Labas leads LSU to 8-3 win over Mississippi State

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Cade Doughty

By Bill Franques

BATON ROUGE, La. — Right-hander AJ Labas limited Mississippi State two runs on four hits through six innings Sunday, and leftfielder Gavin Dugas blasted a go-ahead homer in the sixth inning to lead No. 10 LSU to an 8-3 win over the second-ranked Bulldogs in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.

LSU improved to 16-5 overall, 1-2 in the SEC, while Mississippi State dropped to 16-4 overall and 2-1 in league play.

LSU will travel to New Orleans Tuesday to face Tulane at 6 p.m. CT in Turchin Stadium. The game will be available to watch on ESPN+ and to listen to on the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network.

“We had two hard-fought games prior to today that could have gone either way, but we didn’t hit enough to win the ball games,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “We could have hung our heads, we could have pouted, we could have believed we couldn’t win in the SEC, but today we rode AJ Labas on the mound and Gavin Dugas gave us the lead with a huge home run.

“That homer loosened up our team quite a bit, and we got some big RBI hits later in the game to give us some cushion. We had some clutch hits, some extra-base hits, against the best pitching staff in the SEC. Sometimes it just takes a little patience with young players, and you start to see the talent surface. I was just really proud of our guys, I’ve very happy for them. They hung in there, and they battled through the entire weekend.”

Labas (1-0) worked six innings, allowing two runs on six hits with one walk and three strikeouts. Reliever Devin Fontenot recorded his second save of the season, firing a perfect 1.2 innings.

Ty Floyd contributed to the Tigers’ strong pitching effort by striking out the side in the seventh inning.

Mississippi State reliever Jackson Fristoe (2-1) was charged with the loss as he surrendered one run on three hits in four innings with two walks and six strikeouts.

With the score tied 2-2 in the bottom of the sixth, Dugas launched a two-out solo homer – his fourth of the season — off of Fristoe to give the Tigers a 3-2 lead. LSU expanded the margin to 6-2 in the seventh on first baseman Tre’ Morgan’s RBI double and a two-run homer by designated hitter Brody Drost, his third dinger of the year.

Mississippi State narrowed the gap to 6-3 in the eighth on rightfielder Tanner Allen’s run-scoring single, but the Tigers responded with two runs in the bottom of the frame on a two-RBI double by shortstop Jordan Thompson.