"It was a good ball game," said LSU head coach Smoke Laval. "Sometimes you're going to lose a game like that, especially when you're playing a good team like UNO."
Pizza became the unlikely hero for UNO after replacing starting right fielder Brad Domreis in the second inning. Domreis suffered bruised chest and shoulder while making a diving catch on a fly ball from LSU catcher Matt Liuzza and could not continue in the game.
UNO (15-12) was trailing 3-1 in the fifth inning when Pizza led off with a single and later scored on a base hit from Austin Wasserman. Joe Pietro, who was 3-for-4 in the game, tied the game with a triple to the left field corner that scored Wasserman all the way from first.
Another replacement for the Privateers, catcher Mike Sanchez, put UNO in position to win the game.
Sanchez entered the game in the top of the ninth when first baseman Gabe Trevizo was thrown out for arguing with umpire Randy Boudreaux on a foul ball call. Bush moved starting catcher Mike Nuckles to first base and put Sanchez behind the plate.
Sanchez provided a one-out single in the bottom of the inning and was pulled for pinch runner Josh Jones, who moved into scoring position on a passed ball charged to Liuzza.
LSU relief pitcher Jake Tompkins (0-3) gave Pizza a first-pitch curve ball that he scooted past the glove of Harris at first base. Jones came across on the base hit for the unearned winning run.
"It's tough when you lose in a close game like that," said Tompkins. "They (UNO) were able to get the hits into spaces where they needed when they needed them."
Tompkins replaced Meier to start the eighth inning after UNO logged four runs on seven hits against Meier with six strikeouts.
UNO reliever J.P. Martinez, who transferred from LSU after being redshirted last season, improved to 4-0 after taking over for starter Brandon Kling in the fourth inning. The Tigers built a 3-0 lead against Kling but added just one more run on four hits against the sophomore from Metairie.
Jon Zeringue helped the Tigers build an early lead with an RBI single in the second inning and a solo homerun in the fourth. After Harris led off the fourth with his second homerun of the season, Zeringue crushed his third of the year out of the deepest part of Zephyr Stadium in left center.
Mike Forbes tied the game for UNO in the bottom of the seventh with a line-drive homerun to left field.
LSU had a chance to break the 4-4 tie in the top of the ninth, putting runners at the corners. But Harris was called out on strikes to end the inning.