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Missed chances cost Tigers at LSU

BATON ROUGE, La. – Auburn’s baseball team outhit LSU 12-10, but Tiger pitchers issued 10 walks, clutch hits were elusive and the Tigers fell 9-4 in the first game of a three-game series at LSU.

Damek Tomscha had a career-high three hits against LSU/Anthony Hall photo

Raph Rhymes hit a two-run homer and Mason Katz hit a three-run homer, both off Auburn starter Daniel Koger. And that was all the Bayou Bengals would need.

Auburn left 11 runners on base, including leaving the bases loaded in the seventh and eighth innings.

“Offensively we had 12 hits on the board and we put ourselves in position where maybe one more swing here or there would make it an interesting game,” Auburn coach John Pawlowski said. “It’s tough. They jumped up early, we got back in it at 3-2 but they put another big swing on it. Two big swings and they score five runs. That’s tough to overcome and we couldn’t do that tonight.”

Auburn remained winless in the Southeastern Conference, falling to 15-7 overall and 0-4 in the league. LSU improved to 20-2 and 3-1.

Koger, who also gave up two home runs in last Friday’s loss to Vanderbilt, lasted 3 1/3 innings, allowing five runs on five hits and three walks without recording a strike out.

LSU starter Aaron Nola (3-0) worked 6 2/3 innings, surrendering nine hits and a walk but striking out nine.

Auburn’s first run came on a two-out RBI single by Blake Austin, which scored Damek Tomscha following his double, to make it 3-1 in the second.

Auburn got to Nola again in the third when Jordan Ebert led off with a walk, stole second and scored on a Garrett Cooper RBI double down the line in right to cut the lead to 3-2 before Katz’ 10th blast of the year gave LSU the three-run cushion again.

Auburn would put LSU on its heels in the eighth as it loaded the bases off of relievers Brent Bonvillain and Nick Rumbelow, with Rumbelow walking in a run, but Joey Bourgeois came in to get the final two outs of the inning to keep it a 7-3. LSU then answered Auburn’s mini rally with two runs of its own in the bottom half of the inning off of Reid Carter for the final margin.

Tomscha finished the game with a career-high three hits while Jordan Ebert and Dan Glevenyak each had two as Auburn out-hit LSU 12-10.

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