BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The top-ranked LSU baseball team has made a habit of coming back in a big way after losses this season, especially its SEC losses to Arkansas and Ole Miss, so it wasn't a surprise to many when the Tigers did it again Saturday in a 7-3 win over Kentucky after dropping the series opener Friday night to the Wildcats.
Alex Lange, the outstanding freshman who had 13 strikeouts and a no decision in the loss to Ole Miss two Saturdays ago was outstanding again. His first four outs were strikeouts. He struck out eight batters in three innings and finished with 13 for game. In seven innings pitched, he gave up six hits and one earned run. He also walked five batters.
The game was scoreless until the bottom of the fourth inning, when Chris Chinea hit a sacrifice fly to score Kade Scivicque and give the Tigers the 1-0 lead.
The teams would trade runs in the sixth inning, with LSU ahead 2-1. In the top of eighth, Kentucky tied the game 2-2.
However, in the bottom of the inning, the Tigers responded in a big way. Kade Scivicque and Andrew Stevenson both singled to put runners on first and third. Chris Chinea then hit a line drive to centerfield that went under the glove of Kyle Barrett, rolled all the way to the wall and Chinea raced around the bases for an inside-the-park home run.
An umpire initially ruled it a double, but head coach Paul Mainieri protested and after a long discussion between the umpires awarded the home run to LSU, giving the Tigers a 5-2 lead.
"That was clearly the ground rule," Mainieri said after the game. "The ground rule is clearly stated. The ground rules, and I went over them before the game yesterday, if you can see the ball under the outfield fence, they have to go get it."
Later, Jared Foster blasted a two-run home run over the scoreboard to pull LSU ahead 7-2.
The Tigers would give up another run late, but Alden Cartwright was able to strike out the last batter and secure the 7-3 win.
The rubber match will start at 11 a.m.