LSU found a way to score three runs in the first three innings off Missouri ace Bryce Montes De Oca and Zach Hess followed by a couple of Tigers relievers made it stand up with a 4-2 victory in the SEC opener Friday night at Alex Box Stadium.
De Oca only allowed two hits in six innings, but 7 walks gave LSU all the baserunners it would need. Five of those bases on balls came in the bottom the first when LSU (13-6, 1-0) took a 2-0 lead.
Zach Watson, Brandt Broussard and Antoine Duplantis got free passes to load the bases with nobody out, and Austin Bain produced the first run with an RBI grounder. After another walk to Hunter Feduccia, Beau Jordan struck out looking, but Chris Reid drew a two-out bases-loaded RBI walk to make it 2-0 LSU. Jordan homered in his next at-bat for a 3-0 LSU lead in the bottom of the 3rd.
Zach Hess picked up the win allowing just three hits over six innings, but run into trouble allowing two runs in the top of the seventh without recording an out. Nick Bush worked two scoreless innings and Bain closed things out in the ninth to earn his second save.
LSU had added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth on an RBI double by Watson. Missouri (14-4, 0-1) had a nine-game win streak snapped with the defeat, managing just four hits on the night, while LSU had just five hits and stranded 11 base runners in 8 innings.
Game 2 of the series is scheduled for Saturday night at 6:00 and will be televised by the SEC Network.
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