In a rather flat performance, LSU falls to Kentucky in a season opener rematch, ending the Tigers’ SEC tournament.
LSU’s SEC tournament run ended early at the hands of a dominating performance from Kentucky, beating the Tigers 7-2. LSU was never able to do anything, and the Tigers looked a little slow after finishing their previous game just 12 hours before late Friday night. While that may have been a reason for the slow start, head coach Jay Johnson didn’t want that to be the reason for the loss.
“I don’t think we played well,” Johnson said. “We will try to stifle the excuses. We don’t want that to be part of what we do with LSU baseball.
It didn’t take long for things to go wrong for LSU as Jacob Hasty got off to a nightmarish start on the mound. He threw just 30 pitches and scored just one before allowing two earned runs on two hits and three walks. That put LSU in another early hole, and the Tigers couldn’t get out.
The pitch struggled early, highlighted by Hasty’s issues in the first inning. Eric Reyzelman came on as his replacement and initially did a good job working on a base-loaded jam. He would later give up three more runs, resulting in his retirement after three innings. Trey Shaffer and Paul Gervase finished the game for LSU on the mound and limited the damage by allowing just one more run between the two of them.
When it comes to hitting, LSU was never able to get an offense going, which kept the deficit deep throughout the game. The Tigers didn’t register a hit until the seventh inning and looked just plain lost at the plate. Kentucky starting pitcher Tyler Bosma was dominant on the mound for six innings, allowing just one earned run on a hit and struck out 10 LSU batters. LSU only added one more hit after Bosma was relieved, never really getting back into the game.
“I’ll credit the pitcher,” Johnson said. “I think a pitcher like that that mixes up and changes gears and doesn’t really give you a good pitch to hit, if you try to do too much or you start pressing for the outcome as opposed to what you have to do to take quality to beats then you can make these guys ultra successful.
That ends a relatively disappointing tournament for LSU at Hoover. The Tigers end the week with a win and losses against the highest and lowest ranked teams in the tournament. How much that means for LSU ahead of the NCAA Tournament is a debate many will have over the next week. Having a strong performance at Hoover would certainly be a momentum-builder, but that doesn’t always mean everything.
Take the example of the state of Mississippi. The Bulldogs were ruled twice in the SEC tournament last year, but they still managed to go all the way and win the College World Series. Although a national championship seems like a dream for LSU, this tournament shouldn’t have too much of an effect on its playoff momentum. The Tigers will likely find two of their best hitters next week in Jacob Berry and Cade Doughty, which should make all the difference.
LSU is now looking to NCAA Regionals which begin next week on June 3. The bracket will be announced on Monday, May 30 to determine whether or not LSU will be a regional host and who the Tigers will play against. The selection show is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. CT and will air live on ESPN2.