LSU Escapes Bulldogs in 10 Innings


STARKVILLE, Miss. - Eighth-ranked Mississippi and second-ranked LSU played a college baseball game worthy of some national notice Friday night.

Alas for the Bulldogs, the Tigers got in the final shot.

Mason Katz's two-run home run in the top half of the 10th inning lifted LSU to a 6-4 victory in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams at Dudy Noble Field.

LSU improved to 17-1 overall and 1-0 in league play, while MSU fell to 18-3 and 0-1. The Bulldogs and Tigers have now gone extra innings in three of the last five meetings.

"I think our kids will bounce back from this but it's our job to make them aware of things that are good in this game and not so good so we'll do that," MSU head coach John Cohen said. "We'll review and hopefully they're excited about getting out there and competing tomorrow."

The Bulldogs got things started in the first inning when Hunter Renfroe hit a mammoth two-run home run to left center field. For Renfroe, it was his sixth home run of the season and third in as many games. C.T. Bradford preceded the round-tripper with a single, as MSU grabbed a quick 2-0 lead.

LSU cut the lead in half on a Christian Ibarra RBI-single in the fourth inning.

The Bulldogs appeared ready to take control by scoring twice more in the fifth inning. After two were out, MSU pieced together four straight singles. Adam Frazier and Bradford had hits, while Renfroe and Alex Detz had run-producing hits.

LSU came right back with two scores in the sixth inning, chasing MSU starter Jacob Lindgren.

Lindgren worked 5.2 innings, allowing five hits and three runs (all earned), with no walks and seven strikeouts.

"I thought Lindgren was phenomenal but again phenomenal is all about one pitch," Cohen said. "We let Katz beat us and that was not in our game plan. We had no problem with him walking there but we serve him a belt-high breaking ball that left the ballpark. We served up their best hitter two great opportunities for him to leave the ballpark and to his credit, he did it. Hopefully we'll execute a little bit better on the mound and defensively as well."

A two-run home run by Katz - the first of his two in the contest chased Lindgren and brought the guests within 4-3.

MSU also chased LSU starter Aaron Nola in the sixth inning. However, the Bulldogs could do nothing with a walk and hit batsmen.

LSU scored the game-tying run on an error and wild pitch in the seventh inning.

In the 10th inning, relief pitcher Will Cox (2-1) walked Raph Rhymes and was touched for the game-winner by Katz.

For LSU, Joey Bourgeois (2-0) picked up the win and Chris Cotton worked a perfect bottom of the 10th for his sixth save.

The Bulldogs finished with 10 hits, including three hits by Detz and two hits by both Renfroe and Bradford.

Alex Bregman, Katz and Ibarra each had two hits for LSU, which totaled seven hits.

The series resumes with a 6 p.m. start Saturday. Comcast Sports Southeast will have a regional telecast. The series finale is at 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

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