Louisiana-Lafayette gets season sweep of LSU

Louisiana-Lafayette followed one brilliant pitching performance against LSU with another. A week after Justin Gabriel handcuffed the Tigers in a 2-1 ULL win at Alex Box Stadium, the Cajuns' Andy Gros logged a seven-hit shutout in a 7-0 win at Moore Field in Lafayette last Tuesday.

LSU (14-9) was shut out for the first time since its 13-0 loss at Mississippi State last March 25 and for the first time against a non-conference team since 1992 when Cal State Fullerton eliminated the Tigers from the NCAA South I Regional, 11-0.

The Tigers, losers of three straight games, managed to put just one base runner on third base against the Cajuns (13-8). Gros, who hadn't lasted beyond two innings in his previous two starts against LSU, struck out seven Tigers and didn't yield any walks.

ULL got the only run it would need for Gros as a result of an LSU error in the first inning. Second baseman Rocky Scelfo mishandled a grounder from Jason Wilson, committing the 45th error of the season for LSU. After Cory Coles' high chopper moved Wilson to second, Brad Saloom provided a single to give the Cajuns a 1-0 lead.

LSU starting pitcher Jason Vargas looked like he would rebound from the defensive miscue, retiring the side in order in the second, but the third inning brought more problems. After a leadoff double to Chase Lambin, Vargas walked No. 9 hitter Phillip Hawke. Coles came up with two outs and provided for a three-run home run to extend the Cajuns lead to 4-0.

In his first career start, Vargas (L, 0-1) threw three innings and allowed four runs on three hits in taking the loss.

The going wasn't any easier for LSU reliever Brian Wilson. Lambin provided an RBI single in the fifth, and a Tiger error in the fifth led to two more ULL runs.

It was Wilson who reached again on the miscue, this time getting help from Wally Pontiff's misplay at third base. With two runners in scoring position, Mike Kabel drove a single to center field for a 7-0 ULL advantage.

LSU's disappointment in its lack of offense became apparent in the seventh inning when Matt Heath was ejected from the game for arguing a called strike three with home plate umpire Travis Hargroder.

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