BATON ROUGE – Air Force (1-1) scored three runs in the top of the ninth inning on a pair of bases-loaded walks and a sac fly to defeat seventh-ranked LSU (1-1), 6-4, Sunday afternoon at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
LSU will return for the final game of its opening weekend at 5 p.m. CT Monday against Louisiana Tech. The game will be streamed live on SEC Network+ through WatchESPN.com and the app.
Ty Floyd (0-1) was charged with the loss after allowing three runs on one hit and walking two.
Joe Martinez III (1-0) earned the win for Air Force after facing two batters and striking out one. Paul Skenes earned the save after closing the game for the Falcons. He gave up one run in the ninth.
"All of the Air Force pitchers did a super job, and their kids really competed," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "They threw some really great arms against us; their last pitcher was throwing 97 mph. They made some great plays in the field under a lot of pressure, and that's what you would expect of kids from the Air Force Academy. They're going to be flying 100 million aircraft one day, and there's no option but to win.
"It's a tough loss for us, obviously, and there are a lot of areas where we need to improve. We're going to address them, and we're going to get better. This was only the second game of the year. We've got a tough game tomorrow (versus Louisiana Tech), so we're going to get ready for that."
LSU got on the board early with runs in the second and third to take a 2-0 lead. Giovanni DiGiacomo led off the second with a triple and scored on a one-out RBI ground out by Drew Bianco. In the third, Cade Doughty scored on a one-out double off the wall in left field.
Air Force tied the game in the fourth after a pair of errors in the infield. With runners in scoring position, designated hitter Braydon Altorfer grounded out to score a runner. In the next at bat, Gabriel Garcia scored after a fielding error.
The Falcons took the lead in the top of the sixth on another fielding error. After a leadoff single and stolen base, centerfielder Blake Covin scored on the error to give Air Force a 4-3 lead.
First baseman Tre' Morgan and Cade Beloso opened the eighth inning with back-to-back walks and advanced to second and third on a wild pitch. Sophomore Zach Arnold then roped a one-out single to left field to help give LSU a 4-3 lead.
Air Force responded in the top of the ninth inning with three runs to take the 6-4 lead. Floyd gave up a pair of one-out walks and an infield single to load the bases. Aaron George then gave up consecutive walks and a sac fly to allow the Falcons to plate three runs.
Freshman Dylan Crews made it a one-run game in the top of the ninth with a solo home run to left field, but it wasn't enough for the Tigers.
Landon Marceaux started for the Tigers and pitched five innings. The junior allowed two hits and struck out four in his 2021 debut. He was charged with two unearned runs.
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