NEW ORLEANS — Mark Laird hit his first career home run Tuesday, but it didn’t leave the park.
He laced a liner to left field in the fourth inning of Tuesday’s game against Tulane. The Green Wave left fielder attempted a dive but came up short, allowing the ball to roll all the way to the wall. Laird’s speed took over and he made it all the way around for an inside-the-park home run.
"I saw him lay out for it," Laird said. "I didn't see the ball until I was rounding second, and when I saw the guy running for it, I figured I should kick it into gear."
That pushed No. 1 LSU ahead 5-3 at the time, and the Tigers would rack up the hits from there.
LSU (22-3) rolled to a 13-7 victory against Tulane (17-8) in Turchin Stadium, recording 19 hits in the process. It was the Tigers’ third straight game with at least 15 hits, the first time they’ve done that since 2011.
"Tonight was just our night," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri.
It was actually Tulane that struck first though. SS Stephen Alemais led off the game with a single then stole second. 3B Hunter Hope drove him home with a single to right, giving the Green Wave a short-lived lead.
LSU didn’t hesitate to answer. The Tigers tied it with an RBI-groundout by Jake Fraley in the second, then proceeded to score at least one run in each of the next five innings.
That included a three-run third inning, with RBI coming from Conner Hale, Kade Scivicque and Fraley.
Tulane would get two runs back in the bottom of that inning, cutting the deficit to only one. But that was the closest the Green Wave would get after Laird’s inside-the-parker in the next half-inning.
The Tigers made it 8-3 with three more runs in the fifth, one coming on a single by Fraley (his third of four RBI) and a two-run single by Danny Zardon.
LSU added a run in each of the sixth and seventh innings, then really made the final score lopsided with three more runs in the eighth.
LSU had 10 different players record at least one hit Tuesday, seven of those getting multiple hits. The Tigers also had seven different players drive in a run, led by Fraley’s four RBI.
"We're having great at-bats," said hitting coach Andy Cannizaro, who was an All-American at Tulane. "Our guys are doing their best to not give an at-bat away. We get in the box, and every guy competes their butt off at the plate."
It was a rocky outing for Russell Reynolds, who made his third consecutive midweek start. He lasted only 2 2/3 innings, surrendering three runs and walking four.
Hunter Newman would follow him, and he combined with Doug Norman to retire 10 straight batters at one point. Newman added three scoreless innings to his season total, and he’s now gone 10 2/3 this year without surrendering a run.
"He's done so well," Mainieri said of Newman. "Every time we give him a chance, he seems to do well. His role is going to continue to expand."
Tulane did have a bit of success of the other relievers that appeared for LSU Tuesday.
Austin Bain gave up a run on one hit in 2/3 innings. Collin Strall got tagged for a pair of runs (one earned), and Tulane also got one off Kyle Bouman before Zac Person struck out the only batter he faced to end the game.
LSU returns to action Friday for a three-game series against Kentucky.
LSU stays hot, beats Tulane, 13-7
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