2021 SEC baseball tournament thoughts and takeaways: Georgia vs. LSU

 Chris Lee   in Baseball

Here are thoughts and takeaways from Georgia's SEC tournament game with LSU on Tuesday evening. 

TONIGHT'S TAKEAWAYS

- This was yet another reminder that if you're going to win in Hoover, you'd best string together a bunch of runners, as just four balls have been hit out in three games. Georgia did that in the first inning, getting five of its first seven on and getting a huge three-RBI triple by Chaney Rogers, and that was enough.

- I don't feel like I have any more clarity on postseason for either team. WIth that said, D1 Baseball had both teams in safely earlier in the week but this year, with teams not playing normal out-of-conference schedules and the way that affects RPI, I think it's hard to know and as always, other conference tournaments factor also.

If you want a gut feeling: Should Georgia knock off Arkansas, I'd have to think the Bulldogs are in. And with a 24 RPI, LSU has probably done enough already. 

FINAL: Georgia 4, LSU 1

Georgia's Jack Gowan gets the Tigers 1-2-3 in the ninth, and Georgia moves on to face Arkansas in the 4:30 game on Wednesday. I'll have more thoughts in a bit.

T9: LSU 1, Georgia 4

Boy, was Landon Marceaux good from the second inning on. Marceaux gets out of the eighth without giving up a run, marking his seventh-straight scoreless inning. It's not always been pretty--nine hits, three walks--but it's the kind of performance that goes a long way in a tournament.

Unfortunately for Marceaux, it's the bottom of the order up, the Tigers needing three against new pitcher Jack Gowan.

T8: LSU 1, Georgia 4

The sequence to Drew Bianco: strike looking (fastball-92), foul (fastball-93), ball (95-fastball, outside, high and almost by catcher Fernando Gonzalez), followed by the same again, and then a fastball over the outer half that Bianco swings through for strike three.

Unless LSU can turn it over to Tré Morgan and Dylan Crews in the ninth--they'd hit fourth and fifth--it's looking a whole lot like Georgia will advance to play Arkansas tomorrow evening.

T8: LSU 1, Georgia 4

Georgia's Ben Harris goes 3-2 to LSU's Zach Arnold with the bases loaded. Arnold fouls off a ball, and then another (fastball-93), and then another (fastball-94), and then gets a swing and miss with the same pitch. 

It's up to Drew Bianco. And now we have a mound visit.

T8: LSU 1, Georgia 4

This may be the ballgame here for LSU. The bottom of the Tigers' order has been awful and now Georgia's Ben Harris hits Cade Doughty to load the bases with one out. 

T8: LSU 1, Georgia 4

Georgia's Ben Harris isn't sharp and the Bulldogs looked like they caught a break when Dylan Crews popped behind the bag at first into shallow right. But none of three Bulldogs could get to it--I don't think first baseman Parks Harber saw it well--and LSU's Tre´Morgan--thinking it was going to be caught--scrambled all the way back to first. Morgan had to hustle to second and got in safely when the throw was wild.

It's first and second for LSU and the Tiger fans--who are in Hoover in bunches--are starting to make some noise. 

T8: LSU 1, Georgia 4

Ben Harris is on to start the eighth for Georgia, and I doubt LSU's upset by that after Jaden Woods retired all 10 hitters he faced. This is a big sequence for LSU as the Tigers start from the top of their order.

Harris walks Morgan on four pitches, and the last one was two feet outside. I'm not sure why Georgia pulled Woods there given his effectiveness.

B6: LSU 1, Georgia 4

Both Georgia's Jaden Woods and LSU's Landon Marceaux are in a bit of a groove. Marceaux has faced more than four hitters in an inning since that fourth first just once, that, a five-batter inning in a scoreless fifth. 

Woods, meanwhile, has faced seven hitters, retiring them all, with five being strikeouts.

T5: LSU 1, Georgia 4

Georgia's Jaden Woods is a freshman lefty who's showing a lot of promise, and I like the way he attacked LSU's Tre´Morgan just now. Woods went lower with a 95-mile-an-hour fastball to Morgan earlier in an at-bat to lead off the fifth, then, finished him off by taking four miles an hour off that and elevating it at the top of the letters. Morgan--who probably wasn't fooled like that many times this year--swung through it, and Woods got a big first out with it.

Dylan Crews then hit a fly ball to center, where the wind's blowing out, but it had no carry and made for an easy second out. Woods then froze Gavin Dugas with a 94-mile-an-hour, knee-high fastball right on the edge of the black inside for strike three.

I'm not sure how long Woods can go--he threw 75 pitches against Auburn about a month ago--but he's looked terrific so far.

T4: LSU 1, Georgia 4

Again, LSU's bottom of the order crashes a promising inning. Jaden Woods strikes out Alex Milazzo (who'd been up 1-2 in the count) and then Georgia catcher Fernando Gonzalez threw out Drew Bianco trying to steal third (by a mile) on the same play, ending the inning. 

T4: LSU 1, Georgia 4

So, refer back to the comments about LSU's lineup in the top of the second. The Tigers' Drew Bianco led off the fourth with a single and then Jordan Thompson followed with the same, putting men at first and second. LSU had Collier Crawford try to bunt; he sent two foul before striking out swinging for the inning's first out.

After that, Georgia pulled starter Luke Wagner, who threw 59 pitches, for Jaden Woods. He'll face Alex Milazzo to start. 

T2: LSU 1, Georgia 4

Good news for LSU: Tiger starter Landon Marceau looked much better that inning, getting Georgia in order and that included two strikeouts.

T2: LSU 1, Georgia 4

Georgia starter Luke Wagner looked much more settled in the second, as he got the Tigers in order. 

Which brings us to another issue with LSU: The first two hitters of the inning (whom Wagner struck out) were No. 8 and 9 hitters Collier Cranford and Alex Milazzo, who are hitting .111/.200/.133 and .160/.261/.210, respectively. It's hard for Tre´Morgan and Dylan Crews (who hit 1 and 2) to get much going when there's no one on base, which has been a season-long issue for LSU. 

B1: LSU 1, Georgia 4

LSU started ace Landon Marceaux, who left last week's start after four innings due to fatigue. Marceau'x fastball has hit 95 here in the first, but the Tiger ace has given up some hard contact early, including Ben Anderson's double to left center to lead off the game. The LSU defense almost bailed him out without damage when Riley King hit a hard grounder to Cade Doughty at third, but Doughty bobbled the ball briefly, which cost him a shot at a double play. 

That scored a run and kept the inning alive. Marceau then uncharacteristically issued a second walk in the inning and then Chaney Rogers ripped a bases-tearing double to right. Fernando Gonzalez grounded to first to end the inning, but even that was hard-hit. 

The whole inning had to send shivers up the spine of Tiger Nation. LSU's résumé may or may not be good enough for the NCAA tournament without a win tonight but the bigger issue may be Marceaux; the Tigers have to have him in top form if they want to do any damage if they get there. 

T1: LSU 1, Georgia 0

LSU's freshman superstars Tre´Morgan and Dylan Crews both hit hard singles to start the game before fans were settled into their seats. However, a 6-4-3 double play wrecked the Tigers' chance for a big inning, as did Luke Wagner's strikeout of Drew Bianco with men on the corners and two out.