Tigers come back against Nicholls

A three-run home run from Ryan Patterson erased a 2-0 Nicholls State lead and vaulted LSU past the Colonels for a 6-2 win Wednesday night at Alex Box Stadium.<br><br>The Tigers (19-9-1, 7-1-1 Southeastern Conference) took the lead in the sixth inning on Patterson's sixth homer of the year, and added three more runs in the seventh for their tenth straight win against the Thibodaux team.

LSU has won 15 straight games against Nicholls State (16-16) at Alex Box Stadium.

The non-conference game provided LSU with an opportunity to work some of its seldom-used pitchers, who are facing the likelihood of getting more playing time due to injuries.

The latest to go down is Friday night starter Brian Wilson, who will miss at least the next two SEC series. A magnetic resonance image (MRI) taken of Wilson's pitching arm Wednesday revealed some damage, although Laval said he was not sure of the seriousness of the injury. A reevaluation will take place after Wilson has some time off.

"I don't know if there was a slight tear," said Laval. "Obviously if it was a big tear, he couldn't (pitch). But we're going to rest him for ten days and then let him throw a little muscle memory bullpen.

"I think for sure two weekends and even middle of the week, he won't be able to pitch."

Laval gave redshirt freshman Jason Determann his first career start, and the left-hander allowed two unearned runs over four innings.

Chad Vaught (1-0) held Nicholls scoreless on four hits over the next four innings, and Greg Smith closed in the ninth.

Nicholls logged two hits against Vaught when he entered the game and both moved into scoring position. But the next three batters all grounded out to the mound, ending the threat.

"That's what I shoot for," said Vaught "First pitch, hit it right back to me, throw them out. That's the way we try to pitch here. Don't worry about the strikeouts. Throw it low, let them hit it right back to you. We'll take 27 of those.

It was the first career win for Vaught, who had to undergo shoulder surgery after action in just one game last season.

LSU had two hits through five innings against Nicholls starter Mike Prejean. After Ivan Naccarata led off the sixth with a single, NSU head coach B.D. Parker pulled Prejean. The junk ball right-hander suffered a pulled muscle earlier in the season and had gone beyond his prescribed pitch count.

David Bourg (2-5) replaced Prejean and walked Blake Gill. With one out, Patterson looked for a fastball with a 1-0 count and lined the pitch into the left field bleachers.

In his previous two at-bats, Patterson hit groundballs that failed to bring home Tigers who were in scoring position.

"I was leaving runners on base all day," he said, "So I was just looking to drive the ball and make something happen."

Gill provided a two-run single in the seventh inning, when Nicholls used three pitchers to get out of the inning.

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