There’s just some weird magic connecting the 2018 LSU baseball team to two-way players.
Led by 5 sterling relief innings and a 2-RBI double from sophomore relief pitcher Todd Peterson, the LSU baseball team defeated No. 24 South Carolina 6-4 in 12 innings in the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Ala., on Thursday. With the win, LSU advances to face the loser of No. 1 Florida versus No. 7 Arkansas on Friday evening.
Freshman outfielder Daniel Cabrera came through in the clutch yet again for LSU, slapping a two-out single up the middle to score right fielder Antoine Duplantis and give LSU a 4-3 lead in the top of the 12th inning. Cabrera, who ripped a walk-off home run against Tennessee earlier this season and has batted nearly .500 in May, went 2 for 6 on Thursday with the decisive RBI.
Peterson turned in one of the more impressive performances of his career, allowing 2 runs across 5 innings on 4 hits with 3 strikeouts. A run in the ninth came on a hit that probably should have instead been an out, but Peterson recovered by throwing scoreless frames in the 10th and 11th innings.
In his first career at-bat at LSU, @Todd_Peterson3 does this!
— LSU Baseball (@LSUbaseball) May 25, 2018
Because of a quirk in LSU’s lineup, Peterson had to come to the plate in the 12th inning after Cabrera’s run-scoring single since Austin Bain had moved from designated hitter to pitcher earlier in the game and LSU forfeited its DH. Peterson worked the count to 1-2, then roped a 2-run double off the left field wall to extend LSU’s lead to 6-3. It was the first hit — in the first at-bat — of his collegiate career.
Naturally, Peterson returned to the mound for the bottom of the 12th inning and finished off the win. He allowed 1 run on 2 hits in the 12th inning but didn’t surrender the lead.
Not to be outdone, Bain also had a two-way day for LSU, allowing 1 run on 1 hit in 2 2/3 innings and going 1 for 3 with 3 walks at the plate and scoring a run.
What about regulation?
With the score tied 2-2 in the top of the eighth inning, Duplantis stood on third base with one out and catcher Hunter Feduccia at the plate. Feduccia popped out to shallow right field but LSU third base coach Nolan Cain sent Duplantis home anyway, setting up a play at the plate.
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) May 24, 2018
The umpires initially ruled Duplantis out, but further replay review overturned the call as Duplantis avoided the catcher’s tag and swiped the back corner of the plate with his hand upon landing. The slide gave LSU a 3-2 lead.
The Tigers couldn’t hold onto the lead, though, as an uncharacteristic defensive mistake by All-SEC defensive team center fielder Zach Watson put a South Carolina runner on third with no outs. South Carolina’s LT Tolbert ripped a triple over Watson’s head that trickled all the way to the center-field wall to lead off the frame, a play where Watson potentially made a bad read on the ball. Two batters later, Jacob Olson singled Tolbert home to tie the game.
What’s next for LSU baseball?
LSU returns to action on Friday in an elimination matchup against the loser of the game Thursday between No. 1 Florida and No. 7 Arkansas. The game will be televised on SEC Network and should begin 30 minutes after the conclusion of the early game, scheduled to start at 4 p.m. CT.