LSU beats Missouri 10-3 at SEC Tournament

Remigio Civitarese
Mag 26, 2017

This one was more Tyson-Spinks than Ali-Frazier.

Sikkema, a reliever for the first three months of the season, gave up five earned runs on eight hits in four-plus innings.

Kentucky's next game will be a rematch with second-round opponent SC on Friday at 4 p.m. ET. The Gamecocks, also on the NCAA Tournament bubble, lost to No. 3 seed Kentucky 7-2 earlier Wednesday.

SC awaits Missouri in that elimination game, with first pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday.

Lange, mixing a low-90s fastball with a now-you-see-it, now-you-don't knuckle curve, had UK's batters looking perplexed most of the night.

The Tigers were once again helped defensively by freshman center fielder Zach Watson. The only arm that is really off the table is Caleb Gilbert who threw five inning Wednesday night against Missouri and obviously Lange.

"He's awesome, he saved my butt too many times tonight", Lange said. "There's a part of me (that says), 'I don't want 'em to do anything different.' We are hitting laser beams". We got a great at-bat by Duplantis and Deichmann got a hit right after that in the second. All but five of LSU's outs in Hjelle's five innings were by strikeouts.The Tigers have scored at least ten runs in their last four games against SEC opponents - two against Mississippi State and one against Missouri and Kentucky.

The crowning blow was a three-run homer to left by Kramer Robertson that made it 10-0.

Because of the heavyweight pitching matchup between Hjelle and LSU ace Alex Lange, no one would have taken a bet before Thursday's game that it would end early on the 10-run rule. Kole Cottam had two hits, including a home run.

LSU, now 41-17 as co-SEC regular season champs, sure isn't the same team that dropped two of three games in late April at Kentucky. Our players felt that Sean Hjelle's stuff was more electric than when we faced him before. Every Tigers except for Smith, Papierski and Watson drove in a run.Hjelle allowed just two base runners - one an error - in the three innings when he did not give up a run. "He has not stopped competing". But I love the way he's competing.

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