LSU Tigers squander late lead and sweep of Auburn

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Photo credit USA TODAY

The LSU fighting Tiger baseball team was one pitch away from sweeping Auburn in the final SEC series of the regular season. Coach Paul Mainieiri handed the ball to his closer with 1 out in the 8th inning. Zack Hess made quick work of Auburn in the 8th inning and cruised into the 9th inning with a 2 run lead. Auburn’s catcher Matt Scheffler came to the plate with 1 out in the 9th, and smashed a two run homer to tie the game 4-4. Auburn plated one more run off Hess in the top of the 11th inning to win the game 5-4 and avoid the sweep. Hess has given up a home run in four of his last five relief appearances.

Catcher Saul Garza had a monster weekend collecting seven hits in eleven plate appearances. Garza looks like a totally different hitter over the last four weekends. He’s much more patient at the plate, and far more selective with the pitches he’s looking for. If Garza can stay hot at the plate this LSU line-up will be feared in the SEC and NCAA tournament.

LSU clinched the No. 5 seed in the SEC tournament, with the sweep. The Tigers will play Tuesday night (approximately 8pm) against South Carolina in Hoover, Alabama. LSU finishes the regular season 34 and 22 overall, 17 and 13 in the SEC.

LSU needs to win two games next week in the SEC tournament to secure a regional in Baton Rouge.

Freshman pitchers Jaden Hill and Cole Henry are expected to return to the mound next week in Hoover. Both have battled arm injuries this season. Hill hasn’t pitched since February 24th. Henry has been out since April 13th in a loss to Missouri.