BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Junior right-hander Paul Skenes fired 6.1 scoreless innings Friday night and third baseman Tommy White drove in three runs to lead top-ranked LSU to a 9-0 win over No. 11 Texas A&M at Blue Bell Park.
LSU, which won its 12th straight game, improved to 17-1 overall and 1-0 in the SEC. Texas A&M dropped to 13-5 overall and 0-1 in conference play. The loss ended the Aggies’ eight-game win streak.
The teams resume the series at 2 p.m. CT Saturday in a game that will be broadcast on the LSU Sports Radio Network and streamed on SEC Network +.
Skenes (5-0), making his first career appearance in an SEC game, pitched a season-high 6.1 innings, limiting the Aggies to no runs on four hits with no walks and 11 strikeouts, firing 106 pitches in the outing.
“He could do it against a major league lineup right now and I believe that," LSU coach Jay Johnson said in discussing Skenes' outing.
LSU relievers Nate Ackenhausen and Christian Little worked the final 2.2 innings to preserve the Tigers’ seventh shutout this season. Little was credited with his second save of the season, as he entered the game when LSU held a 4-0 lead with two outs and two runners on in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Texas A&M starter Nathan Dettmer (1-2) was charged with the loss, as he allowed four runs on six hits in 6.0 innings with four walks and five strikeouts.
"We want to be a team that can win any type of game,” Johnson said. “When the wind is blowing in, or in a pitcher's duel or a slugfest. We executed those nine runs, and the way batting practice was going with the wind blowing in, four runs seemed like 12 tonight."
LSU grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning as second baseman Gavin Dugas lifted a sacrifice fly and leftfielder Josh Pearson delivered a two-out RBI single.
The Tigers expanded the margin to 4-0 in the third as first baseman Tre’ Morgan singled, moved to third on centerfielder Dylan Crews’ double and scored on a Dettmer wild pitch. Crews then scored on White’s sharp single to left field.
LSU erupted for five runs in the top of the ninth, as White highlighted the outburst with a two-run single, increasing his RBI total this season to 30.
Pearson started Friday's game in left field, marking his first start since February 25. He responded with two hits and two RBI in the Tigers' win.
"I have a lot of trust in Josh, and I've seen him match up in these games against these types of pitchers," Johnson said. "Just because a guy hasn't been in there every day doesn't mean he's not an SEC type of college baseball player. I had a good feeling about the work that he'd been putting in the last couple of weeks."