Glenn Guilbeau / GANNETT LOUISIANA
BATON ROUGE – LSU suffered a pick off at first base, a bunt pop-out and a throw out at third base in the first inning of its game against Mississippi State Sunday, ruining what could have been more than a two-run inning.
“I was hoping that didn’t come back to haunt us,” LSU coach Paul Mainieri said.
It did not.
The No. 20 Tigers scored two more in the second, three in the third, three in the fifth, six in the sixth with a grand slam by Kade Scivicque and one in the seventh while getting a season-high 20 hits for a 17-4 victory over the No. 9 Bulldogs in front of 3,102 at Alex Box Stadium.
The victory completed a three-game sweep for LSU (24-8-1) and propelled it from last in the Southeastern Conference West on Friday to third on Sunday at 6-5-1.
“It’s hard to put into words,” said Mainieri, who was soul searching just a week ago at this time after getting swept amid a punchless offense at Florida. “I thought we finished off the weekend in grand fashion. It was nice to put some crooked numbers up on the scoreboard.”
The Tigers had not put up 20 hits in a game in exactly four years when they beat Alcorn State 17-5. It was their first time with 20 or more hits in a SEC game since beating Mississippi State 15-4 in 2009.
Scivicque hit his fourth homer of the season and finished 3-for-5 with the four RBIs on his line drive homer to left field. Former slumping Tigers Mark Laird and Christian Ibarra each had three hits. Laird finished 3-for-4 with four RBIs and two doubles. Ibarra went 3-for-3 with a solo home run and scored four runs. Andrew Stevenson went 2-for-4 with four runs scored and two RBIs.
“I was telling the team that when the calendar turns to April, it’s time for the Tigers to catch fire,” Mainieri said.
“It feels great,” said shortstop Alex Bregman, who drove in two runs and finished 1-for-5. “We gained a lot of confidence. It was a step in the right direction. We definitely feel good about beating a very good team that played for the national championship last year.”
State (20-13) fell to 6-6 in the SEC and into fourth in the West after entering the weekend tied for first in the division with Alabama, which leads the West at 8-4.
Kyle Bouman started for LSU for the first time since injuring his ankle on March 17. He allowed five hits and one run with four strikeouts and one walk in three and one-third innings. Parker Bugg (1-1) got the with 1.2 innings of relief in which he struck out three and allowed one run on two hits.
“It was definitely awesome to be able to pitch again,” Bouman said. “It’s still a little sore, but I feel like I’m back.”
So too, apparently, is LSU.