For the second week in a row, Will Neely pitched deep into the game against a ranked Southeastern Conference opponent with the Tennessee baseball team on the verge of being swept.
This time, his defense let him down.
The Volunteers entered the weekend with the league's worst fielding percentage, and poor defense haunted them throughout their three-game series with LSU. The Tigers capped a sweep with a six-run rally in the ninth inning to win 9-7 Sunday at Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge, La.
LSU (24-13, 9-6) is ranked in all four major college baseball polls, with its highest ranking No. 19 in the Baseball America poll.
Neely started and took a four-run lead into the ninth, but the first batter of the inning, Chris Reid, reached by error and things spiraled out of control quickly for Tennessee (21-17, 5-10). The Vols were on their third pitcher of the inning before recording an out.
Daniel Cabrera homered over the right field wall against Andrew Schultz to end the game, and LSU's dugout then emptied onto the field in celebration. It was the 1,400th win of Tigers coach Paul Mainieri's career.
Neely threw 72 of 103 pitches for strikes, striking out six and allowing three earned runs just a week after pitching Tennessee to a victory over No. 1 Florida. The junior right-hander's performance came after LSU shredded Tennessee pitching Friday and Saturday, pounding out a combined 23 runs on 32 hits as it won the first two games of the series 9-3 and 14-5.
The Vols tightened their hold on last place in the league's fielding standings with six errors in the series.
Tennessee plays at East Tennessee State on Tuesday before hosting Texas A&M in a three-game series that begins Friday.