The LSU Tigers found themselves in uncharted territory on Tuesday afternoon at the SEC Tournament, where they have often struck success year-after-year, as they fell to No. 9 seeded Georgia in the first round, 1-4.
Coming in winning five of their last seven conference series, the Tigers looked to pick up a win or two to pack its resume for the NCAA Tournament. Instead, they are leaving Hoover winless for the first time since 2005, leaving the team on the edge of their seats, awaiting their fate for the NCAA Tournament.
The Tigers found themselves in a prime position to get on the board earlier as they managed to juice up the bases with no outs after a pair of singles by Tre' Morgan and Dylan Crews. Then, a hit-by-pitch by Gavin Dugas. The Tigers were unable to take full advantage of the opportunity as Cade Doughty hit into a 4-6-3 double play to erase the big threat, though the Tigers still managed to get one run on the board to take the lead.
Landon Marceaux took the bump for LSU against Georgia after having a shortened outing in his last appearance against Alabama the weekend prior. Despite a shaky first inning where he surrendered a four-spot to the Bulldogs, Marceaux pitched an absolute gem, finishing his first complete game of his LSU career where he pitched eight innings, allowing four earned runs on nine hits with a trio of walks and nine punchouts.
“I was really proud of Landon Marceaux,” Head Coach Paul Mainieri said. “Unfortunately, he pitched his heart out, and we weren’t able to give him the run support. He’s pitched like that all year for us, just pitched so courageously and with just a warrior mentality.”
When you break down the first inning jam, which could have been avoided if it was not for an error, it would have been a completely different ball game. After filling the bases with one out, Marceaux found himself in deep water. A lead-off double to left field, a single and a four-pitch walk loaded up the bases with one out for Georgia in the bottom half of the first.
Much like the Bulldogs in the first inning, LSU’s defense had the opportunity to escape the jam with an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play. Though they managed to get the first out at second, shortstop Collier Cranford sailed a ball to first and was unable to get the out, which allowed a run to score and kept the inning going.
After that, Marceaux issued another four-pitch free pass to load the bases again. Looking for the final out of the inning, Marceaux hung an elevated change up over the middle part of the plate, which was smashed for a bases-clearing double to right field, giving Georgia a 4-1 lead.
The first inning ended up being the only offensive production for either team as Marceaux and freshman reliever Jaden Woods kept both parties’ bats quiet for the remainder of the contest. After entering the game for starter Luke Wagner, Woods retired all 10 LSU hitters that he faced in his 3 ⅔ innings of work, leaving the Tigers hitless for four innings.