LSU snaps skid with 10-3 victory

Alex Bregman's go-ahead home run sparked the LSU offense to a 10-3 victory against McNeese State on Wednesday. Bregman snapped out of a long slump to help end the Tigers' four-game losing streak.

LSU coach Paul Mainieri knew one surefire solution to the Tigers' hitting woes — get Alex Bregman going and the rest would follow.

That's exactly what happened Wednesday as Bregman's three-run, go-ahead homer lifted the No. 10 Tigers to a 10-3 victory against McNeese State at Alex Box Stadium. The Tigers were trailing by a run before Bregman's shot to left field in the sixth inning, and LSU tacked on five in the next frame to put the game away.

That offensive outburst was a welcome sight as the bats slumbered through most of a four-game losing streak that came to an end Wednesday.

"It was great to get back in the win column," Bregman said. "We don't usually go on losing streaks around here, and we're going to try and keep it that way the rest of the year."

Bregman's homer was the spark LSU needed as the Tigers had only recorded two hits prior to his big at-bat. Christian Ibarra got that inning started with a leadoff walk and Mark Laird's single set the table for Bregman.

With a hit-and-run called, Bregman connected on the first pitch he saw and deposited it into the left field bleachers, recording his first hit in 17 at-bats.

"It was a great job by my teammates getting on base," Bregman said. "I can't thank them enough for being in there ready to play. I was just fortunate to put a good swing on it."

LSU carried that energy into the next inning, blowing the game wide open with a five-run frame.

Tyler Moore and Andrew Stevenson each singled with one out to put runners on the corners for Ibarra. He laid down a safety squeeze, and Moore beat the throw home to give LSU its first run of the inning.

Sean McMullen loaded the bases with a single in the next at-bat, and Chris Sciambra lifted a pinch-hit, two-run double to left-center field. Kade Scivcique would drive in the other two runs with a single up the middle.

Sean McMullen snapped a 1-for-17 streak with a two-run homer
"Obviously the home run was huge, but I was particularly happy about that seventh inning," Mainieri said. "We really put some hits together. It was just nice to see the guys loosen up a little bit. I guess that's an example that hitting's contagious."

LSU found itself needing to dig out of an early hole after Cody Glenn surrendered a pair of runs in the second inning. McNeese SS Connor Lloyd started it off with a double on an 0-2 count. LF Connor Lloyd brought him in with a single up the middle, and the Cowboys tacked on one more with another RBI base hit on an 0-2 count.

Glenn continues to struggle regaining his 2013 form, and his ERA inflated to 4.76 after his 1 2/3 innings of work Wednesday.

The rest of the LSU pitching staff bailed him out though, limiting the Cowboys to just one run on six hits the rest of the way. The lone blemish came on a solo home run off Alden Cartwright in the fourth that put McNeese up 3-2 at the time.

Hunter Devall, Kurt McCune, Zac Person and Parker Bugg each tossed a scoreless inning of relief, and Joe Broussard combined with Kyle Bouman — pitching for the first time since March 15 — to close out the final frame.

"That was a very positive thing for our team," Mainieri said. "I knew McNeese had a good ball club…It was certainly a challenge for us. I knew we'd have to work hard to win tonight."

Alex Bregman wasn't the only Tiger to snap out of a hitting funk Wednesday. Sean McMullen snapped a 1-for-22 streak with a two-run homer in the third inning to tie it 2-2 at the time. He finished with two hits on the night.

And even McMullen credited Bregman for getting the offense going.

"Alex's hit really was what popped this game open," McMullen said. "The kid works so hard, and he really pays the price for success…Alex is just the heartbeat of our lineup."

The Tigers will look to ride this momentum into a three-game series this weekend against Mississippi State. LSU currently ranks last in the SEC West, but this upcoming stretch will go a long way in determining the conference's pecking order.

Mainieri hopes Wednesday's win is the start of better things.

"I was going to announce that was the best win ever," Mainieri said. "That's probably a little bit of an exaggeration, but it feels pretty good right now to be honest with you."


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