BATON ROUGE, La. - LSU right-hander Paul Skenes tossed 7.2 shutout innings and LSU hitters launched six home runs to lift the No. 5 national seed Tigers to a 14-0 victory over No. 12 national seed Kentucky in the first game of the NCAA Super Regional round hosted in Baton Rouge Saturday night at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
With the win, LSU improved to 47-15 on the season and the Wildcats dropped to 40-20.
The second game of the Baton Rouge Super Regional between LSU and Kentucky is scheduled for a 5 p.m. CT start Sunday evening. The Tigers and Wildcats return to action, and the contest will be televised on ESPN2. The matchup can be heard on the LSU Sports Radio Network affiliates.
Skenes (12-2) earned the win after tossing 7.2 innings of scoreless baseball. He tallied nine strikeouts in the win. With his final punchout of the night, the Tiger pitching staff broke the program record in strikeouts in one season with 684 up to this point.
Kentucky starter Zack Lee (5-4) was charged with the loss after firing 4.0 innings and allowing nine runs on nine hits. He gave up five of the six homers LSU launched over the wall.
The two teams were originally scheduled to play at 2 p.m. CT Saturday before NCAA officials initiated a weather delay just before the first pitch. The contest was scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. CT but was delayed further to 9:00 p.m. CT when the Tigers and Wildcats finally squared off.
After the lengthy weather delay, LSU first baseman Tre' Morgan got the Tigers on the board with a solo shot to left field.
In the bottom of the third, third baseman Tommy White and Morgan added to the evening's dinger total. To begin the two-out rally, centerfielder Dylan Crews had an infield single and scored on White's two-run shot. Morgan followed up with his second homer of the game to make the score 4-0.
Morgan's multi-home run outing marks the second time he has hit two dingers in one game. He last accomplished the feat on May 14, 2023, when the Tigers faced Mississippi State.
Second baseman Gavin Dugas tacked on to the Tigers' home run total with a solo homer to left field. LSU led 5-0 after four innings.
The Tigers put up an impressive six-spot in the bottom half of the fifth to give LSU a double-digit lead. The frame began with a solo homer from left fielder Josh Pearson. After, Crews reached base on an error, and White singled. Morgan collected his third hit of the night with an RBI single to increase the margin to 6-0.
LSU loaded the bases on a hit-by-pitch from catcher Hayden Travinski and right fielder Brayden Jobert earned an RBI via a bases-loaded HBP. With the bases still juiced, Morgan scored on a wild pitch. Shortstop Jordan Thompson delivered two more two-out RBI to bring the score to 11-0.
White launched his 22nd homer of the season - and his second of the game - to give LSU a 12-0 lead. With that dinger, the 2023 LSU baseball squad hit its 132nd homer of the year to give them sole possession of third on the all-time list for home runs in a season.
The Tigers added two more down the stretch to account for the contest's final margin.