Somehow, LSU swept UTSA this weekend despite blowing the lead in the eighth inning or later in all three games.
The No. 15 Tigers won in exhilarating fashion every time, winning by scores of 3-1, 10-9 and 13-12. These are three takeaways from the series, LSU's last before Southeastern Conference play:
1. Bullpen needs help
It’s unfortunate LSU can’t sign a free agent or make a mid-season trade, because the Tigers need a shutdown reliever. Coach Paul Mainieri wanted to settle LSU’s bullpen this weekend. Instead, more concerns arose. After the eighth inning, the Tigers allowed 20 runs, 17 earned, forcing them to mount furious comebacks. As good as LSU’s starting rotation is, the Tigers need someone to close out games during Southeastern Conference play.
LSU survived another blown lead against UTSA, eventually winning 13-12 on a game-winning single from Gavin Dugas in the 11th inning to sweep its weekend series.
2. Resilience on display
At the same time, LSU responded after blowing the late leads. The Tigers scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth Friday night, hit three home runs in extra innings Saturday night and surged in extra innings again Sunday afternoon to sweep the series. It’s a troubling sign that LSU has blown a lead in the eighth inning or later seven times this season. But it won five of those games.
LSU blew a four-run lead, almost wasted another dominant start from Landon Marceaux, trailed by three runs in the 10th inning and trailed by t…
3. Unsettled in center field
Mainieri said earlier this week one of his most difficult decisions would be deciding who plays center field once junior Giovanni DiGiacomo returns from a hamstring injury. Freshman Brody Drost started the first two games against UTSA, but he went 1 for 12 this week with six strikeouts. Sophomore Mitchell Sanford started Sunday and hit a two-run homer. Adding intrigue, DiGiacomo dressed out Sunday for the first time since his injury and participated in pregame warmups.
Gavin Dugas sprinted down the first base line and spread his arms wide once he crossed the bag Friday night, convinced he was safe on a potent…