It was the opening weekend for Texas A&M in the SEC as they took on the LSU Tigers. The pre-season and current No. 1 Tigers looked the part as they took 2 of 3 from the Aggies and led 23 of the 27 innings. Aggie pitcher Nathan Dettmer faced a good LSU lineup and at times limited them. He went 6 innings, allowing only 4 runs, and Shane Sdao added 2 innings of scoreless ball. The story of the night was Paul Skenes who threw a gem, going 6.1 innings and allowing no runs from 4 hits. He had his high 90’s fastball working, as well as a big league curve that gave the Aggies fits all night to the tune of 11 strikeouts. LSU won 9-0 with 5 runs in the 9th and the game felt a lot closer at the end.
Saturday was a completely different day for the Aggies, as they were up 4-0 early. Troy Wansing struggled to find the zone and lasted only 2.2 innings. A 6-run 4th inning powered LSU to a 12-7 win. Ty Floyd was spotty as well for the Tigers as he was able to only last 3.1 innings. It is worth noting that the home plate ump was all over the place for both sides. Hunter Haas and Jack Moss had multi-hit games, and Matt Dillard took the loss giving up 3 runs in only recording a single out.
Now onto the Sunday game. Like most Sunday games, this was a heavyweight fight. A&M battled back from being down 5-1 early to steal the last one 8-6 behind a 4 run 8th. Justin Lamkin and Will Johnston were tremendous out of the bullpen as they covered for Chris Cortez who lasted only 1.2 innings and allowed 5 runs on 4 hits. Hitting wise, this will be remembered as the Stanley Tucker game. 2 for 2 with a walk and 2 RBI’s, the juco product showed great poise coming off the bench. This was his first multi-at-bat game since Saturday at Tech and only has 11 at-bats on the year. He also played a tremendous center field, stealing a hit and saving a run in the 6th. Another underrated play was his jump on the Haas double in the 5th, he was able to score easily on a ball in the gap that cut the lead to 1.
Overall series losses at home are tough to swallow, but against a team of LSU’s caliber and given the Friday and Saturday games, this has to feel like a bigger win Sunday. Looking ahead Texas A&M will face Rice in the midweek before heading to Knoxville to face the Vols. The Vols are the defending SEC champions, but are currently 0-3 after getting swept at Missouri.