade Beloso scored the first run for the Tigers with a solo bomb over the right field wall.
The score remained 1-0 in LSU's favor until the Tigers broke it open in the top of the sixth.
Senior second baseman Brandt Broussard lead off with a stand up double and was driven in with a sacrifice fly from Beloso. Junior outfielder Zach Watson then hit his second home run of the regional — this one a two-run bomb to left field to give LSU a 4-0 lead.
Beloso went 2-for-2 with two RBIs and a walk on the day.
Freshman pitcher Cole Henry got the start in the circle, which was only his second outing since missing time with an injury. Henry went five full innings, allowing only two hits and notching six strikeouts.
Henry got himself out of a jam after issuing back-to-back no-out walks in the bottom of the second inning. He ended the inning with a sac bunt, ground out and strikeout to get out of the jam
Again Henry, found himself in another jam in the bottom of the fifth, giving up a two-out hit and walk. And again, he got out of the jam with a fly out.
"In my opinion, he's going to be, if not already, one of the best pitchers in the entire country," Mainieri said. "This kids hadn't pitched in a month and went out there tonight and pitched like a seasoned veteran and dominated the game."
LSU got into trouble in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Junior right-hander Todd Peterson came in relief for Henry in the sixth, getting out of a two-on jam of his own. That didn't carry over.
Peterson walked the first batter before hitting the following two and loading the bases before Mainieri went to Zack Hess with not outs.
Hess gave up a game-tying grand slam before retiring the following three batters. The damage was done, as the Golden Eagles tied the game 4-4 going into the eighth inning.
Hess sat down the following three batters in order.
"I was really hoping that our offense was going to give me a lead again because I didn't want the people of Baton Rouge to burn down my house tonight," Hess joked. "Those guys have picked me up all year and they went out and swung the bats with a lot of authority tonight.
"At that point, you just want to go out there and reward the effort and put up zeros."
Hess' offense was thinking the same thing as they wasted no time regaining the lead. Mainieri said vibe in the dugout after giving up the lead was more energetic and hopeful than down on themselves and giving up.
Sophomore outfielder Danial Cabrera led off the inning with a double to left center before Watson and Beloso were walked and hit by a pitch to loaded the bases.
Sophomore catcher Saul Garza the laced a two-RBI single up the middle to give LSU a 6-4 lead. Senior Chris Reid hit an RBI single of his own to make it 7-4 going into the bottom half of the inning.
Mainieri credited Garza for his composure at the plate during what was one of the biggest at bats of his career. Garza said he just went up there trying to put the bat on the ball.
"I thought the at bat of the game was Daniel Cabrera leading off with that double," Mainieri said. "Once he got that double, I just felt like 'OK, here we go. We're going to score and retake the lead.' We ended up scoring three runs."
LSU added one more run in the top of the ninth inning.
Junior shortstop Josh Smith led off with a double and stole third soon after. Southern Miss then intentionally walked Antoine Duplantis and Daniel Cabrera, but Smith still scored on a wild pitch to extend LSU's lead to 8-4.
Hess threw two shutout innings following the game-tying grand slam and only allowed one more hit.
"I think we're playing at a different level now because the character and resiliency of this team has stayed true throughout the whole year," Hess said. "We have a few guys that have really been scuffling that have started to step up.
"The character of this team has stayed true throughout the entire year and I think what you're seeing now is guys starting to feel their potential and guys getting back healthy and we're starting to play like a true unit."