For the second straight night, LSU tied a game in the eighth inning and for the second straight night they gave a game away in the ninth.
After battling all night to pull even with Texas A&M, a two run ninth spoiled a comeback effort, ensuring an opening SEC series loss in game two with a 9-7 defeat. There were a couple of main culprits to a second straight disappointing conference defeat but it’s hard not to look at the one that’s most glaring, the defensive mistakes.
Like we’ve come to expect with this team, it was far from a clean defensive game. An error from Jordan Thompson in the fifth directly led to two runs and a passed ball on a strikeout that would’ve ended the seventh inning added an important insurance run to the Aggies lead.
Texas A&M also had five stolen bases on the evening, including a critical one in the ninth that came back to haunt the Tigers. With a runner on second after the steal, a ground ball hit at Jacob Berry was thrown over Tre Morgan’s head, scoring the go ahead run. The error in the ninth set the table for what would be a four run inning, sending many LSU fans home scratching their heads.
It’s these kind of defensive mistakes, even if they aren’t recorded as errors, that have been far too common and have proven costly in some of the tightest games this year.
“I don’t know. We’ve talked about it a couple of times, maybe guys trying to do too much,” Jay Johnson said. “Not playing with enough confidence but you gotta play good to play with confidence. The season’s not gonna slow down, there’s guys I think that will make money playing baseball. They’re a part of those mistakes and trust me they wanna play better.”
Offensively there was a little more to be pleased about. LSU found itself in a very similar position to Friday night’s opener against the Aggies. The Tigers got down early and were trying to play catch up for most of the evening. Much like Friday LSU was able to tie the game up but could get no further in the closing innings.
The pivotal moment of the game came in the eighth inning with two outs as the middle and bottom of the order really picked the offense up. Trailing by two runs, the Tigers forced three straight walks and a single to bring home the tying runs but not more.
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