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Pearson, Thompson's Homers in 12th lifts LSU to 8-5 over Georgia Thursday Night

Central Arkansas LSU Baseball
Posted at 11:37 PM, May 18, 2023

ATHENS, Ga. – Leftfielder Josh Pearson blasted a two-run homer – his first of the season – in the top of the 12th inning Thursday night to break a 5-5 tie and lift fourth-ranked LSU to an 8-5 win over Georgia at Foley Field.

LSU improved to 41-12 overall and 18-9 in the SEC, while Georgia dropped to 28-25 overall and 10-18 in conference play. The Tigers hit six home runs in Thursday night’s game, their most since collecting six dingers on March 14, 2021, versus UT San Antonio in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.

The teams resume the series at 5 p.m. CT Friday in a game that will be broadcast on the LSU Sports Radio Network and streamed on SEC Network +.

With the game tied 5-5 entering the 12th inning, LSU designated hitter Hayden Travinski lined a lead-off double, and Pearson followed with a blast over the right-centerfield wall.

LSU extended the lead to 8-5 when shortstop Jordan Thompson unloaded his second homer of the game and his 11th of the season.

“Hayden gave us a great lead-off at-bat in the 12th, and that was a great swing by Josh,” said LSU coach Jay Johnson. “We had good at-bats throughout the night, and it started paying off with the results late in the game.

LSU reliever Thatcher Hurd (4-2) earned the win, working 5.0 innings and limiting Georgia to two runs on three hits with one walk and five strikeouts.

Hurd retired eight straight batters over the final 2.2 innings to secure the victory.

“Thatcher was great, he competed, he was sound and produced a great tempo,” Johnson said. “He really pitched well tonight.”

Georgia reliever Chandler Marsh (1-3) was charged with the loss, as he surrendered two runs on two hits in 2.0 innings with two walks and four strikeouts.

LSU starting pitcher Paul Skenes worked seven innings, limiting Georgia to two runs on four hits with one walk and 12 strikeouts. Skenes has a nation’s-leading 164 strikeouts this season, which ranks No. 2 on the all-time LSU single-season list. Ben McDonald holds the LSU single-season mark with 202 Ks in 1989.

LSU grabbed a 2-0 lead in the second inning when rightfielder Brayden Jobert launched a two-run homer – his ninth of the year -- after Thompson had walked and stole second and third base.

The Bulldogs tied the game in the bottom of the fifth on a two-run homer by catcher Will David, his sixth dinger of the season.

Solo home runs by Travinski and by Thompson in the top of the eighth allowed the Tigers to take a 4-2 lead before Georgia narrowed the gap to 4-3 in the bottom of the eighth when LSU misplayed a two-out grounder by designated hitter Fernando Gonzalez, allowing centerfielder Ben Anderson to score from third.

LSU centerfielder Dylan Crews unloaded his 14th homer of the season in the top of the ninth to increase the margin to 5-3, but Georgia tied the contest in the bottom of the frame on solo homers by shortstop Sebastian Murillo and by Anderson.

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