On Saturday, Patterson powered the No. 5 Tigers past No. 21 Georgia in front of 2,745 fans in Foley Field. The senior center fielder had two home runs in a 5-3 decision that dropped the Bulldogs to 0-2 in the SEC.
“Good hitters are going to hit bad pitches. That second time I left a slider just blaaaa,” said Georgia starter Michael Hyle, holding his hand out at waist level. “It must have looked like a beach ball. As soon as I threw it, I was hoping he would swing and miss because I knew if he didn’t, it was gone.”
In the last four games, Patterson has seven home runs, nine RBI and 11 runs scored.
“We’re riding him right now,” LSU coach Smoke Laval said.
The Bulldogs (10-8) are looking for anyone, or anything, to ride. In the last four games, they have three home runs, 12 RBI and 13 runs scored. Georgia entered the SEC schedule last in the conference in runs scored (86), RBIs (84), batting average (.278) and hits (145).
Despite the poor numbers, the Bulldogs remain optimistic they will change paths any day now.
“I think we played really well today,” said third baseman Jason Jacobs, who had Georgia’s only two RBI. “We squared a lot of balls right up, but we hit them right at them.”
Georgia will try to avoid a sweep in the series finale at 1 p.m. today.
“You have to keep in perspective who we’re playing,” Perno said. “They’re pretty good. We’re just missing, and they’re not missing.”
The Bulldogs led 2-0 after Jacobs doubled to score Brandon Masters and Josh Morris in the first inning, but they had just four hits in the final eight innings.
LSU didn’t let Georgia lead for long, scoring three in the top of third. They added one in the third and fifth, each time on a solo home run by Patterson. Six of Patterson’s seven homers in the last four games have been solo shots.
The Bulldogs put runners on second and third with nobody out in the seventh inning but got only one run out of it. That came on a two-out wild pitch by Jason Determann.
Hyle (1-1) took the loss for Georgia despite 6 2/3 solid innings. He gave us seven hits and struck out three along with allowing all five Tiger runs. LSU pitcher Clay Dirks (5-0) went six innings and got the win.
The Bulldogs had four doubles but left seven runners on base.
“Things are going to even out,” Perno said.