Just about everything went LSU’s way as the Tigers rolled to their 12th straight win Sunday to complete a three-game sweep of No. 7 Kentucky with a 11-4 victory.
The Tigers totaled 31 runs on 41 hits in the series, while receiving near-perfect outings from the pitching staff and defense to finish out one of its more impressive weekends in recent memory.
“This weekend really showed a glimpse of what our full team could do,” Mason Katz said. “That’s a sign of what our lineup can do as a unit. It’s exciting. We still have some things we can improve on, but we’re going to get better going forward.”
The win followed a similar script to LSU’s previous two victories, as the Tiger offense jumped all over the Kentucky pitching. Of the 11 runs LSU scored against Kentucky on Sunday, seven were driven in by JaCoby Jones and Alex Bregman — who extended his hitting streak to 20 games.
“This is probably the best team I’ve ever seen or played on,” said Jones, who went 8-for-13 at the plate in this series, with six RBI. “And I won three straight state championships in high school. We were dominant, but this is something special.”
Starting pitcher Cody Glenn also did his part on the mound, bouncing back from a disastrous performance last weekend against Missouri. Glenn went six innings, allowing just one run on six hits to earn the win.
“It was huge [for my confidence],” Glenn said. “It feels good to be back out there, doing what I know I can do after a disappointing outing last week.”
Though the game had a similar result to the previous two, Sunday’s contest had a more ominous beginning. Kentucky jumped out to its first lead of the series with a RBI-single by Max Kuhn in the first inning.
But that little bit of adversity did little to silence the LSU offense as the Tigers quickly responded with five runs in the bottom half of the inning.
Sean McMullen, who reached base 10 times in the series, got it started with a double to leadoff the inning. Bregman brought him and Mark Laird — who reached on an error — home with his fifth triple of the season.
Katz scored Bregman from third with a sacrifice fly before Jones totaled two more with a homer that cleared the left-field bleachers.
“When [Kentucky] scored that run in the first inning, I thought it was the best thing that could have happened to us today,” Paul Mainieri said. “I was a little concerned after having two one-sided victories, the players might think it would come a little easier than it does. Getting knocked on the ground right out of the gate maybe woke us up a little bit, and made us bare down a little extra.”
The offense didn’t let up as Jones brought in one more in the third inning before LSU added three more runs to its lead in the fourth. McMullen scored for the second time on a single by Katz, then Christian Ibarra plated two more with a shot to left field.
LSU also scored a run in each of the seventh and eighth innings.
“We were just going out there and being aggressive,” Katz said. “We weren’t letting them get the corners in two-strike counts…We were getting into a lot of hitter’s counts and that was big for us.”
Following that first inning, Glenn rolled through the Kentucky lineup, allowing only four hits through the next five innings. He also had some help from the defense, which didn’t commit a single error during the weekend.
Nick Rumbelow, Joey Bourgeois and Chris Cotton combined to close out the game, the only blemish coming on a three-run homer Rumbelow surrendered in the seventh inning.
With a 11-1 record in the SEC, the Tigers have matched their best start to the conference slate in school history. LSU has a pair of midweek contests with Southern on the docket before traveling to Fayetteville, Ark., for a big SEC West showdown next weekend.