HOOVER, Ala. -- Coming off two straight comeback wins, No. 5 seed LSU never trailed against top-seeded Mississippi State in a 6-2 victory in the SEC Baseball Tournament. This is the 11th time LSU has started 3-0 at the SEC Tournament, something no other school has done more than six times.
Jake Mangum hit a leadoff single to get Mississippi State started in the top of the first. A fly out, a strikeout and two walks set up a two-out, bases-loaded situation. Reid Humphreys grounded into a fielder's choice to end the frame without any Bulldogs crossing the plate.
LSU outfielder Jake Fraley knocked an RBI single through the right side to put the Tigers on the board in the third. The Tigers tallied two more runs in the fourth with a sacrifice fly from Michael Papierski and an RBI single from Antoine Duplantis.
LSU continued to grow its lead, tacking on another run in the fifth with a bases-loaded RBI single by Greg Deichmann. A strikeout and a groundout ended the inning, leaving three Tigers on base.
With LSU up 4-0, Mississippi State left-hander Vance Tatum entered to take over on the mound. MSU starter Dakota Hudson (9-4) struck out six, but gave up four runs on nine hits in his five-inning outing.
LSU left-hander Jared Poche' (7-4) held the Bulldogs scoreless for six innings, but Jacob Robson delivered an RBI triple in the top of the seventh to end the shutout. The Bulldogs cut the LSU lead in half on an RBI groundout from Ryan Gridley. With two outs and Mississippi State runners on the corners, Parker Bugg entered from the bullpen. The right-hander struck out Gavin Collins to close the frame without any additional MSU runs.
Mississippi State went back to the bullpen in the seventh, calling Daniel Brown into the game with two LSU runners on base. LSU answered with two runs on a single from Papierski to extend the Tigers' lead to 6-2.
"Nobody works harder than Michael Papierski," said LSU head coach Paul Mainieri. "You guys don't see him, but he's always the first guy to the field and the last guy to leave. He's in the batting cages. He's got a lot of pride. He had a big base hit and got the big sacrifice fly with two strikes on him. That was huge. Sometimes in the season you go through ebbs and flows, some real peaks and some really big valleys. When you're 18, 19 years old sometimes those things are hard to handle, and I think he's handled them really well. He's growing up as a man."
No. 1 seed Mississippi State faces No. 4 seed Florida in an elimination game Friday on SEC Network. The game will start 30 minutes after the conclusion of the 4 p.m. ET/ 3 p.m. CT Vanderbilt-Texas A&M contest.
With three straight wins in the SEC Tournament, LSU does not play again until Saturday. The Tigers will face off with the winner of Friday's Gators-Bulldogs matchup for a spot in the SEC Championship.