BATON ROUGE — The LSU baseball team trailed Notre Dame, 6-0, after five innings but used a grand slam by Bryce Jordan in the sixth and a three-run blast by Josh Smith in the eighth to complete the comeback and defeat the Irish, 7-6, Friday night in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
With the win, LSU (1-0 overall) has now won 17 consecutive season openers dating back to the 2002 season, while Notre Dame falls to 0-1.
LSU’s bullpen dominated to aid the comeback. Matthew Beck was the first Tiger out of the bullpen, and he fired 2 2/3 innings, limiting the Irish to one hit and struck out five.
Austin Bain earned the win after entering to pitch the eighth and gave up. two no-hit innings, struck out four and walked one.
Caleb Gilbert started the game for the Tigers. He allowed six runs, five earned, in 4 1/3 innings and struck out two.
Notre Dame took the early 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Cole Daily led off with a single to centerfield, stole second and moved to third on a groundout. He scored on an error to give the Irish the early advantage.
In the top of the third, Daily led off with a single and Jake Johnson got on base after being hit by a pitch. A passed ball moved the Irish to scoring position and Nick Podkul ripped a single to right field to drive in two runs for a 3-0 lead.
The Irish tacked on two runs in the top of the fourth to extend its lead to 5-0. Eric Gilgenbach led off with a double and moved to third on a ground ball. With one out, Gilgenbach scored on David LaManna’s single. LaManna moved to third with two outs and scored on Daily’s infield single to shortstop.
Podkul reached after being hit by a pitch to lead off the top of the sixth inning, and he moved to second on an infield single. A sacrifice bunt moved the Irish into scoring position. With two outs, Podkul scored on a wild pitch to extend the Notre Dame lead to 6-0.
In the bottom of the sixth, Antoine Duplantis led off with a walk. Zach Watson followed with a single, and left fielder Daniel Cabrera took a walk on four straight balls to load the bases for Jordan. In his first game since the 2016 season, Jordan hit a moonshot over the left field wall for his first career grand slam to cut the Notre Dame lead to 6-4.
With one out in the bottom of the eighth inning, Beau Jordan doubled down the right field line. Junior Chris Reid entered to pinch hit and took a walk to set up Smith’s three-run blast as the Tigers snagged the lead for the first time.