LSU overcome Texas A&M 7-6 to avoid sweep

Dylan Crews

By Bill Franques

BATON ROUGE, La. — LSU trailed Texas A&M, 6-2, entering the bottom of the fifth inning Sunday, but the Tigers outscored the Aggies, 5-0, over the final five innings to earn a 7-6 victory in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.

Centerfielder Dylan Crews provided the game-winning hit with an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning that gave LSU its first lead.

LSU improved to 15-5 overall, 1-2 in the SEC, while Texas A&M dropped to 12-7 overall and 2-1 in conference play.

The Tigers return to action at 6:30 p.m. CT Tuesday when LSU plays host to Louisiana Tech in a game that will be aired on affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network and streamed on SEC Network +.

LSU reliever Riley Cooper (1-1) earned his first career win as a Tigers, working the final 1.2 innings and limiting the Aggies to no runs on one hit with one strikeout.

Texas A&M reliever Jacob Palisch (2-2) was charged with the loss, as he allowed three runs on four hits in 2.1 innings with no walks and one strikeout.

“We had some great at-bats to get Dylan up in the go-ahead situation in the eighth, and a great job by Riley on the mound to finish the game,” said LSU coach Jay Johnson. “This was a grind, and I’m very aware how good our league is. This was a very good team that we played this weekend. They had some great arms coming out of the bullpen and starting pitchers that really presented challenges for us.

“I’m really proud of our pitching for keeping us in the game and giving us a chance to come back. It was a great job by a number of guys.”

The Aggies held a 3-0 lead in the fourth inning, when LSU scored two runs on an RBI single by rightfielder Jacob Berry and and a sacrifice fly by shortstop Jordan Thompson.

Texas A&M, however responded with three runs in the top of the fifth, as rightfielder Brett Minnich an leftfielder Dylan Rock launched solo homers, and shortstop Kole Kaler slapped an RBI single.

The Aggies didn’t score again, and LSU scored two runs in each of its next two at-bats. In the fifth, second baseman Cade Doughty lined an RBI single, and Crews provided an run-scoring groundout.

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LSU tied the game in the sixth when designated hitter Brayden Jobert ripped a run-scoring single, and first baseman Tre’ Morgan bounced an RBI single into left field.

Leftfielder Giovanni DiGiacomo led off the eighth with a single against Palisch, who was then replaced on the mound by reliever Chris Cortez. The next two LSU hitters were retired, but Morgan singled, Doughty drew a walk and Crews singled to give LSU a 7-6 lead.

Cooper, Eric Reyzelman and Samuel Dutton combined to limit the Aggies to one run over the final five innings of the game, recording four strikeouts.