LSU clinches first SEC series win over Auburn
AUBURN, Ala. -- Catcher Jordan Romero blasted a three-run homer Sunday and reliever Parker Bugg blanked Auburn over the final 3.2 innings to lead No. 14 LSU to a 10-5 win at Plainsman Park.
LSU claimed its first SEC series victory of the season and improved to 18-9 overall and 4-5 in conference play. Auburn dropped to 13-15 and 2-7.
LSU will play host to Southern University at 6:30 p.m. CT Tuesday in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field. The game may be viewed live on SEC Network +, and it can be heard on affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network.
"I think it says a lot about the character of our team to earn a series win on the road after we fell short in the first game," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "We've played back-to-back road series against the top two offensive teams in the SEC (Texas A&M and Auburn), and we split those six games. Every team in this league is very talented and can beat you on any weekend, so for us to come here and win the series against an Auburn club with a lot of firepower is a significant accomplishment.
"We're right in the thick of the league race, and our team will continue to develop as we move through the conference schedule."
Romero finished the three-game series with two doubles, two homers and seven RBI. His three-run homer on Sunday came in the top of the seventh inning with LSU clinging to a 6-5 lead.
Bugg was brilliant in relief to earn his first save of the year, firing 3.2 scoreless innings and limiting Auburn to two hits with one walk and one strikeout.
LSU starter John Valek III (5-1) was credited with the win as he worked 5.1 innings and allowed five runs - four earned - on six hits with one walk and three strikeouts.
Auburn starter Andrew Mitchell (4-1) was charged with the loss as he surrendered six runs - four earned - on five hits in four innings with one walk and two strikeouts.
LSU opened the scoring in the first inning when shortstop Kramer Robertson reached on a error, moved to third on a single by centerfielder Jake Fraley and came home when first baseman Greg Deichmann grounded into a double play.
Auburn responded with three runs in the bottom of the first against Valek as rightfielder Jordan Ebert belted an run-scoring double and catcher Blake Logan lifted a sacrifice fly to highlight the uprising.
LSU tied the game in the second on a two-run homer by leftfielder Beau Jordan, his second dinger of the season.
LSU struck for three runs in the fifth inning as Robertson and second baseman Cole Freeman delivered run-scoring singles, and Deichmann collected an RBI on a groundout.
Auburn scored two runs in the sixth inning against Valek to narrow the deficit to 6-5. Leftfielder Joshua Palacios belted a solo homer and Cody Nulph drew a bases-loaded walk to highlight the frame.
LSU catcher Jordan Romero launched a three-run homer in the seventh to give the Tigers a 9-5 advantage. The homer was Romero's fifth of the season and his second of the series.
The Tigers added a run in the eighth on Robertson's RBI single against Auburn reliever Marc Frazier.