BATON ROUGE -- LSU right-hander Tyler Jones allowed only two runs on five hits in 6.1 innings to lead the seventh-ranked Tigers past in-state foe Southeastern Louisiana, 7-3, Tuesday night in Alex Box Stadium.
The game generated a paid attendance figure of 11,307 and an actual attendance mark of 7,903. Both figures are Alex Box Stadium records for a midweek game.
LSU (8-0) is undefeated through eight games for the third straight season. SLU fell to 6-2 on the year.
The Tigers will take on Mississippi Valley State Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. CST in Alex Box Stadium. Live video, audio and stats of the game may be accessed in the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net/HDbaseball. The contest can be also be heard on the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network.
Jones, a junior college transfer from Milwaukee, Wisc., improved to 2-0 on the year. SLU starter Jordan Hymel (1-1) was charged with his first loss of the season after surrendering four unearned runs on four hits in only 1.2 innings of work.
“I thought the real story of the game was Tyler Jones,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “He pounded the zone with strikes and he stayed composed and worked out of jams when he needed to. We extended him into the seventh inning, and I thought he had an excellent outing until he began to tire toward the end. We turned the game over to our bullpen and they took it from there.”
Rightfielder Mason Katz led the Tigers at the plate, batting 3-for-4 with a run scored, while designated hitter Raph Rhymes delivered two hits and a pair of RBI. Left fielder Trey Watkins also collected two hits, including a double, on the evening.
“I put a lot of pressure on our team before this game,” Mainieri said. “I wanted them to embrace a big-game atmosphere, and I thought they played very well in this environment. We’re going to be in many more big games this year, and I was proud of the way the players responded tonight.”
LSU capitalized on three defensive miscues by SLU in the bottom of the second to take a 4-0 lead. Both center fielder Mikie Mahtook and Katz scored on throwing errors, while first baseman Alex Edward drove in a run on a grounder, and Rhymes provided an RBI single.
The Tigers also chased Hymel from the game before he could record the third out of the inning.
SLU put a run on the scoreboard in the fifth, but LSU responded with a run of its own in the bottom of the frame to maintain a four-run lead. Mahtook walked to lead off the inning, advanced to second on an error, stole third and subsequently scored on a foul out to right to give the Tigers a 5-1 advantage.
The Lions scored another run in the seventh to cut the deficit to 5-2. Catcher John Cryer tagged from third following a deep foul out in right field.
SLU continued to chip away at the Tigers’ lead in the eighth when left fielder Jeff Harkensee launched a solo shot to right field to put the Lions within two runs at 5-3.
However, LSU knocked in a pair of runs in the eighth to regain a four-run advantage and go up, 7-3. After Edward reached on an error and pinch runner Spencer Ware advanced all the way to third on a botched pick-off attempt, second baseman JaCoby Jones drove in a run on a grounder to second.
Watkins doubled in the next at-bat, and Rhymes brought him home on base hit up the middle.
Junior right-hander Matty Ott came on in the ninth, retiring three of four batters and tallying a pair of strikeouts to close the game.