Tigers pummel MSU

Published 11:30 am Monday, April 7, 2014

The bon temps did not roulez on Mississippi State’s bi-annual trip to the Bayou.

LSU smashed Mississippi State’s pitching staff for 20 hits and 17 runs Sunday to cruise to a 17-4 thrashing of Mississippi State in the series finale in Baton Rouge.

Mississippi State (20-13, 6-6 Southeastern Conference) scored just five runs in the three-game set, and was swept for the first time in eight league series. It was also the first SEC series the Bulldogs have lost this season.

“Quite simply, things did not happen for us this weekend,” Mississippi State coach John Cohen said. “We had some hard-hit balls. We couldn’t turn those into runs. On the mound today, we couldn’t contain them. That has not happened very often this season.”

Unlike the first two games, when LSU (24-8-1, 6-5-1) shut down the Bulldogs with superior pitching, it won Sunday’s game with sheer firepower.

The Tigers jumped out to a 7-0 lead after three innings, and scored six runs in the sixth inning to go up 16-2.

Mark Laird, Kade Scivicque and Christian Ibarra all had three hits apiece for LSU. Scivicque and Ibarra homered, with Scivicque hitting a grand slam in the sixth. Laird hit two doubles.

Scivicque finished 3-for-5 with four RBIs, Laird was 3-for-4 with four RBIs, and Ibarra was 3-for-3 with four runs scored.

“It was a huge win for us because it gets us back above .500 in the league and puts us within striking distance of first place,” LSU coach Paul Mainieri said. “Once we won the first two games this weekend, I knew it was important for us to play well today and our players certainly responded to the challenge.”

Jake Vickerson went 3-for-4 with two runs scored for Mississippi State, while C.T. Bradford was 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs. Derrick Armstrong, Zack Randolph and Gavin Collins also had two hits apiece.

The Bulldogs won’t have long to lick their wounds. They face Southern Miss Tuesday night at Trustmark Park in Pearl, then host Ole Miss for a three-game Super Bulldog Weekend series beginning Friday night.

Southern Miss has won eight of its last 10 games, while Ole Miss is coming off a sweep of Auburn and has won four straight games.

“It’s a very big week ahead for our club,” Cohen said. “It is always fun to play in Pearl and we need a big Maroon and White crowd down there supporting us. Then of course the weekend means Ole Miss and we look forward to having the best atmosphere in all of college baseball for that weekend series.”