By: William Franques
Catcher Kade Scivicque and centerfielder Andrew Stevenson each drove in two runs Saturday, and left-hander Kyle Bouman earned the first SEC win of his career as eighth-ranked LSU completed a series sweep with an 8-1 win over Auburn at Plainsman Park.
LSU completed the regular season with a 40-14-1 overall mark, 17-11-1 in the SEC. LSU, which will be either the No. 3 or No. 4 seed, will play its first game in the SEC Tournament on Wednesday in Hoover, Ala., with the time and opponent still to be determined by the outcome of Saturday's Mississippi State-Alabama game.
If Mississippi State loses to Alabama, LSU will be the No. 3 seed and play at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday. If Mississippi State defeats Alabama, LSU is the No. 4 seed and will play at approximately 8:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Saturday's win clinched a 40-win season for LSU for the 26th time in the last 31 seasons. LSU has won at least 40 games six times in coach Paul Mainieri's eight seasons.
The series sweep over Auburn was LSU's first SEC road sweep since March 29-31 at Missouri, when the Tigers swept Mizzou. LSU, which defeated Northwestern State, 27-0, on Tuesday night, scored 56 runs on 61 hits in its four games this week.
"This weekend culminated an excellent regular season for our team; 40 wins is really a benchmark of excellence in college baseball," Mainieri said. "We had a difficult stretch in late March, but our guys have competed with great energy and enthusiasm, and we're playing very well at the most important time of the year. I think we certainly enhanced our resume' for the NCAA tournament by winning 40 games and perhaps finishing third in the best baseball conference in the country."
Scivicque was 3-for-4 Saturday with a solo homer, a double, two runs and two RBI, while Stevenson was 2-for-4 with two RBI and one run.
Bouman (4-2), starting an SEC game for the first time since April 13 versus Arkansas, limited Auburn to one run on four hits in five innings with one walk and two strikeouts. The win was Bouman's first since March 1 against Yale, and it was his first career conference victory.
Rightfielder Anfernee Grier led off the bottom of the first inning against Bouman with a home run, the first of his career, to give Auburn a 1-0 lead.
LSU, however, responded with two runs in the top of the second as Stevenson doubled and scored on first baseman Tyler Moore's RBI single, and Scivicque launched a solo homer, his fifth dinger of the season and his first since April 6 versus Mississippi State, when he unloaded a grand slam.
The Tigers increased their lead to 3-1 in the fourth when second baseman Conner Hale doubled and scored on Scivicque's two-out single.
LSU erupted for five runs in the seventh inning, sending nine batters to the plate. Stevenson contributed a two-run single, Hale and rightfielder Mark Laird delivered RBI groundouts, and designated hitter Sean McMullen drew a bases-loaded walk.