March 25, 2011
ATHENS, Ga. --- LSU freshman Kurt McCune pitched his first career complete game and improved to 4-0 to lead the ninth-ranked Tigers to a 7-3 win over Georgia Friday before a crowd of 2,847 at Foley Field.
LSU (16-5, 1-3 SEC) jumped out 1-0 in the first inning after leadoff hitter JaCoby Jones reached on an error, and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Tyler Hanover. Mason Katz lengthened the Tigers' lead to 2-0 over the Bulldogs (9-13, 1-3 SEC) in the second inning with a solo home run to right field, his third of the season.
Zach Cone provided the first offensive push for the Bulldogs of the game, leading off the second inning with a double, and later scored on groundout by Kevin Ruiz to cut LSU's lead to 2-1 in the second. Georgia tied the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the fifth when Ruiz scored on a sac-fly from Brandon Stephens. Ruiz reached base on a leadoff double.
Mikie Mahtook pushed the Tigers back in front in the sixth inning with a two run homer, his seventh of the season, that scored Hanover to make it 4-2. LSU busted the game open with two out in the eight, when Hanover, Mahtook, and Austin Nola all scored on a single by Nola. Hanover's run was earned, while Mahtook and Nola were able to score on a throwing error by pitcher Alex Wood when his throw to third sailed into the left field corner, making the score 7-2 in favor of the Tigers.
McCune (4-0) gave up three earned runs on six hits, with seven strikeouts and one walk in going the distance. Wood (2-3) picked up the loss after going 7.2 innings giving up seven runs, only four of which were earned, on eight hits with four strikeouts and one walk.
"That Mahtook homerun really just changed the momentum of the game," said Georgia coach David Perno. "Alex [Wood]'s delivery time was a little off on that one pitch, and they took advantage of it. That's the difference of the game, they capitalized on our mistakes and we didn't capitalize on their mistakes. If you flip that script then it's a completely different ball game.
"It's tough to put stuff together when every other guy in the lineup can put together a good at bat but the guy after him can't advance him." Perno added. "We need a little more consistency out of our lineup to get more base runners out there and get some more runs on the board. If we start doing that, then we'll start winning ball games."
Game two of this three-game series starts Saturday at 4:06 p.m. and will be televised by CSS.