COLUMBIA, Mo. — Bryce Jordan smashed the first pitch he saw, raised his bat into the air and admired his work.
LSU’s third home run in five plate appearances traveled long into the Missouri afternoon, caught up in a howling wind inside the quiet ballpark that could no longer contain this brawny offense.
Jordan’s was one of three home runs in a five-run seventh inning that, officially, turned Sunday’s 15-2 win over host Missouri into a farce. The victory gave LSU its first conference sweep of the season and its third straight series win as Mississippi State looms in a massive series next weekend at Alex Box Stadium.
“We just kind of ran away with it,” infielder Greg Deichmann said.
LSU (25-11, 9-6 Southeastern Conference) had 20 hits, a season high and its most in a conference game since a 21-hit barrage against Arkansas last season.
Jordan Romero and Deichmann, the latest No. 3 and 4 hitters in coach Paul Mainieri’s attempts to steady the inconsistent middle of his order, preceded Jordan’s blast with solo shots. The two reached base seven times in 11 plate appearances, drove in six and scored five times.
“It’s all about just jumping on teams,” Romero said. “The team who scores first or in the first inning, the odds of winning are higher. We did a good job of that (and) kept tacking on. We didn’t get satisfied and kept putting it on them.”
Romero’s four-hit game came after a week of refining his swing mechanics when inconsistent batting practices troubled him and Mainieri. He focused on staying through the middle in his swing instead of pulling off early.
“He had a lot of opportunities today, and that home run he hit was a big one — it kind of gave us a little more separation,” Mainieri said. “I was really proud of Jordan; he played great. Caught great, too.”
Every LSU starter had a hit, and all nine reached base. Chris Reid, Jake Fraley and Antoine Duplantis each had three hits. Jordan finished with four RBIs, the first coming on a grounder to shortstop in a five-run first inning against Missouri starter Michael Plassmeyer.
LSU’s first five hitters reached base, the first three on precisely placed singles that barely left the infield, and Missouri’s porous defense made two errors to compound Plassmeyer’s 32-pitch ordeal that ended with his team trailing 5-0. The Missouri (20-18, 4-11) defense made five errors Sunday, giving it nine for the three-game series.
Making his third SEC start, Plassmeyer entered Sunday on a 9.1-inning scoreless streak in conference play. LSU scored three times against the true freshman before he recorded an out, sending nine men to the plate in a 15-minute half-inning. Romero opened the scoring with a bouncer through the six-hole that scored Duplantis.
“The warmth, the hard infield, the wind blowing out — all of those things added to the confidence of our hitters, and they took advantage of it,” Mainieri said. “We came here focused and did a tremendous job in every facet.”
After uncharacteristically falling behind hitters and battling his command through the first two innings, when he allowed three hits, LSU starter John Valek III settled down to retire nine of his final 12 hitters, allowing five hits across six innings of two-run ball to improve to 6-1.
For the third straight game, the LSU bullpen pitched three scoreless innings in support of an offense that scored 31 runs on the weekend — the most by LSU in an SEC road series since 2008 — and a defense that had a 27-inning errorless performance.
“I don’t think we could have played any better this weekend,” Mainieri said. “It was a dream come true for a coach to see your players go out there and play the way that they did this weekend in every facet.”
Follow Chandler Rome on Twitter, @Chandler_Rome.