Shortstop Will Holland collected four hits and two RBI, and freshman right-hander Tanner Burns worked six innings to lead Auburn to an 11-4 win over LSU at Plainsman Park.
Auburn, which ended a four-game losing streak, improved to 36-18 overall and 14-14 in the SEC. LSU dropped to 32-22 overall and 14-14 in conference play.
Game 2 of the series will start at 6 p.m. CT on Friday, and it can be heard on affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network. Friday’s game will be televised on the SEC Network, and it may be viewed at WatchESPN.com and the Watch ESPN app.
“Obviously we’re at the end of the season, and every game has magnified importance,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “We just didn’t get it done tonight. It only counts as one loss; tomorrow’s a new day. We’ve just got to come back strong tomorrow.”
Holland was 4-for-5 at the plate with two doubles and two RBI, and third baseman Brendan Venter had two doubles and three RBI to highlight Auburn’s 12-hit output.
Burns (5-4) limited LSU to four runs – two earned – on six hits in six innings with two walks and four strikeouts. Right-hander Cody Greenhill pitched three scoreless innings to earn his fifth save of the season.
LSU starter Zack Hess (6-5) was charged with the loss, as he allowed five runs on six hits in three innings with three walks and three strikeouts.
Auburn took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when Holland led off with a double and later scored from third base on a wild pitch by Hess.
Auburn erupted for four runs on four hits in the second inning against Hess to extend its lead to 5-0. Holland lined an RBI single, rightfielder Steven Williams launched a three-run homer and Venter delivered a run-scoring double to highlight the frame.
LSU narrowed the gap to 5-2 in the fifth when first baseman Austin Bain lifted a fly ball that centerfielder Jay Estes lost in the twilight sky, allowing two runs to score. Bain was credited with a double, his SEC-leading 20th of the season.
Auburn struck for three runs in the bottom of the fifth against reliever Cam Sanders as Holland lined a run-scoring single and catcher Brett Wright plated two runs with a base hit to right field.
LSU reduced the deficit to 8-4 in the sixth when third baseman Jake Slaughter unloaded a two-run homer, his sixth dinger of the season.
Auburn, however, scored three runs in the seventh when Venter provided a two-run double and Estes slapped an RBI single.