No. 8 LSU methodical in 10-2 victory

LSU handled its business in a 10-2 midweek victory against Sacred Heart on Wednesday.

No. 8 LSU followed its midweek script in a 10-2 victory against Sacred Heart on Wednesday night at Alex Box Stadium.

The Tigers (12-1) jumped out to an early lead with a big second inning, and five pitchers combined to shut down the Sacred Heart (0-5) offense. Every player in the starting lineup for LSU reached base at least once, and the Tigers held the Pioneers hitless for the first 4 1/3 innings.

After a hitless first inning, LSU opened it up with a six-run outburst in the second. Raph Rhymes kicked it off with a single up the middle, and Mason Katz followed with a RBI double of his own.

After JaCoby Jones struck out for the first out of the inning, the next six hitters reached base, resulting in five more runs for LSU.

"We came out as a team and handled our business," said Jared Foster, who went 2-for-5 with a RBI in his first start of the season. "If we get on base, we have a very good chance. As long as we do that, we're going to keep scoring runs."

LSU added two more in the fifth behind a RBI-single by Ty Ross, and Alex Bregman scored later thanks to a pair of wild pitches.

The final two LSU runs came as a result of miscues by the Sacred Heart defense. The Pioneers, which recorded five errors in the game, allowed a run to score in the sixth when 1B Dave Boisture failed to corral a throw in the dirt. The other run came in the eighth on a dropped flyball by RF Rocco Gondek.

The LSU pitching staff was mostly dominant throughout the game, primarily Nick Rumbelow, who earned the win. In his third outing of the year (he missed the first two weeks of the season with an oblique injury), Rumbelow didn't allow a baserunner in two innings of work while striking out a pair.

"It was really great to get back out there and have an outing like that," Rumbelow said. "It helps to get the rhythm back. I was mixing in my curveball and getting it over the plate, so that was big for me."

Following Rumbelow, freshmen Hunter Newman and Hunter Devall each shined in a combined five innings of work. The only run allowed between the two was a solo-homer surrended by Newman in the fifth, and the duo combined to throw seven strikeouts.

"It was nice that those two were able to pitch with a good lead," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "I was a little nervous going into the game. I knew I was going to take Rumbelow out after two, and I wasn't going to use [Joey Bourgeois] until the eighth. So we had innings three-through-seven, and we had some young kids. You just never know what they're going to do."

Bourgeois surrendered the only other run, and Chris Cotton recorded a pair of strikeouts in a perfect ninth inning.

The Tigers return to action Friday night for Game 1 of a three-game set against Washington.

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