BATON ROUGE - LSU sophomore outfielder Antoine Duplantis of Lafayette High broke the school record for hits in a game with six to pace the No. 6 Tigers' 22-hit attack for a 22-9 victory over Georgia in the Southeastern Conference opener Friday night in front of about 10,000 at Alex Box Stadium.
Duplantis finished 6-for-6 on the night with a double, a stolen base and seven RBIs. There were 32 previous five-hit games by LSU players between 1979 and 2009.
The No. 6 Tigers (14-5, 1-0 SEC) scored runs in seven of the eight innings they batted as three players had three or more hits. Kramer Robertson was 5-for-5 with an RBI and three doubles, and freshman Zach Watson of Ruston was 3-for-6 with two RBIs and two doubles. Georgia (8-11) used six pitchers and managed 12 hits.
The series continues at 6:30 p.m. Saturday as LSU starter Jared Poche (4-0, 0.00 ERA) will try to keep his season-long scoreless streak alive as it is at 29 innings. He will be opposed by freshman right-hander Tony Locey (2-2, 7.47 ERA).
LSU scored a touchdown and an extra point of runs in the sixth inning to take a 20-8 lead. Duplantis tied the school record with his fifth hit of the game in that inning with an RBI single that produced the seventh run - or conversion - in the inning. Duplantis also started the scoring in the sixth with an RBI single for his fourth consecutive hit. Others driving in runs during the frame were Jake Slaughter with a single, Josh Smith when he was hit with the bases loaded, Beau Jordan on a grounder and Michael Paperski with a single.
The Tigers scored four runs in the fifth to take a 13-8 lead. Watson and Greg Deichmann each doubled in a run, while Jordan delivered an RBI single and Smith hit a sacrifice fly.
LSU spotted Georgia a 4-0 lead in the first inning, then cut it in half in the bottom of the first and scored four in the second to take a 6-4 lead and added three more for a 9-5 advantage.
Watson doubled in Duplantis with two outs in the second to give LSU the 6-4 advantage. Deichmann's sacrifice fly to left field scored Cole Freeman from third to put LSU up 5-4. Freeman had doubled in Papierski to cut Georgia's lead to 4-3, and Duplantis tied it 4-4 with an RBI single.
After Georgia scored on a passed ball in the third to trim LSU's lead to 6-5, the Tigers scored two in the home third for an 8-5 lead. Papierski walked and Robertson doubled to start the third for the Tigers. Freeman drove in the first run with an RBI groundout to shortstop. Then Duplantis stroked an RBI single. LSU made it 9-5 in the fourth on a two-out, RBI single by Robertson.
Will Campbell hit a three-run home run bomb to left field with two outs off LSU starter Alex Lange to give the Bulldogs a 4-0 lead in the first inning. Georgia took a 1-0 lead when Lange walked leadoff hitter Tucker Maxwell, who scored on Cam Shepherd's RBI double.
Robertson led off the LSU first inning with a double off Georgia starter Andrew Gist and scored on Duplantis' single. Smith later walked with the bases loaded to get the Tigers to within 4-2.
Lange recovered from the first inning, but turned in his second below average performance of the season. He allowed eight hits and seven earned runs in four and one-third innings with four walks and seven strikeouts. Austin Bain (1-0) picked up the win as he threw two and two-thirds innings in relief of Lange, allowing just one run on four hits with two walks and three strikeouts.
A pair of freshman pitchers from Central Louisiana - Matthew Beck of Alexandria Senior High and Will Reese of Anacoco High - each threw a perfect inning of relief to close the game.
Gist (0-1) took the loss as he lasted only one and one-third innings, allowing six runs on five hits with three walks and one strikeout.
Glenn Guilbeau covers LSU sports for the USA Today Network of Louisiana. Follow him on Twitter at @LSUBeatTweet.
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