Thatcher Hurd, Hayden Travinski step up in LSU baseball's series win over Georgia

Koki Riley
Lafayette Daily Advertiser

No. 4 LSU baseball will head into next week's SEC Tournament on a strong note after defeating Georgia twice in its three-game series with the Bulldogs this week.

The Tigers (42-13, 19-10 SEC) won the first game of the series Thursday, 8-5 in 12 innings, before taking the series victory Friday, 8-4. LSU dropped the third game of the series 9-5 despite getting the game-tying run up to the plate with one out in the ninth inning.

Here are five takeaways from LSU's series victory.

Hayden Travinski is on fire

Few hitters in the country have been as productive as Hayden Travinski has been over the last few weeks.

Travinski, who began the year as LSU's third-string catcher, has blasted a home run in eight of his last 13 games played, including five in his last seven. Entering Sunday's matchup, his on-base plus slugging percentage on the year was up to 1.515 and his slugging percentage was at an astronomical .961.

Ty Floyd is getting the job done

LSU doesn't need Paul Skenes on the mound every game in order to win consistently. The Tigers' offense is good enough to lead this team to victories.

What LSU does need, however, is for its starting pitchers to go reasonably deep into games and not bury its offense into deep holes.

Ty Floyd has seemingly understood that memo in recent weeks, as the Tigers' No. 2 starter had another solid start Friday. He allowed four earned runs in seven innings pitched, also striking out seven batters.

Floyd has gone at least six innings in each of his last two starts while allowing just five combined earned runs. For LSU, that's a strong recipe for success.

Thatcher Hurd saves the bullpen

LSU doesn't win its series with the Bulldogs if it weren't for Thatcher Hurd.

Hurd, who has struggled throughout most of conference play, threw the final five innings of LSU's 12-inning victory Thursday. He allowed just two earned runs, both solo home runs, and had five strikeouts while only walking one batter.

The performance injects hope into LSU's struggling bullpen and gives the Tigers another starting option if coach Jay Johnson decides to go away from Javen Coleman as a starter in the postseason.

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The effects of Jay Johnson's lineup changes

For Game 2 of the series, Johnson shook up the Tigers' lineup by moving Dylan Crews to the leadoff spot, Tommy White to the No. 2 hole, Gavin Dugas from first to fifth, and Hayden Travinski to the cleanup role in the order.

The new batting order resulted in LSU scoring as many runs as it had the night before but in three fewer innings. But perhaps it was just the tip of the iceberg as to what this new lineup can accomplish moving forward.

Having the best players in the lineup get up to the plate as many times as possible is never a bad thing. Johnson accomplishes that by having Crews lead off and White slotted right behind him.

Given his recent struggles, still having Dugas as the leadoff hitter didn't make much sense. And hitting Travinski fourth is logical considering how good he's been at the plate as of late.

Bullpen depth still an issue for LSU

Encouraging performances from Hurd on Thursday and Gavin Guidry on Friday were both much-needed steps in the right direction for LSU baseball's bullpen.

But the Tigers' bullpen still has plenty of depth concerns, after Sam Dutton, Christian Little, Blake Money and Griffin Herring surrendered five earned runs and eight hits in five innings pitched on Saturday.

For LSU to get to Omaha and make a run there, it'll still need at least a few more relievers outside of Guidry and Hurd to step up in the postseason.

Koki Riley covers LSU sports for The Daily Advertiser. Email him at and follow him on Twitter at @KokiRiley.