Defending national champion LSU boosts its postseason hopes with series win against Texas A&M

With two weeks left in the regular season, LSU is scrambling to avoid becoming the third straight defending national champion to miss the NCAA Tournament.

The Tigers (31-18, 9-15) won two of three against then-No. 1 Texas A&M to take a giant step over the weekend, but they probably need to win four of their last six Southeastern Conference games to strengthen their status for an at-large bid.

LSU also could help itself with a good showing in the SEC Tournament. The Tigers are tied with Mississippi for the 12th and final spot in the conference tournament, two games ahead of Missouri.

“We’re still in the fight for a postseason bid,” coach Jay Johnson said, “and we’ve really improved over the last month. We’ve given ourselves a chance. In the last few weeks, we’ve put ourselves into the best position we possibly could to play postseason baseball. We’re just going to have to keep fighting.”

LSU understandably has struggled to replace the leadership, and performances, of pitcher Paul Skenes and center fielder Dylan Crews — the top two picks in the 2023 Major League Baseball amateur draft.

The Tigers weren’t expected to struggle as much as they have, though. They had bad nonconference losses to Stony Brook and Southern, and they lost five straight SEC series before winning two against the bottom teams in the league, Missouri and Auburn.

A pair of 6-4 victories locked up the series win over Texas A&M, which won Sunday’s game 14-4.

Next up for the Tigers is a trip to Alabama (29-18, 10-14) and then a home series against Mississippi (25-22, 9-15).


Tennessee (39-9) took two of three at Florida for its seventh straight SEC series win and took over the No. 1 spot in the and Baseball America polls. The Volunteers’ 16-3 win Saturday was their fifth in SEC play that ended early because of the 10-run rule.

D1Baseball ranks Clemson (36-10) No. 2 and Texas A&M (40-8) No. 3. Baseball America has A&M second and Arkansas (40-9) third.


Jackson Brockett’s no-hitter in an 8-0 home win over Kansas State on Wednesday was the first since 1954 by a Nebraska pitcher in a nine-inning game. It was the Huskers’ first individual no-hitter since Anthony Kelley’s gem in a seven-inning game against Oklahoma in 1981. Brockett struck out a career-high 12 on 107 pitches in his first start of the season.


Indiana State swept Belmont for its 17th straight Missouri Valley Conference series win. The Sycamores (34-10, 17-4) are 43-7-1 in MVC games since the series winning streak started in 2022. Their 12-game home run streak ended with Sunday’s 6-4 win.


National home run leader Charlie Condon of Georgia has gone deep in seven straight games, two behind the NCAA record set by Nevada’s Tyler Bosetti in 2021 and tied by Florida’s Jac Caglianone last month. Condon has 33 homers in 47 games.


Georgia reliever Christian Mracna had a rough weekend after being caught on video allegedly doctoring the ball with a foreign substance during a dominant two innings against Texas A&M on April 27. Mracna gave up home runs to the first two Vanderbilt hitters he faced Saturday, with Jack Bulger connecting on his first pitch and Camden Kozeal on the third of his nine before he was pulled. He gave up three hits over five batters faced in two-thirds of an inning Sunday. … Travis Bazzana homered three times in Oregon State’s 10-6 win over Washington State on Sunday. Bazzana’s leadoff homer was his program-record 22nd of the season, and he went deep in the fourth and seventh innings. …Maryland-Eastern Shore narrowly missed ending its 43-game losing streak Saturday. Down 10-9 in the top of the ninth at Le Moyne, the Hawks had runners on the corners with two outs when Quentin Smith struck out to end the game. UMES’ last win was 18-4 over Delaware State on May 20, 2023.


AP college sports:

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