clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

LSU beats Tennessee following big eighth inning, 5-2

Tough loss.

Syndication: The Daily Advertiser SCOTT CLAUSE/USA TODAY Network / USA TODAY NETWORK

No. 9 Tennessee travelled south to take on No. 1 LSU in the first of three on Thursday night. This one had all the feels of a postseason matchup — fully delivering on the hype. In the end, it was LSU coming out on top, thanks to a big eighth inning.

Chase Dollander got the start for Tennessee, and found immediate trouble in the bottom of the first. A double and a walk had LSU ready to pounce early, but Dollander worked his way out of it. Three straight line-drives were secured by the Tennessee outfield to end the threat.

LSU starter Paul Skenes, armed with his 102 mph fastball, was cruising early on. He struck out three in the first two innings as the Tennessee bats struggled to catch up to the velocity.

Dollander cruised through the second, and once again danced out of trouble in the third. A big double play kept the score at 0-0 going into the top of the fourth.

Tennessee finally got on the board in the top of the fifth, as Christian Scott singled up the middle. Jared Dickey scored from third to break the 0-0 tie, giving Tennessee a 1-0 lead.

LSU immediately answered to take the lead right back. Jordan Thompson got on base, then Gavin Dugas drilled a homerun over the left field wall, and the Tigers finally got to Dollander. Tony Vitello pulled Dollander a batter later.

Tennessee came up empty in the sixth and seventh as Skenes continued to work. His night ended after seven innings of work, which was completed with 12 strikeouts. Skenes threw 107 pitches.

The Volunteers had two more chances, still down 2-1 in Baton Rouge. Maui Ahuna singled up the middle and advanced to second on a passed ball. Ahuna moved to third on another passed ball. Suddenly, two mistakes from LSU’s freshman catcher had Tennessee threatening.

LSU made a change on the mound, tapping Garrett Edwards. Christian Moore jumped all over him, delivering a single to bring home the tying run. 2-2 was the new score in the top of the eighth. Moore stole second, setting up Zane Denton in a big spot. But Denton couldn’t deliver, striking out on a check swing.

The Tigers found a baserunner on an error, then found another on a botched double-play attempt from Christian Moore. Moore thought he had two, but he came up with none. Seth Halvorsen hit the next batter, loading the bases with two outs.

LSU’s Jordan Thompson was up next, and he dropped one in the right field gap. It was a bases clearing double for Thompson, giving LSU at 5-2 lead in the bottom of the eighth. Tennessee was an underhand toss away from getting out of the inning, but a Halvorsen error at first ended up fueling a late LSU outburst.

Hunter Ensley found his way on, then Dylan Dreiling poked one through the infield. The tying run was at the plate for the Volunteers, and it was pinch hitter Kavares Tears. Tears struck out in three pitches, putting LSU an out away from closing this one out.

Christian Scott was the final chance for Tennessee — and he took it to the warning track. But that was it. Scott’s liner flamed out just before the wall, and the Tigers secured a 5-2 victory.

Tennessee falls to 20-7 on the year. The Vols will be back tomorrow night at 7 p.m. ET, live on SEC Network.