HOOVER, Ala. - The No. 2-seeded Tigers put on a strong offensive performance, and benefited from RHP Alex Lange's seven strikeouts, to shut out the No. 3-seeded Wildcats 10-0 in a run-rule victory. This marks the first time since 2001 LSU scored 10 runs in back-to-back SEC Tournament games.
Lange was a star on the mound, racking up seven Ks and pitching his third complete-game shutout of the season. His seventh strikeout of the night was his 374th, moving him into second on LSU's all-time list, surpassing Ben McDonald, one of the analysts calling the game on SEC Network.
"Well if you have to get a 10-run lead, you might as well have a guy like Alex Lange on the mound," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "Alex was extremely sharp."
"I'm honestly not surprised at all by the performance Alex Lange displayed tonight," said senior Kramer Robertson. "That's who he is. He's one of the best pitchers in the country."
Kentucky RHP Sean Hjelle also threw an impressive 10 strikeouts, beating out his previous record-high nine, before being pulled out in the sixth inning. Despite the double-digit strikeouts, he's now the third pitcher to allow 10 or more runs in an SEC Tournament game.
The Tigers really started to roll in the second inning, loading the bases and bringing in two runs off of a Robertson hit to left and a fielding error by the third baseman. Cole Freeman's infield dribbler brought another run across the plate to make it 3-0. The Tigers continued to stay hot, adding two more runs off of RBI singles to end the frame 5-0.
LSU continued to explode in the fifth, adding five more runs. Greg Deichmann hit a ground-rule double, followed by an RBI single from Nick Coomes. Josh Smith then doubled to deep right, while Beau Jordan grounded out to shortstop. But it was Robertson's three-run blast that put the Tigers up 10-0 to close out the inning.
Robertson's home run marked the 24th homer at this year's SEC Tournament, tying the record for fifth-most in a single tournament in SEC history.
LSU also secured its sixth run-rule victory in the SEC Tournament, the most of any school.
UP NEXT: No. 3 seed Kentucky will play in an elimination game vs. No. 11 seed South Carolina on Friday. No. 2 seed LSU will face the winner of that matchup in Game 15 on Saturday.