Skenes brings heat as LSU takes down Tennessee in Tigers’ CWS opener

Published: Jun. 17, 2023 at 9:31 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 17, 2023 at 10:18 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WAFB) - The LSU baseball team jumped ahead of Tennessee early and kept the lead in its first game of the College World Series on Saturday, June 17.

The Tigers (49-15) came away with a 6-3 win over the Vols (43-21). With the victory, LSU will face Wake Forest on Monday, June 19, at 6 p.m. The Demon Deacons beat Stanford, 3-2, earlier in the day.

Paul Skenes (13-2) started on the mound for LSU, bringing triple-digit heat that has nothing to do with the weather. Topping out at 102 mph, he gave up two runs on five hits with 12 strikeouts and one walk in 7.2 innings of work. Head coach Jay Johnson then put freshman Gavin Guidry on the bump and he gave up a home run to the first batter he faced, so Riley Cooper was then called upon and picked up his first save of the season. He allowed one hit and struck out two in 1.1 innings.

LSU got going offensively with a solo home run by Gavin Dugas in the bottom of the second inning. It was his 16th home run of the season. In the bottom of the third, a groundout by Tre’ Morgan allowed Josh Pearson to score to put the Tigers up 2-0.

LSU was also on its game defensively. Hayden Travinski and Dugas took down a Tennessee runner trying to steal second.

There was more impressive defense by LSU in the top of the sixth inning. This time it was Morgan with an amazing stretch to get the runner out.

The legend, Skip Bertman, was honored on the field as a College World Series All-Star.

The Tigers put up multiple runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. A triple by Brayden Jobert scored Hayden Travinski from second and then a single by Jordan Thompson allowed Jobert to trot home to give LSU a 4-0 lead.

Dylan Crews led off the seventh inning with a double. After a Tommy White single allowed him to advance to third, he made it home on a sac fly by Morgan to make it 5-0.

Tennessee got things going in the top of the eighth. With one on and two outs, Maui Ahuna ripped a single up the middle that scored Christian Scott. Then, Hunter Ensley hit a two-run homer to make it 5-3.

Jobert gave the Tigers a little more cushion on a solo home run in the bottom of the eighth inning to make it 6-3.

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