COLUMBIA, Mo. — Here are three takeaways from LSU's weekend in Missouri.
The No. 8 Tigers won 12-11 on Friday night before losing the next two games, 4-1 and 11-5.
Long flight home
It was cold, windy and for LSU, an unpleasant weekend. The Tigers lost a series to Missouri for the first time. Their pitching staff gave up 27 runs after posting a 2.66 ERA over the past nine games. After scoring 12 runs on Friday night, LSU's inconsistent offense emerged again as the Tigers struggled through Sunday. Injuries worsened the loses, putting LSU in a difficult place moving forward.
Three injured starters
Three starters suffered injuries that removed them from the series. In the first inning of the first game, pitcher Zack Hess pulled a muscle in his groin. He threw just 13 pitches. Later that night, center fielder Zach Watson strained a muscle in his groin. On Saturday, Chris Reid pulled his hamstring. LSU won after Hess' exit, but it felt the absence of Watson and Reid the rest of the series. It doesn’t know how long they will sit.
LSU baseball lost 4-1 on Saturday to Missouri, which evened the series.
Someone must step up
Coach Paul Mainieri expressed concern about the inconsistent state of LSU's lineup before the series. He said the problem came from LSU's reliance on the top of the order. Then the Tigers lost two of their most reliable hitters when Watson and Reid couldn't play. LSU hasn’t received much from the bottom of its lineup this season. It needs those players to step up more than ever.