Tigers rebound for ninth inning victory over BYU


BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU (5-0) scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to earn a walk-off victory by a score of 6-5 over BYU (2-3) Thursday night at Alex Box Stadium.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, third baseman Christian Ibarra tied the game at 5-5 with a one-out, solo home run over the left field wall.

After a walk to Chris Sciambra and singles from Mark Laird and Alex Bregman, outfielder Raph Rhymes delivered a bases-loaded, walk-off single to clinch the win.

The Tigers will return to the field Friday as they take on Southeastern Louisiana (3-1) at Alex Box Stadium. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. on Cox Sports Television and on LSU Sports Radio Network affiliates  (98.1 FM in Baton Rouge).

"This game was really a grind from the beginning," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri, "but I'm extremely proud of our players for earning the win against a very solid BYU club. We fell behind early, battled back, and fell behind again but our players never doubted themselves. It's much nicer to be on the positive end of a game like this. We're pleased to win tonight, but we realize there are areas in which we need to improve."

LSU took an early 1-0 lead in the second inning Thursday with a solo home run from first baseman Mason Katz, his first dinger of the season.

BYU quickly answered in the third inning with four runs of their own, including a three-run home run from centerfielder Jaycob Brugman, giving the Cougars a 4-1 advantage.

The Tigers pulled closer in the third inning with a two-RBI double from second baseman JaCoby Jones to cut the BYU lead to 4-3.

In the bottom of the seventh, Bregman hit a high fly ball to shallow right that fell just inside the foul line, tying the game at 4-4. But BYU would rebound again and regain the lead with another RBI hit from Brugman in the top of the eighth.

Right-hander Joey Bourgeois (1-0), who was credited with the win, struck out the side in the top of the ninth inning, propelling the Tigers to the ninth-inning magic.

BYU closer Matt Milke (0-1) was charged with the loss as he allowed the winning runs in the ninth.

LSU starter Aaron Nola gave up four runs but struck out six throughout his six innings of work.

LSU outfielder Mark Laird had another solid night at the plate going 4-for-5, while Ibarra finished 2-for-3 including the game-tying home run in the bottom of the ninth.