NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Despite entering the SEC Tournament as the regular season champion and ranked first nationally, LSU got off to a sluggish start against ninth-seeded Auburn, trailing by five on separate occasions until a fifth inning rally saw the Tigers take the lead and never look back, holding on for a 9-8 win Wednesday night.
Sophomore starter Jared Poche gave up five runs in the first inning and was pulled after escaping the frame. Six other pitchers would combine to hold Auburn to just three more runs but not before LSU fell behind 8-3. Jared Foster's home run in the third inning kept the Tigers alive and he sparked a rally again when the senior hit a double to start the fifth inning. Seven other Tigers would reach base in the frame as LSU erased the deficit and took a 9-8 lead on a Chris Sciambra single.
After the game Alex Bregman spoke with FOX 8's Chad Sabadie about the big comeback "We're just resilient. This team is very resilient. We're going to try to find ways to win and that's what we did tonight. We've done that all year and that's why we've had success and if we just keep battling through the ups and downs, through the adversity, we're going to come out on top and accomplish all of the goals that we'd like to."
Paul Mainieri's squad awaits the winner of Wednesday's late game between Florida and Arkansas. Mainieri said freshman Austin Bain will be the starting pitcher Thursday. First pitch will be decided by the conclusion of the Vanderbilt-Texas A&M game which is set to start at 4:30 PM.
SEC Freshman of the Year Alex Lange remains available to pitch in the Tigers' third game and Mainieri did not rule out another appearance for Poche, who Bregman says has the full support of his teammates "That wasn't Jared's best outing but we know he's going to be a bulldog for us down the stretch run and we're just going to keep at it, keep fighting and keep scratching and clawing like Tigers."