When it rains, it pours. The Tigers' 17-game win streak came to a very abrupt end Monday with a 13-1 loss to Oregon State.
The Beavers were fired up out of the gate when Steven Kwan dropped a bunt single and then scored on a Trevor Larnach RBI single.
Things took an even worse turn to start the third inning when Eric Walker had to leave the game due to an apparent arm injury. LSU head coach Paul Mainieri said in a mid-game statement that Walker felt his forearm tighten up, and it became unbearable. He added that he didn't think there was anything structurally wrong and called the injury a "fatigued muscle."
Caleb Gilbert came entered the game and relief and got off to a brilliant start. He struck out for of the first six batters he faced. However, it was the fifth inning that began to unravel the Tigers.
Kramer Robertson bobbled a routine grounder that allowed Oregon State's nine hole batter to reach. Kwan, the next batter, flew out, which could have been the third out. Instead, Larnach made LSU pay again with a two-run single to make it 3-0.
Nick Bush soon came in to relieve Gilbert and escape anymore trouble in the inning, but even he wouldn't last much longer. He opened the sixth inning with a walk, and Mainieri brought in freshman Todd Peterson. After a pair of walks and a Nick Madrigal RBI to make it 4-0, LSU made yet another change.
Hunter Newman, one of their most reliable relievers, was anything but. He walked Larnach to load the bases before K.J. Harrison delivered the dagger with the first grand slam in TD Ameritrade Park history. Oregon State took an 8-0 lead and never looked back.
With the loss, LSU faces elimination for the first time in the NCAA Tournament. They'll face Florida State on Wednesday night at 6 p.m.
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