LSU storms back to beat Auburn

Published 10:18 am Thursday, May 21, 2015

By The Associated Press

HOOVER, Ala. (AP) — Down big early, top-ranked LSU never panicked and kept right on rolling at the Southeastern Conference Tournament.

The Tigers rallied from a five-run deficit in the first inning, and then another a few innings later, to beat Auburn 9-8 on Wednesday night.

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Auburn jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first inning and led 8-3 after four innings, but LSU (47-9) answered with six runs in the fifth to take the lead.

“That was about the ugliest game of the year that we have played for the first four innings,” LSU coach Paul Mainieri said. “Somehow we found a way to win the game. That, to me, is a credit to our kids. They really hang in there. We’ve become so used to falling behind in games that our guys don’t flinch. They know we have a good offensive team, and they’re not going to give up when we fall behind like that.”

LSU, the two-time defending tournament champion, has won eight consecutive SEC tournament games since 2013. It’ll play Arkansas in a winners’ bracket game tonight at approximately 8:30 p.m.

LSU’s Jared Foster had two important hits, including a two-run homer and a double that started the Tigers’ decisive rally in the fifth.

LSU used seven pitchers in the win. Doug Norman (5-1) gave up one unearned run over two innings to earn the win. Parker Bugg pitched a scoreless ninth for his second save.

Auburn (35-23) lost despite scoring its most runs in an SEC tournament game since 1998. Trey Wingenter (1-6) took the loss, giving up three runs in three innings.

Vanderbilt 7, Missouri 6

Rhett Wiseman hit a walk-off homer to lead off the bottom of the 10th inning, powering Vanderbilt to a come-from-behind win over Missouri in the SEC Tournament.

Vandy (40-17) rallied from a 6-2 deficit with two late homers before tying the game on a walk, single and error in the ninth.

Jeren Kendall hit a two-run shot in the seventh and Dansby Swanson’s second homer of the game in the eighth cut it to 6-5. Nolan Rogers walked to open the ninth and scored on a single by fellow pinch-hitter Penn Murfee and an error by center fielder Jake Ring.

Kyle Wright (5-1) got the final two outs of the 10th for Vandy after Jordan Sheffield’s five scoreless innings.

Ryan Howard went 3-for-4 with an RBI to lead Missouri (30-27), which fell into the losers’ bracket. Brett Bond drove in two runs.

Arkansas 7, Florida 6

Arkansas used two homers in the ninth inning — including a go-ahead, two-run shot by Bobby Wernes — to beat Florida in the SEC Tournament.

The Razorbacks (35-20) trailed for much of the game. Florida (40-16) used a three-run fifth inning to jump ahead 6-3 and looked in control until Arkansas’ stunning rally.

Arkansas trailed 6-4 entering the ninth before Andrew Benintendi led off with his league-leading 18th homer of the season to pull the Razorbacks within one.

One out later, Rick Nomura walked and then Wernes hit a homer over the left field fence that pushed Arkansas ahead 7-6. Zach Jackson pitched a scoreless ninth for the Razorbacks to earn his sixth save.

Florida’s J.J. Schwarz finished with three hits, including two doubles, and drove in three runs.

The game lasted nearly four hours and didn’t end until about 1:30 a.m.

Texas A&M 4, Alabama 3

Nick Banks drove home the go-ahead run and Texas A&M reliever Andrew Vinson left the bases loaded in the ninth, lifting the Aggies over Alabama Wednesday in the SEC Tournament.

Banks’ single up the middle scored Mitchell Nau in the eighth.

Left fielder Logan Taylor also threw out a runner at home plate in the top of the ninth for third-seeded Texas A&M (44-10), which moved into the winners’ bracket of the double-elimination tournament. It’ll play No. 2 seed Vanderbilt this afternoon.

Alabama (31-27) fell into the losers’ bracket and played Missouri in an elimination game this morning.