LSU Baseball vs Missouri

LSU baseball graduate catcher Tyler McManus (26) says some words of encouragement to redshirt sophomore right-handed pitcher Paul Gervase (35) Saturday, April 23, 2022, during LSU's 8-6 win over Missouri at Alex Box Stadium.

LSU baseball was unable to pull off yet another comeback against Southern Miss, as the Tigers fell 8-4 forcing a “win or go home” game against the Golden Eagles for the Regional Championship.

The story of LSU’s third game of regionals was not much different from the first two. Only difference was that the Tigers didn’t quite have the magic they brought to their two previous comeback wins. LSU’s biggest weaknesses were on display again: fielding errors and mistakes, lack of starting pitching and struggles against left-handed pitching. After the Tigers were able to score four runs in the first four innings, Southern Miss left-handed pitcher Justin Storm shut LSU down for the rest of the game, not allowing any more runs.

In the field, multiple misplayed balls in the outfield and behind the plate cost LSU runs and extra baserunners that allowed Southern Miss to continually expand on its lead. Errors have plagued LSU throughout the season and it came back to haunt the Tigers at the worst possible time in this game. On the mound for LSU, starting pitcher Sam Dutton went just 2.1 innings, giving up three runs on five hits and making Head Coach Jay Johnson go to the bullpen early. Overall, it was just an off night for LSU at a bad time and now the Tigers’ season hangs in the balance in a winner takes all grudge match against Southern Miss.

“Tonight doesn't have anything to do with tomorrow unless the players let it and we will not do that,” said Johnson. “Our approach will be to get 27 outs as fast as we can with as few of the guys from Southern Miss scoring. I don't really have an answer of what that looks like just yet, but we will by the time the bell rings tomorrow.”

The good news for LSU is that it has played one less game than Southern Miss, meaning the Tigers have more pitchers to work with. It would not be much of a surprise to see Ma’Khail start again, and see players like Devin Fontenot, Trent Vietmeier, Eric Reyzelman and Paul Gervase all take the mound at some point. It will truly be an all hands on deck approach to keep the season alive in a “do or die” game.

With how dangerous LSU’s bats are, it is tough for any team to hold the offense back for multiple games in a row, especially in a situation where you’re playing your fifth game in four days. However, at this point it’s a one game season for both teams, and each squad will be leaving everything on the field to try to extend their seasons.

The grudge match between LSU and Southern Miss is set to begin at 3 p.m. CT and will be streaming live on ESPN+.

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