Three LSU baseball trends to monitor after walk-off win over Georgia
No. 20 LSU (29-14, 12-9 SEC) was struggling to break through offensively despite getting two home runs from Dylan Crews. The Tigers were just 1-for-11 with runners on base and 1-for-9 with two outs heading into the ninth against the Bulldogs (30-14, 12-9).
But a leadoff single from Jacob Berry set the stage for Doughty, who clinched the series victory following LSU's 12-7 loss on Saturday and 6-2 win on Friday.
"His ball has some life to it, I faced (Georgia reliever Jaden Woods) Friday," Doughty said. "So I really just was looking for it a little lower and it's going to stay on plane. So I really just got a good swing off."
With only a month left before the NCAA Tournament, here are three things to keep an eye on for LSU.
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LSU baseball's lineup depth
LSU's lineup has been the strength of the team since the season opener against Maine in February.
But as the Tigers have ventured further into their SEC schedule, the lineup's depth has been as much a reason for its success as its stars.
As Berry, Crews and Doughty continue to drive the ball with authority, Jordan Thompson, Brayden Jobert, Josh Stevenson and Josh Pearson have kept on contributing.
Thompson had four hits this weekend. Pearson has become LSU's leadoff hitter. Jobert hit two home runs in the Missouri series and Stevenson blasted his first career collegiate homer on Saturday.
The Tigers have had some problems with driving in runners in scoring position. On Sunday, LSU stranded 11 But even so, the Tigers' offense has still been a bedrock of its success in SEC play and will need to continue to perform at a high level.
"Today was not a good offensive day, but this was a good offensive weekend for us," LSU coach Jay Johnson said. "Friday we did what we wanted to do against (Nolan) Crisp and a couple of their relievers, yesterday was just about as good as anybody has done against (Jonathan) Cannon."
Blake Money and LSU baseball's Saturday starter problem
Blake Money's currency has been trending down since the start of SEC play.
The right-handed starter has allowed 24 earned runs in 28 ⅔ innings pitched, and he surrendered three earned runs in a two-inning start against the Bulldogs on Saturday. He hasn't consistently gone long into games either, throwing no more than four innings in four of his seven starts against SEC competition.
Formerly the Friday starter, Money hasn't performed well as LSU's Saturday starter either. But Johnson doesn't have many options to replace him.
Freshman Sam Dutton has excelled as the Sunday starter but doesn't offer a ton of length in his outings. He threw only 4⅔ innings against Georgia on Sunday and hadn't had a start go past four innings until then. Sophomore Ty Floyd has been inconsistent against weaker competition as the midweek starter, and Will Hellmers has five starts but a 5.73 ERA.
With limited alternatives, Johnson will need to continue to ride Money and hope that sophomore can find his early-season form once the postseason begins.
The rise of Jacob Hasty
For much of this season, LSU has been in need of left-handed relief options.
Arizona transfer Riley Cooper has proven to be reliable. But outside of him, senior Trey Shaffer holds an ERA north of 11 in six appearances, and sophomore Javen Coleman has been out for the vast majority of the season with an injury.
The Tigers desperately need Hasty. And lately, he's been up to the task.
In five appearances this season, Hasty has a 1.64 ERA and had surrendered just one hit prior to this weekend. He had a shakier outing against the Bulldogs on Saturday, also allowing a run, but still has more than twice as many strikeouts than hits surrendered.
When the rubber hits the road at the NCAA Regionals, LSU is going to need the added flexibility Hasty gives out of the bullpen.
Koki Riley covers LSU sports for The Daily Advertiser and the USA TODAY Sports South Region. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter at @KokiRiley.