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LSU Rides Hot Bat of Jacob Berry, Steady Arm of Ma'Khail Hilliard in 5-3 Win Over Missouri

Berry blasts two home runs, Hilliard gets Tigers through seven innings in opening win over Missouri

LSU rode the hot bat of Jacob Berry and the steady right arm of Ma'Khail Hilliard to make the purple and gold's series opener against Missouri a success with a 5-3 win. 

The purple and gold had been waiting for a game like this from its star transfer Berry, who has been very good for the purple and gold but was perhaps lacking in memorable moments. Well he put that all to rest with an explosive offensive performance at the plate, getting the offense off to a hot start and igniting the bats time and time again in the impressive performance.

Berry would go 3-for-4 on the evening with two home runs by the third inning that were absolutely crushed over the right field wall. 

By the time the fifth inning rolled along, it was Berry's third consecutive hit of the night that helped ignite a bit of a hitting streak as four straight batters approached the plate and reached base via a hit. Dylan Crews led the rally off and Berry's hit was followed by RBI swings from Cade Doughty and Tre Morgan that produced the three run crooked number the offense had been in search of. 

This offense which has struggled some this season with capitalizing with runners on, found a way to be effective against a Missouri pitching staff that was vulnerable. The heart of this lineup in Crews, Berry, Doughty and Morgan all had nice nights at the plate which makes this a very tough offense to slow down. Morgan also collected three hits while Crews added two more. 

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The strong performance from the offensive stars on the team was coupled with an equally savvy night from veteran starting pitcher Ma'Khail Hilliard. The senior would last through the seventh inning, helping preserve a number of key arms in the bullpen but more importantly limited damage and managed the game to near perfection. 

His ability to shrug off hits is one of his more impressive skills as a pitcher and despite Missouri's seven hits on the night off him, he held the visiting Tigers to just two runs. Hilliard was simply fantastic at getting the Missouri offense to swing at his offspeed pitches, retiring 12 of the last 14 batters he faced with five strikeouts on the night. 

LSU would hand the ball over to Eric Reyzelman, Riley Cooper and Paul Gervase to get the final six outs of the game, with the bullpen allowing one run.

The purple and gold will look to take the series against Missouri on Friday evening at 6:30 p.m. with Blake Money on the mound.  

(Photo courtesy of LSUsports)