LSU loses first series in over a month

Bill Franques
LSU's Christian Ibarra. Photo by

Third baseman Ronnie Gideon’s solo homer in the bottom of the eighth inning Sunday lifted Texas A&M to a 4-3 win over fifth-ranked LSU at Blue Bell Park.

Texas A&M improved to 30-19 with the win, 12-12 in Southeastern Conference games. LSU is 35-13-1 overall and 13-10-1 in league play.

LSU will return to action at 7 p.m. Friday when the Tigers play host to Alabama in Game 1 of a three-game SEC series in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.

“A very tough loss today, but I thought we competed as hard as we could and had a chance to win the game,” LSU coach Paul Mainieri said. “Our pitching staff is short-handed right now, and today we pieced it together with seven pitchers and nearly earned a win. This was a very tough, hard-fought series with all three games being decided by one run, and I feel like out players really battled in a difficult, road environment.

“We’re still very much in the thick of the SEC Western Division race, so we’re looking forward playing our final six league games over the next two weekends. Our players have final exams this week, and then our focus will turn toward playing back at home next weekend against Alabama.”

Gideon’s homer, his first of the season, led off the inning against LSU reliever Joe Broussard and broke a 3-3 tie. Broussard (3-1), who had entered the game with two outs in the seventh inning, was charged with the loss, as he gave up one run on two hits in 1.1 innings with no walks and no strikeouts.

Aggie reliever Andrew Vinson (2-1) earned the win, limiting LSU to no runs on one hit with no walks and two strikeouts over the final two innings.

Centerfielder Andrew Stevenson led off the game with a triple and scored on rightfielder Mark Laird’s sacrifice fly to give LSU a 1-0 lead.

The Aggies tied the game in the bottom of the first when shortstop Blake Allemand singled and scored on rightfielder Nick Banks’ double.

LSU regained the lead in the fifth when second baseman Conner Hale launched a solo homer, his third dinger of the year.

Texas A&M, however, plated two runs in the bottom of the fifth against LSU reliever Cody Glenn. Gideon doubled and scored on leftfielder Jace Statum’s single, and first baseman Cole Lankford lifted a sacrifice fly to score Statum and give the Aggies a 3-2 lead.

LSU third baseman Christian Ibarra ripped an RBI double in the seventh to tie the game again at 3-3.