BATON ROUGE, La. - LSU shortstop Jordan Thompson smoked a bases-clearing double to right-center field to break a 2-2 tie and propel the top-ranked Tigers to a 5-2 victory over No. 9 Tennessee before a record crowd of 13,000 at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
LSU improves to 23-3 on the season and 5-2 in conference play, while the Vols fall to 20-7 on the year and 3-4 in the SEC.
LSU starter Paul Skenes had another phenomenal outing on the mound and picked up double-digit punchouts in his seventh-straight start. His final line was 7.0 IP, five hits, one run, and 12 strikeouts.
Tiger right-hander Garrett Edwards (4-0) earned the win after tossing 1.2 innings and allowing no runs on two hits.
Volunteer reliever Seth Halvorsen (2-2) was charged with the loss after throwing 3.2 innings and allowing three runs on three hits.
Tennessee opened the scoring in the fifth after four consecutive scoreless innings from both squads. The inning began with two straight Vol singles, followed by Skenes picking up two outs. Rightfielder Christian Scott got Tennessee on the board with an RBI single.
Second baseman Gavin Dugas responded for the Tigers in the bottom half, launching a moonshot to left field for his eighth dinger of the season. The inning began with a double from shortstop Jordan Thompson, who was brought home on the home run. LSU led 2-1 after five innings.
Centerfielder Dylan Crews followed Dugas with a single, extending his hit streak to 24 games, and has reached base in the last 30 contests, dating back to last season.
In the eighth inning, the Vols tied it up following a single, a passed ball, a wild pitch, and an RBI single. The game was tied heading into the bottom of the eighth, but LSU responded in the bottom half with three runs.
After two quick outs, three Tigers reached base consecutively. It started with a fielding error and was followed by an infield single from right fielder Paxton Kling and left fielder Josh Pearson reaching via a hit-by-pitch. With the bases juiced, Thompson cleared the bases to strike for three runs and account for the final margin.
Game two of the LSU-Tennessee series is scheduled for a 6 p.m. CT first pitch Friday night. The contest can be televised on SEC Network and can be heard on the LSU Sports Radio Network affiliates. Dave Neal and Kyle Peterson will be on the call for the SEC Network.