BATON ROUGE, La. -- The LSU Tigers scored five runs in the second inning and four runs in the seventh inning, posting a 12-4 series-clinching win over Kentucky, on Friday night in front of 10,213 at Alex Box Stadium.
Kentucky (20-24, 4-16 Southeastern Conference) fell in an early hole, as the Tigers plated five runs in the second frame, taking a commanding lead, with LSU later adding a four-run inning in the seventh and adding single runs in the third, fourth and eighth innings.
The Wildcats charted seven hits in the game, as senior shortstop Taylor Black, junior third sacker Thomas McCarthy, sophomore pinch hitter Sam Kidd, freshman pinch hitter Dallen Reber and junior leftfielder Chad Wright collected singles. Wright had UK’s lone multi-hit outing, also adding his fifth career triple, with senior Neiko Johnson reaching on a double.
UK starter Corey Littrell (5-4) suffered the loss after allowing four hits and three walks in 1.2 innings, recording one strikeout. The native of Louisville, Ky., allowed five runs, with two scoring as earned runs. He was relieved by senior Nick Kennedy, who tossed a career-high 5.1 innings, allowing six runs and only one earned run with a career-high six strikeouts. Walter Wijas tossed the eighth inning, allowing three hits and one run with three strikeouts.
LSU (27-17, 6-14 SEC) starter Kevin Gausman (3-5) picked up the win, hurling a quality start, going seven innings, allowing two hits and one run, walking three and striking out eight. LSU also used Joe Broussard and Tyler Jones in relief of Gausman.
The series will resume on Saturday, with first pitch set for 2 p.m. ET at Alex Box Stadium. UK will send sophomore southpaw Taylor Rogers (2-5, 5.16 ERA) to the mound to face off with LSU senior righty Ben Alsup (5-4, 3.93 ERA). The game will be broadcast live on the Big Blue Sports Network (radio), with the Voice of UK Baseball, Neil Price, calling the action. Fans in Central Kentucky can hear the game live on WLAP 630-AM, in Louisville on WKJK 1080-AM and online at UKathletics.com.
LSU took control of the game with five runs on three hits, an error, two walks and a hit batter in the second inning, including RBI ground outs from Ty Ross and Trey Watkins, a two-RBI single from JaCoby Jones and an RBI single from Raph Rhymes.
UK got a run back in the third inning, as Matt Reida drew a one-out walk, moved to second on a wild pitch and Wright ripped a single up the middle to score Reida.
LSU scored a run on a sacrifice fly by Jones in the third inning, taking a 6-1 lead.
The Tigers got a run in the fourth inning, taking a 7-1 lead after an infield hit from Rhymes, who came around to score from first on two errors during a failed pickoff attempt.
LSU plated four runs on five hits and one error in the bottom of the seventh inning, taking an 11-1 lead.
UK got a run in the top of the eighth inning, as Wright tripled into the right-centerfield gap, scoring on Black’s RBI groundout.
LSU scored in the bottom of the eighth inning, getting a run on three hits for a 12-2 lead.
UK scored two runs in the ninth inning, as Neiko Johnson reached on a two-out double, scoring pinch-hitters Kidd and Reber making it 12-4.
GAME NOTES: UK senior shortstop Taylor Black made his 84th consecutive start, Chad Wright his 51st consecutive start and Braden Kapteyn his 49th straight start … Wright has reached base safely in 21 consecutive games and in 41 of UK’s 44 games in 2011 … Kapteyn got hit by his SEC-leading 16th pitch of the year … Nick Kennedy turned in a career-long outing, equaling his career high with six strikeouts … Wright collected his fifth career triple … Thomas McCarthy has now reached base safely in 41 of 43 starts this year … Sam Kidd collected his second career hit … Neiko Johnson got his first double of the year as a two-RBI knock in the ninth.