Information provided by LSU Sports
COLUMBIA, Mo. – Bryce Jordan’s three-run home run and stellar relief from Hunter Newman Friday night propelled ninth-ranked LSU to a 7-5 victory over Missouri in the opener of a three-game Southeastern Conference baseball series at Taylor Stadium.
LSU improved to 23-11 overall, 7-6 SEC while Missouri dropped to 20-16 and 4-9.
Game 2 is Saturday at 2 p.m. LSU right-hander Alex Lange (3-2, 4.74 ERA) will oppose Missouri’s ace, righty Tanner Houck (4-2, 2.33 ERA).
Lange will be pitching in front of a home-state crowd. He prepped at Lee’s Summit West High School near Kansas City, where he was the 2014 Gatorade Player of the Year in the Show-Me State.
"Hunter Newman did another tremendous job; he throws strikes with his breaking ball and keeps hitters honest with his fastball," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "He pitches with a lot of courage and stays poised no matter the situation he’s in.
"Offensively, our hitters did a great job against one of the better pitches in our league (Missouri starter Reggie McClain). Bryce’s three-run homer was the big blow in that five-run inning where we strung together four hits in a row and took the lead."
With LSU holding a tenuous 6-5 lead following a leadoff home run in the seventh by Missouri’s Kirby McGuire, Newman relieved Jared Poche’ and proceeded to blank Missouri.
Zach Lavy singled with two out in the seventh, but that was the only baserunner Newman allowed as he notched his second save.
The three-inning stint was Newman’s longest of 2016. His previous long was 2 2/3 innings last Friday versus Vanderbilt.
LSU now has two saves of three or more innings in SEC play. Parker Bugg went 3 2/3 innings at Auburn April 3.
After giving up a two-run triple to Lavy in the first, Poche’ allowed three hits and no runs over the next 4 1/3 innings. He improved to 5-3.
Lavy went 3-for-3 and was hit by a pitch. He is hitting .333 on the season, tied for the team lead with Jake Ring. Lavy also leads Missouri with seven triples and 33 RBI.
Trailing 2-1 through four, LSU got the leadoff runner on in the fifth when Cole Freeman singled deep in the hole at shortstop. He went to second when Lavy could not scoop up Ryan Howard’s throw, and the ball went into the LSU dugout.
Missouri starter Reggie McClain (3-2) retired Antoine Duplantis and Jake Fraley on ground balls, but gave up the tying run when Greg Deichmann doubled to left center on the first pitch.
Even though McClain retired Fraley in the second, the LSU centerfielder went 3-for-5. Deichmann, Robertson, Bryce Jordan and Freeman had two hits each.
Beau Jordan’s single moved Deichmann to third, and Kramer Robertson’s ground ball single through the left side gave LSU its first lead.
Bryce Jordan launched McClain’s 2-2 fastball over the 390-foot marker just to the left of center field. Missouri’s Ring climbed the fence, but could only watch the ball sail onto the football practice field.
Missouri got two runs back in the sixth. Lavy led off with a double and scored on Brett Bond’s single, and Bond would cross the plate on Marquise Doherty’s double, the first of his career.
Missouri narrowed the gap to 6-5 when McGuire led off the seventh with a home run over the left field bullpen. The round-tripper chased Poche’ after six-plus innings and 98 pitches.
Singles by Robertson and Bryce Jordan to start the second led to LSU’s first run. Robertson moved to third on Chris Reid’s fielder’s choice and scored on a Michael Papierski grounder.
Bryce Jordan and Reid were hit by pitches to open the eighth. Papierski moved the runners ahead on a sacrifice bunt, and Freeman’s ground ball single past a diving Ian Nelson plated Jordan with an insurance run.
McClain allowed 10 hits over seven-plus innings. He threw 104 pitches, 72 for strikes. Cole Bartlett allowed three hits in two scoreless innings of relief.