Tennessee (21-17, 5-10 SEC) dropped the third and final game of a weekend series to LSU in Baton Rouge (24-13, 9-6 SEC) on a walk-off three-run home run by Tiger Daniel Cabrera. The Vols blew a four-run lead in the bottom of the ninth inning Sunday evening to lose 9-7.
The orange-and-white faired poorly on their trip to Alex Box Stadium over the weekend, losing all three games to the Tigers.
Friday evening, Tennessee got off to a rough start as the Vols fell 9-3 against LSU. The No. 19 ranked Tigers recorded 15 hits in the game and hit four home runs in the first three innings. LSU jumped out to an 8-0 lead and never looked back.
The Vols recorded four hits in Friday’s loss, as Garrett Crochet had a tough night on the mound and gave up eight runs in only two innings pitched.
The only productivity in the Tennessee lineup came from redshirt sophomore Nico Mascia, as he reached base twice and drove in the Volunteers’ first run of the game. Sophomores Jay Charleston and Justin Ammons combined with freshman Evan Russell to round out Tennessee’s hits in the loss.
The second game did not vary for either team. The Tigers downed Tennessee 14-5 to secure the series win.
Zach Watson proved to be the star for the Tigers, as he recorded three runs on three hits. Garrett Stallings had a rough outing for the Vols, as he gave up nine runs in only five innings to lose his third game of the season.
Ma’Khalil Hilliard pitched for LSU, and he held his own as the Tigers offense carried the team through the contest.
Hilliard allowed three runs on five hits after six innings on the bump to improve to 7-2 on the year. Jake Slaughter recorded his third home run of the series in the game and logged four runs on the night for LSU.
Once again, the only sign of life for Tennessee on offense came from Mascia, as he recorded a leadoff home run in the top off the fifth inning. Still, the Vols were left down by five after the solo shot.
Freshman Wyatt Stapp gave Tennessee a sliver of hope as he pulled the team within three runs after a two-RBI double in the top of the fifth inning. The hit was Stapp’s first in conference play.
However, LSU yanked momentum away as the Tigers recorded three runs in the fifth inning, making the final score 9-3. The game marked Mascia’s fourth straight game with a hit.
Things seemed to be going the Volunteers’ way in the third and final game of the series on Sunday. Mascia, sophomore Pete Derkay and senior Brodie Leftridge all recorded two hits in the game.
Mascia once again emerged as the stud for Tennessee on offense. He racked up three RBI’s on the evening. Mascia ripped a three-run homerun in the third inning of the game to give the Vols early life and a 4-0 lead.
Sophomore Zach Linginfelter took control in the ninth inning on the mound for Tennessee, but he didn’t have much success. He allowed LSU to cut the Tennessee lead to one run.
Sophomore Andrew Schultz came in to relieve the Volunteers but allowed a three-run walk-off home run to Daniel Cabrera to give the Tigers a 9-7 win. Tennessee recorded three errors in the loss.
Linginfelter received the loss in the game for the Vols, as he dropped to 2-4 on the season. Tennessee will play their next matchup in Johnson City, Tennessee against ETSU on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. ET.
Written by Caleb Souders
Edited by Seth Raborn/Lexie Little
Featured image courtesy of Tennessee Athletics