LSU beats SEC rival Tennessee 6-3 at the College World Series with Skenes leading the way

Paul Skenes struck out 12 and carried a shutout into the eighth inning before Tennessee broke through, and LSU held on to beat its SEC rival 63 in the College World Series on Saturday night.

The big righthanders fastball touched 100 mph or more 46 times as he ran his season strikeout total to 200, the first college pitcher to reach that mark in 12 years.

“I had all four pitches working,” Skenes said. “I went out there and made pitches and kind of threw what they werent expecting at times, and it worked pretty well.”

Skenes kept Tennessee batters offbalance by often starting them off with his secondary pitches — changeups, sliders and curves — rather than his devastating fastball. Coach Jay Johnson said pitching coach Wes Johnson adjusted the way he called pitches when they noticed the first few batters sitting on fastballs and making good contact.

You could tell they were trying to jump him,” Jay Johnson said, adding that batters must make their decision to swing early if theyre going to catch up to Skenes heater.

If he starts throwing his changeup, theres not much you can do,” he said. “The execution was pretty elite.”

LSU will play Wake Forest on Monday night to determine control of Bracket 2. The Volunteers will meet Stanford in an elimination game Monday.

Brayden Jobert finished a single short of hitting for the cycle for LSU. He doubled in the fourth, tripled in a run in the sixth and homered in the eighth after Tennessee had made it a tworun game.

Gavin Dugas third homer in four games opened the scoring against Andrew Lindsey (34), and the Tigers were up 50 after seven innings.

The Vols made a game of it after Christian Scott doubled for Tennessees first extrabase hit with one out in the eighth. Maui Ahunas RBI single knocked Skenes (132) out of the game, and Hunter Ensley homered on Gavin Guidrys only pitch to cut it the lead to 53.

Riley Cooper struck out Christian Moore to end the eighth, and after an error and balk in the ninth, he caught Scotts soft liner to finish the game.

LSU won two of three against the Vols in Baton Rouge early in the season. Skenes was a 52 winner in the opener of that series, striking out 12 and allowing one run in seven innings.

This matchup commanded up to $500 for a prime seat on the secondary market at midweek, and Skenes was the main attraction through seven innings for the crowd of more than 25,000. Projected to be picked second overall behind teammate Dylan Crews in the amateur draft next month, Skenes recorded doubledigit strikeouts for the 14th time in 18 starts.

“He has an unreal arm,” the Vols Hunter Ensley said. “All the pregame work was good building up to the game. I thought we had a lot of good atbats, quality atbats. Good fight in the box, but just not able to get it done.”

Tennessee coach Tony Vitello said he had never seen Skenes so sharp working over batters with a combination of pitches.

“He was effective with his whole arsenal,” Vitello said. “There was a heavier mix, I think, than we expected. I think our guys recognized it right away, but easier said than done adjusting on the fly in that situation.”

The atmosphere added adrenaline. Though Skenes said hes accustomed to pitching in front of big crowds at Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge, the setting at Charles Schwab Field was next level.

“It was awesome,” he said, “and I’ll need a little time to internalize that and take it all in.

If Skenes pitches again at the CWS, he will have a good chance to break the SEC singleseason strikeout record of 202 by exLSU star Ben McDonald in 1989. As it is, Skenes has the most strikeouts since Trevor Bauer had 203 for UCLA in 2011.

Local News

Tigers take two on Sunday to set up winner-take-all for Monday

McNeese Sports

Ex-McNeese golfer wins with dad’s help

Local News

Most US students are recovering from pandemic setbacks, but millions lag

Local News

Republicans join Trump’s attacks on justice system and campaign of vengeance after guilty verdict

Local News

Late morning, afternoon thunderstorms on today’s docket

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column: Brumley likes propaganda videos

Crime

Jurors take less than 30 minutes to convict Fontenot of murder

Crime

Sheriff: Body found on the side of the road

life

Team Green Wednesday recycling drop-off schedule has changed

Local News

PHOTO GALLERY: Veterans Cemetery holds burial for seven unclaimed veterans

Business

Commonwealth LNG accused of mowing over threatened bird habitat

Local News

Biden announces Israel has offered a three-part proposal to end the war in Gaza

Local News

Release of 1M barrels of gas ‘not likely’ to ease price at pump

Crime

LC man charged with child porn possession

Local News

Scooter Hobbs column: Everything you need to know (and more) about LSU opponent

Local News

Lake Charles, Sulphur populations down, but Hunter says news isn’t all bad

life

STEM-centric Saturday: Phillips 66 STEM Family Fun Day in the Park this weekend

Local News

Four local educators finalists for state teacher, principal of the year

Crime

Trial begins for man accused in fatal Sherry Street shooting

Crime

GUILTY: Trump becomes first former US president convicted of felony crimes

Crime

Doomsday plot: Idaho jury convicts Chad Daybell of killing wife and girlfriend’s 2 children

Local News

WEATHER UPDATE: Potential for severe storms into Saturday

Local News

Sowela awarded nearly $300,000 to support mental health intiativies

Local News

Louisiana may soon require public school classrooms to display the Ten Commandments