March 14, 2014
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Nashville, Tenn. - No. 8 LSU rallied for four runs in the eighth inning with two outs to top No. 7 Vanderbilt 4-2 on Friday night at Hawkins Field in the teams' Southeastern Conference opener.
The Commodores (16-3, 0-1) took a 1-0 lead into the top of the eighth inning with starter Tyler Beede still on the mound. The right-hander opened the frame with a strikeout of Cade Scivicque. Christian Ibarra reached on the Tigers' (17-2, 1-0) third single of the night before Beede issued his first walk of the game. The walk ended Beede's night and put LSU's first runner in scoring position. Brian Miller took over for Beede and immediately forced a fly out to left field four the second out of the inning. The Dores' defense, however, faltered when Miller seemingly ended the inning with a chopper to third base but Xavier Turner's throw sailed wide of the Zander Wiel at first to load the bases for LSU. Leadoff hitter Andrew Stevenson then came up with the big hit with a single up the middle to score two runs and give the Tigers their first lead of the game. LSU added two more runs on an error by Dansby Swanson to push the lead to 4-1.
The Commodores scratched out a run in the bottom of the eighth to cut the deficit to two runs on a Vince Conde RBI-single but could not close the gap. Vandy struck first in the second inning against LSU starter Aaron Nola. Rhett Wiseman singled to lead off and came around to score on Ro Coleman's sacrifice fly to right field. The run snapped Nola's scoreless innings streak at 54 innings dating back to last season. The Commodores left two runners on base in the second and two more in the fifth when Coleman led off with a double and left a total of 10 men on base in the loss.
The game was hyped as a faceoff between Beede and Nola, and the two juniors did not disappoint the sellout crowd. Beede dominated the LSU lineup through the first seven innings allowing only two base runners. The right-hander retired 11 straight Tigers from the fourth through the first out of the eighth. He left the game in the eighth with a one-run lead but ended up as the tough-luck loser allowing two unearned runs on three hits with one walk and seven strikeouts over 7.1 innings to match a career-high. Nola struck out 12 over 6.2 innings allowing one run on six hits and two walks in a no decision.
Conde led all hitters with three hits in the game. Stevenson drove in two runs to lead the Tigers. Zac Person earned the win in relief for LSU striking out the only batter he faced. Joe Broussard recorded the final two outs to notch his team-best fourth save.
Vanderbilt and LSU play tomorrow at 2:15 p.m. with lefty Jared Miller getting the ball for the home team against Tigers' left-hander Kyle Bouman. The game will be televised on FSN.