Logan Taylor’s throw from left field had to be perfect to beat Alex Bregman to home plate.
“Sometimes,” Bregman said, “that’s how the game works.”
LSU had no seventh-inning magic Saturday — just some base-running woes, missed opportunities and dropped balls.
The Tigers spotted Texas A&M four runs in the third inning — all unearned — and LSU couldn’t replicate Friday night’s late rally in a 6-2 loss on Saturday afternoon in a rain delayed series finale at Alex Box Stadium.
The No. 2 Aggies (37-7, 13-7 Southeastern Conference) ended top-ranked LSU’s seven-game winning streak, salving the series after the Tigers (37-7, 14-6) took the first two games of this 1-versus-2 battle.
LSU had two runners thrown out at home plate, another caught stealing — after a leadoff single — and first baseman Chris Chinea had a costly error in just the Tigers’ second loss in the last 16 games.
That all happened in the first two innings, too.
“Hitting the ball hard but got nothing to show for it,” coach Paul Mainieri said of those opening two frames.
Said Bregman: “Frustrating.”
LSU starter Austin Bain (1-2) took a tough loss in a game delayed three hours because of rain. He allowed just one earned run in his 5.1 innings, and Jake Godfrey threw 2.2 innings of two-hit ball in relief.
The fielders and base runners didn’t help them.
Second baseman Jared Foster and third baseman Conner Hale each had a miscue in the field — both ruled infield singles — and the Tigers had those outs on the bases in a defeat that erases their sole possession of the conference lead.
LSU is in a tie with Vanderbilt (32-12, 14-6) atop the SEC. The Commodores meet Missouri in a series finale Sunday, having swept MU in the first two games.
Still, the Tigers won a series that’s believed to be the first No. 1-against-No. 2 showdown in Alex Box Stadium history.
“Wish we would have gotten the job done today and gotten a three-game lead in the league,” Mainieri said. “Won a series against a really good team. Still three weekends to go in this league. I said before the series (that) there weren’t going to be any trophies handed out at the end of this weekend.”
Zac Person and Jesse Stallings finished off the game on the mound, and A&M starter Kyle Simonds (3-1) got the win in just his third start of the season.
The Tigers stranded eight runners through the first seven frames and out-hit A&M 11-7, but they failed to score anything despite a hit-full first two innings.
They had six base runners in the two frames, on five hits and an error.
Bregman was thrown out in a bang-bang play in the first on Kade Scivicque’s single to left field, and Chinea was easily tagged out trying to go from first to home on Jared Foster’s double down the left field line.
“Will Davis made the right decision, as our third base coach, each time,” Mainieri said. “Give credit to them for making the plays.”
Especially the first one.
Scivicque’s slow roller hit Taylor’s glove in left field as Bregman was a full stride past third base. The throw bounced directly into the glove of former LSU catcher and current A&M starter Michael Barash.
He made a sweeping tag.
“Typically you score on that base hit. Kid made a great throw,” Mainieri said.
“It was bang-bang, about as bang-bang as it gets,” Bregman said.
Andrew Stevenson’s leadoff single in the second was squandered after he was caught stealing before Chinea was gunned out at home.
The Aggies rolled up their four runs in the third inning on four consecutive two-out hits off Bain to take a 4-0 lead. Chinea’s dropped ball would have been the second out before the Aggies’ hitting streak began. Bregman made a charging play and solid throw to first, but the ball popped out of Chinea’s mit.
“That inning did us in,” Chinea said.
Bain, in his second SEC start, cruised through the first two innings, allowing just one base runner — a walk in the second. He threw 22 pitches in the first two frames combined before hitting a snag after Chinea’s one-out error.
Godfrey shined in another relief appearance, allowing a run, two hits and striking out three in a 42-pitch outing — the highlight of a rough, bumbling, rainy Saturday at the Box.
“Just wasn’t our day,” Mainieri said.
Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter: @DellengerAdv.