LSU wins series with Kentucky, Eades pitches a gem

BATON ROUGE, La. – Junior right-hander Ryan Eades (7-0) was phenomenal on the mound as No. 2 LSU (29-2, 10-1 SEC) defeated No. 7 Kentucky (22-8, 6-5 SEC) by a score of 9-1 Saturday night at Alex Box Stadium.

The Tigers' series-clinching victory marks the greatest start in school history, surpassing the 28-2 start of the 1986 LSU baseball squad. LSU has won 11 straight games, including Game 1 against Kentucky, 11-1, on Friday night. The Tigers have also captured eight consecutive SEC contests, LSU's longest SEC win streak since the 2008 club won 12 straight league games.

LSU will go for the sweep over Kentucky Sunday at Noon. Sophomore left-hander Cody Glenn will start on the mound for LSU, while Kentucky will counter with junior left-hander Corey Littrell.

Eades allowed only one earned run in 8.2 innings of work on four hits and one walk while striking out six. He has now pitched at least eight innings in back-to-back starts and has allowed two earned runs in his last three starts combined.

"Ryan did another remarkable job tonight," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "I wouldn't say he was overpowering with his fastball, but he threw an awful lot of strikes and competed hard with every pitch. Again, we had great at-bats and production from 1 through 9 in our batting order, and I thought we ran the bases extremely well for the second night in a row, taking the extra base when we had opportunities.

"I'm very proud that we've accomplished something that no other LSU team has done," Mainieri continued, "but we haven't won anything yet. We've got a lot of tough ball games in front of us, beginning tomorrow against Kentucky. Certainly, I'm pleased with the way we're playing, but we can continue to get better with each game."

Eades had plenty of run support Saturday, beginning in the second inning with an RBI single from catcher Ty Ross (2-for-3).

LSU got four more runs in the third inning with a two-RBI double from first baseman Mason Katz and an RBI single from shortstop Alex Bregman.

Bregman finished 3-for-4 on the night, extending his hitting streak to 19 games.

Right fielder Sean McMullen connected for a RBI double in the fourth that scored Ross. McMullen then came home on a sacrifice fly from Bregman, putting the Tigers ahead 7-0.

Two additional runs came in the fifth off the bat of designated hitter Alex Edward, who delivered a two-RBI triple to deep right field.

Kentucky starting pitcher Jerad Grundy (5-3) suffered the defeat, allowing nine runs on 15 hits and one walk.