BATON ROUGE, La. -- Down 4-3 going into the top of the ninth inning, Sacramento State used an RBI single and sacrifice fly to defeat fifth-ranked LSU, 5-4, and even the series Saturday afternoon at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
Freshman Antoine Duplantis shined at the plate for the Tigers. The left fielder finished the day four-for-five with one RBI and two doubles.
The Tigers fell to 4-2 on the year and the Hornets improved to 4-2. Pitcher Caleb Gilbert suffered his first loss of the season after giving up two runs in the top of the ninth.
The teams return to the field Sunday at 1 p.m. for the rubber game. The contest may be viewed online only on SECNetwork +, accessible at WatchESPN.com and the Watch ESPN app. Fans can listen to the game on the LSU Sports Radio Network, including 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge.
To open the ninth, right fielder Chris Lewis reached first on an error by shortstop Cole Freeman. Third baseman Kody Reynolds followed with a single to left field to put runners on first and second with no outs.
Designated hitter Matt Smith followed with a single through the right side of the field to score Reynolds and tie the game. First baseman Vinny Esposito hit a sac fly to center field to give the Hornets the 5-4 lead.
Sacramento State took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second off the bat of Trent Goodrich. After LSU starter Alex Lange issued a four-pitch walk, Goodrich laced a two-out double to left field to score Gunner Pollman.
The Tigers exploded for four runs in the bottom of the third inning. Second baseman Kramer Robertson started the rally off with a one-out triple to left center field and Brennan Breaux followed with a walk to put runners on the corners.
With the hit-and-run in motion, Duplantis singled to first base to score Robertson. Jake Fraley roped a ground-rule double down the right field line to score Breaux. Brody Wofford accounted for the final run of the inning with a two-RBI triple to left field.
The Hornets continued to chip at the LSU lead as they mustered two more runs in the top of the fourth. Esposito launched a solo home run to left center field on the first pitch of the inning from Lange. Pollman followed with a double to left-center field and eventually moved to third on a ground out. With two outs, left fielder Andrew McWilliam singled to left field to score Pollman and cut the deficit to 4-3.