COLLEGE STATION, Texas – LSU won two baseball games against Texas A&M on Saturday to capture its second consecutive Southeastern Conference West Division championship.
The Tigers held on for a 7-4 victory in a game that was suspended after six innings because of severe weather Friday, then scored a tiebreaking run in the eight to win 2-1 in a game scheduled for seven innings.
LSU, 45-7 and 21-6, in the SEC wrapped up a first-round bye in the SEC Tournament in two weeks as it matched the schools record for regular-season victories in a 56-game season. The Aggies, who won the series opener 2-1 on Thursday, are 27-24 and 11-15.
Chris Cotton (3-1) pitched a perfect ninth to get his 11th save in the first game and threw 1.1 scoreless innings to get the win in the second game.
Ty Ross led off the eighth with a double and pinch runner Jared Foster moved to third as Andrew Stevenson beat out a bunt. Mark McMullen, who had four hits and a walk in the suspended game, followed with a fly ball to right that enabled Foster to score easily.
A&M missed a chance to win it in the bottom of the seventh. Brandon Wood led off with a single. After Krey Bratsen fouled out trying to sacrifice, Jace Statum singled Wood to second.
That finished Eades and brought on Chris Cotton, who had pitched a perfect inning for a save a few hours earlier. Mikey Reynolds hit Cotton’s first pitch to third base where Christian Ibarra started an inning-ending double play.
The Aggies tied the score with a two-out rally in the fourth against LSU starter Ryan Eades. Daniel Mengden reached on an infield hit when he hit a roller to shortstop and he advanced to second when Bregman mishandled the ball trying to make a play. After Eades hit Brandon Wood with a pitch, Krey Bratesen singled home Mengden to make it 1-1.
A&M threatened to take the lead in the fifth when Reynolds singled and stole second with one out, but Eades got two fly balls to center to get out of it.
LSU struggled early against A&M starter Parker Ray, who struck out four while holding the Tigers scoreless in the first two innings.
Ray started falling behind hitters in the second and Ross drew a leadoff walk and Stevenson and McMullen singled to load the bases with none out.
Stevenson got picked off second before Mark Laird singled home Ross for a 1-0 lead. LSU missed a chance to add to the lead when Alex Bregman hit into a double play, swinging at a 3-0 pitch.
Eades got into trouble right away as Reynolds led off the first with a single and Blake Allemand followed with a walk. Cole Lankford’s groundout put the runners in scoring position, but Eades got Troy Stein on a pop to shallow right and Hunter Melton on a fly to left.