BATON ROUGE, La. -- Top-ranked LSU rallied for five runs in the eighth inning Saturday night, sparked by home runs from first baseman Chris Chinea and second baseman Jared Foster, as the Tigers defeated Kentucky, 7-3, in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
The Tigers will face Kentucky in Game 3 of the series Sunday at 11 a.m. CT. The game will be available online only via SEC Network+ and can be accessed at WatchESPN.com and the WatchESPN app. It will also be broadcast live on LSU Radio Network affiliates, including 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge. Fans can also go to LSUsports.net for live stats and audio through the GeauxZone.
Freshman right-hander Jake Godfrey will get the start for the Tigers, and Kentucky will counter with junior right-hander Kyle Cody.
Senior reliever Zac Person (1-0) earned the win Saturday night for the Tigers , his first of the season, after pitching one inning. He gave up one earned run on three hits.
Kentucky reliever Andrew Nelson (2-1) was charged with the loss, as he surrendered one run on one hit in 0.1 inning.
LSU starter Alex Lange worked for seven innings, giving up six hits, one run and walking five. He matched his career-high of 13 strikeouts, which he set in his appearance against Boston College on February 20.
"Alex Lange was certainly the story of the game, and he gave us another phenomenal effort," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "I think he's done a tremendous job in acclimating to college baseball, and the amazing thing is he can be even better. I'm very grateful that he's a part of our staff."
Leading off the bottom of the fourth inning, catcher Kade Scivicque reached on an error by third baseman Riley Mahan, advancing to second on the errant throw. With one out and Scivicque on third base, first baseman Chris Chinea hit a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Scivique to bring the Tigers to a 1-0 lead after four innings.
In the top of the sixth, designated hitter Storm Wilson walked to lead off the inning for the Wildcats. After advancing to second on a passed ball, Wilson scored on a single to left field by right fielder Marcus Carson. The score was tied at 1-1 heading into the bottom of the sixth.
Third baseman Conner Hale led off the bottom of the sixth with a stand-up double. With no outs and runners on the corners after Kade Scivicque reached on an error by the shortstop Connor Heady, centerfielder Andrew Stevenson grounded into a 4-3 double play, which scored Hale from third. Heading to the seventh inning, LSU lead Kentucky 2-1.
In the top of the eighth with one out, pinch hitter Dorian Hairston and Carson hit back-to-back singles. With runners on first and third and two outs, catcher Greg Fettes hit an RBI single to centerfield. Heading into the bottom of the eighth inning, the score was tied at two runs.
With one out in the bottom of the eighth, Scivicque dropped a single to centerfield, and Stevenson followed with a single to the right side, allowing Scivicque to advance to third base. With runners on first and third and one out, Chinea hit an inside-the-park home run, bringing the score to 5-3 in favor of the Tigers. Sciambra followed with a single up the middle, and Jared Foster belted a home run to the left field bleachers. The Tigers headed to the ninth with a 7-2 lead.
"I'm really pleased with the way our lineup has come together," Mainieri said. "There's not an easy out among out hitters, and they've really competed at the plate all season. We had a lot of hard-hit balls for outs early in the game, and we finally were able to put together a big inning in the eighth."
Kentucky scored one run in the top of the ninth off a two out double from second baseman JaVon Shelby that scored centerfielder Kyle Barrett. The final score was 7-3 in favor of LSU.
Sophomore right-hander Alden Cartwright came out of the bullpen in the ninth inning, giving up one run on two hits to close the game.