BATON ROUGE, La. – LSU designated hitter Cade Beloso and first baseman Hayden Travinski both blasted solo home runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to propel the fourth-ranked Tigers to a 7-4 victory over McNeese Tuesday night inside Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
With the win, LSU improved to 40-12 on the season, while the Cowboys dropped to 32-19.
The Tigers return to action Thursday for the final SEC series of the season when they take on the Georgia Bulldogs in Athens. The Thursday-Saturday series begins at 5 p.m. CT Thursday, and it WILL be streamed on SEC Network+. The matchup may also be heard on the LSU Sports Radio Network.
LSU left-hander Griffin Herring (3-1) was credited with the victory after relieving starter Blake Money in the top of the fourth. Herring tossed 3.0 innings, allowing only one run on one hit with two strikeouts.
LSU reliever Thatcher Hurd entered the game to record the final out and earned his third save of the season. He induced the final out of the game with a slow chopper to first base.
The Tigers have posted back-to-back seasons with at least 40 wins for the first time since the 2016 and 2017 seasons. LSU finished last season with a 40-22 mark.
“Winning 40 games is a real credit to our players,” said LSU coach Jay Johnson. “We’ve got a lot more baseball ahead of us, but I want to pause for a second and appreciate our players for getting to that 40-win mark. It’s a big deal.”
LSU got the scoring started in the bottom of the first with an RBI double from third baseman Tommy White. The frame began with two straight outs before centerfielder Dylan Crews reached on an error and White delivered the run-scoring hit to break the score and make the score 1-0.
The Tigers added to its lead in the second inning without recording a hit. First baseman Hayden Travinski stole home on a suicide squeeze after the pitch got away from the McNeese catcher. With a runner on third, catcher Alex Milazzo drove in a third run on an RBI groundout.
The Cowboys tied the ballgame at three in the third inning during a stretch of five straight singles. McNeese took its first lead of the night in the six following two scoreless innings. The visitors scratched the go-ahead run across on an RBI fielder’s choice from designated hitter Tre’ Obregon III.
LSU retook the lead in the sixth with back-to-back dingers from designated Beloso and Travinski to make the score 5-4. Beloso launched his 10th of the season, and Travinski hit his sixth of the year.
“We needed to get back in the win column tonight, and our older players like Cade and Hayden have been through the battles,” Johnson said. “They know how to work their way through obstacles. Cade didn’t have a good at-bat earlier in the game with a runner in scoring position, but he put it behind him, he competed, fouled off several two-strike pitches, got to a 3-2 count, and then blasted the baseball.”
The Tigers extended their lead in the bottom of the eighth on a throwing error by McNeese and a sac fly provided by White. Milazzo reached on an infield single and Morgan walked before Crews picked up his first hit of the night, which led to the throwing error. LSU led 7-4 after eight innings.
The Cowboys threatened in the ninth by loading the bases but Hurd was able to stave off the rally to close out the game.
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