Auburn struggled again to string together hits, and poor shaky defense and pitching put the Tigers in an early hole, resulting in an 8-2 loss at No. 3 LSU Sunday afternoon.
Will Kendall (0-1) continued his comeback from Tommy John Surgery, this time taking the mound at Alex Box Stadium to try and salvage a game for Auburn (15-9, 0-6 SEC). Instead, his command was shaky and the defense behind him was lackluster, resulting in an outing that lasted seven batters, all of whom reached base. LSU (22-2, 5-1) scored four times in the bottom of the first, grabbing a lead in the opening inning for the third day in a row. A leadoff bloop double, the result of poor communication between left fielder Cullen Wacker and shortstop Dan Glevenyak, was followed by an infield single to second baseman Jordan Ebert, which could have been a line-drive double play, then two ground ball fielders' choice that could have been double plays, moving across the first run. Another infield single and a walk set the stage for Kendall's final batter faced, who walked to drive in the second LSU run.
Terrance Dedrick came on in reliefl, and after allowing a two-run single to fill out Kendall's line for the day, he got out of the frame with a third fielder's choice at second. He gave up another two-spot in the second but pitched effectively afterwards, totaling 3 1/3 innings on the day.
At the plate for Auburn, Hunter Kelley again hit leadoff, but he disappointed, going 0-for-5. Patrick Savage had a noticeable 0-for-4 that included leaving a team-high three runners on base. The Tigers left nine on, a day after stranding ten. A highlight for Cullen Wacker to take back to the Plains is his ten game hitting streak, extended Sunday with a third-inning single.
Blake Austin drove in Garrett Cooper in the second, giving the appearance of an Auburn fightback, but another blue-and-orange clad runner wouldn't score until a Ryan Tella sac fly in the eighth plated substitute second baseman Mitchell Self.
LSU starter Cody Glenn improved to 4-1 after throwing a strong 7 2/3 innings and allowing just the two runs.
The Tigers travel to Troy on their way home, where they will play the Trojans at 6 p.m. on Tuesday. That's followed by a must-win Thursday-Friday-Saturday series against Alabama at Plainsman Park.