HOOVER, AL (WVUE) - After posting their biggest comeback win of the season last night, the top-ranked LSU Baseball team looks to remain in the winner's bracket of the SEC tournament by knocking off Arkansas tonight.
"If you can win the first two games and get a day off, and get to the final weekend, and if you're fortunate to win on Saturday, then you're only playing four ball games, which obviously helps your pitching. Anybody would admit to that, but I just felt like you know what, whatever comes our way, we're gonna deal with it," said head coach Paul Mainieri. "We're not gonna worry about it, and we're just gonna keep playing."
The Tigers finished strong last night, but their start was extremely rocky. Jared Poche surrendered five first-inning runs, while the usually reliable LSU defense looked shaky.
"I told the guys after the game, I thought that was as about the ugliest game of the year that we played," Mainieri said.
In the second inning, a two-out RBI single from senior Chris Sciambra provided a spark, followed by a two-run homer from fellow senior Jared Foster to cut the deficit to 5-3.
"We just still played aggressive, we weren't playing the score," Sciambra said. "We knew there was a lot of game left, and we continued to play like we always do."
Auburn responded, going up by five at 8-3, but the Tigers chipped away in the decisive 5th inning, scoring six runs to take their first lead of the game.
"Go up there and try to hand it to the next person. Get on base and do whatever you can to get on base," Jared Foster said. "We kept it rolling, took it one pitch at a time, and it turned out well."
Alex Bregman added, "They won the first three innings of the game, and our coaches set us aside and said, let's win the last five, and that's what we did."
LSU's bullpen shutout Auburn over those final five frames to keep the Tigers in the all-important winner's bracket.
"Winners bracket is a whole lot easier to get where we want to be, rather than losing this one and having to play four straight days in a row," Parker Bugg said.
Kade Scivicque added, "It was big for us, it was outstanding. I mean, it just shows our team has good fight and we don't want to quit.
LSU and Arkansas are scheduled for an 8:00 p.m. start at the Hoover Met in Alabama.