Tigers whitewash New Orleans 14-0

LSU starter Clay Dirks lasted only two innings against New Orleans on Tuesday night. <br><br> Luckily, that was Smoke Laval's plan. <br><br> Paced by an eight-run first inning against an undermanned Privateer squad, the top-ranked LSU Tigers defeated UNO 14-0 at Alex Box Stadium.

The game was called after seven innings due to a pre-arranged mercy rule by both coaches.

 

With the win, the Tigers (16-2) now have won five consecutive games. LSU begins Southeastern Conference play Friday night at 6:00 against South Carolina in a three-game series.

 

LSU erupted for eight runs to begin the game against Privateer freshman Marcus McKenzie. Ryan Patterson lined a one-out double. After a J.C. Holt walk, the hot-hitting Matt Liuzza lined a double into right center scoring Patterson. Clayton Harris followed with a sacrifice fly scoring Holt to give the Tigers a 3-0 lead.

 

Designated player Nick Stavinoha lined a double into left field scoring Liuzza. After Jonathan Zeringue walked, second baseman Blake Gill lined a two-run triple into the right field corner. Will Harris followed with a walk and scored on a double by Horwath in his second at-bat of the inning. Patterson concluded the scoring with a single to score Horwath.

 

Nine Tiger batters had hits against the Privateers and four had multiple-hit games. Liuzza went 2-2 with two runs driven in as well as Patterson. Dustin Weaver also drove in two runs in the LSU victory.

 

Patterson said the dominating victory over the Privateers was what top-ranked teams are supposed to do.

 

"I think last year we probably didn't have the intensity during the mid-week games," Patterson said. "Coming out this year, that is what we really wanted to do. We just wanted to come out here and win all our mid-week games and get the job done especially against teams that we should beat."

Pounding out 12 hits, Patterson said he hopes that the 14-run performance is a sign of good things to come.

 

"I just think that this team has so many good hitters that we are bound to explode," Patterson said. "Tonight's effort just showed the type of hitters we have on this team. Performances like that are going to happen a few different times this season."

 

Not overlooking the Privateers, the junior outfielder is excited about the start of conference play this weekend.

 

"Every SEC weekend is big," Patterson said. "They (South Carolina) are playing great ball. I don't think that they have lost a game. It's going to be a tough series, but we are also a very good team and we are going to come in there prepared and swinging the bats well. I like our shots this weekend, but we need to come out and play our game."

 

Working only two innings, Dirks (4-0) picked up his fourth victory of the season, giving up only two hits and striking out three while walking none. The freshman left-hander was declared the winner due to the fact the coaching staff decided to work as many pitchers as possible.

 

"I know I was going to throw 2-3 innings," Dirks said. "That's what we talked about. We wanted to get the staff ready for this weekend."

 

The Tigers used four pitchers against the Privateers. Michael Bonura relieved Dirks for two innings and was followed by Greg Smith and Jason Determann.

 

A weekend starter to begin the season, Dirks said he is very clear on his role this weekend against the Gamecocks.

"As far as I know I'm in relief," Dirks said. "Just like the rest of the guys besides Meier, Mestepey and Bumstead."


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