Skip to main content

LSU Baseball Uses Power Hitting, Strong Start From Ma'Khail Hilliard to Win Series Over Texas A&M 8-2

Tigers blast three home runs early in game to set tone, clinch final series of regular season

LSU knew it needed to come into College Station and win at least two. With the help of a home run arsenal and another strong pitching performance from Ma'Khail Hilliard, the Tigers jumped out early and didn't look back, clinching the series with Texas A&M with an 8-2 win. 

The LSU offense continued what it started in the 13th inning against the Aggies on Friday. After a six run final inning to even the series, the Tigers held a 6-0 lead after three innings in the rubber match thanks to some help from the Texas A&M defense and a barrage of home runs in the third inning. 

A trio of errors from the Aggies helped LSU continue that confidence and score two runs in the first but the real burst came in the third when Gavin Dugas, Zach Arnold and Drew Bianco hit home runs in a four batter span to extend the lead to 6-0 after three and give Ma'Khail Hilliard some early breathing room. 

LSU had eight hits on the weekend before that six run 13th inning on Friday evening. Including that 13th, the Tigers collected 13 hits and 13 runs over the next five innings to take complete control of Saturday afternoon's contest. All but two starters were able to record a hit, with Tre Morgan going 4-for-6 and Cade Doughty adding three more hits for the afternoon. 

"Our lineup all year has kind of been explosive like that and once one person gets it going, it just kinda falls into line," Arnold said. "Gavin's been one of our spark plugs all season and once we saw that one go it kind of carried on from there."

Read More

As for Hilliard, his recent resurgence continued in a starting role as from the get go it was easy to tell his command of his curveball and fastball were on point. He didn't allow a hit until the fourth inning, an inning where the Aggies would go on to score the only run of the afternoon against Hilliard. 

Because of the movement he creates on his curveball, Hilliard can strike out quite a few batters in an outing. However he relied on his defense throughout much of the afternoon as he only struck out two batters en route to a third win in four tries in conference play as a starter. 

"Baseball is a very mental game and when you get yourself in a good mental mindset on the mound, you have a lot of success," Hilliard said. "Going into the game, I was just thinking take it pitch by pitch and that worked a lot for me."

Hilliard allowed just two runs but perhaps most important, was able to keep his pitch count relatively low throughout the afternoon, which helped mightily as LSU had to spend most of its top relievers to get through the 13 inning win on Friday. 

The ball was turned over to veteran relief pitcher Trent Vietmeier for the eighth inning and ninth inning, allowing nothing to materialize to cap off a terrific effort in two must win situations. 

LSU will now prepare for Tuesday's first SEC Tournament game after clinching a spot with the series win over the Aggies.