LSU snaps losing skid - nips Southern 3-2

Shortstop Michael Hollander broke a 2-2 tie with an RBI single in the eighth inning Tuesday as No. 21 LSU ended a three-game losing streak with a 3-2 win over cross-town rival Southern at Alex Box Stadium.

The Tigers (21-10) captured their eighth straight non-conference mid-week game, dating back to 2005. The Jaguars fell to 13-13 on the season and 2-40 all-time against LSU.


The Tigers continue SEC play at Tennessee this weekend. Game times are scheduled for 6 p.m. CT Friday, 3 p.m. CT Saturday and 11:30 a.m. CT Sunday from Lindsey Nelson Stadium.


Hollander's RBI single was one of seven hits by the Tigers off Southern starter Antonio Garth. Garth handcuffed LSU through the first seven innings, allowing only four hits, including two from designated hitter Matt Liuzza.


LSU starter Michael Bonura finished with his best outing of the year, going a career-high 5.2 innings and giving up one run on four hits. Bonura struck out a career-high five batters and walked none but was not involved in the decision.


"Michael Bonura did what he was supposed to do -- fill up the zone with strikes," said LSU coach Smoke Laval. "I wanted him to leave with a bit of confidence, which I think is a step in the right direction."


Bonura and Garth locked into a pitchers' duel for the first three frames until the Jaguars got on the board in the fourth on designated hitter Darren Clark's RBI double.


LSU answered the run an inning later and claimed a 2-1 advantage. Liuzza worked a leadoff walk, and first baseman Jordan Mayer singled to left field. Third baseman Will Harris' perfectly placed sacrifice bunt allowed catcher Robert Lara to single in both runners.


Bonura left in the sixth and was spelled by senior Chase Dardar. Dardar, who has been LSU's leading pitcher out of the bullpen, surrendered the tying run in the top of the seventh.


Dardar misplayed a groundball from left fielder Mario Spann after Clark provided a leadoff double. The right-hander then induced a double-play grounder that scored Clark from third.


However, the score did not remain tied for long as Garth reached the 120-pitch mark in the eighth. Right fielder Quinn Stewart ignited the Tigers with the run they would need to win the game.


Stewart lined a one-out single to centerfield and then stole second. Two batters later, Hollander bounced a 1-2 offering up the middle to bring in the go-ahead run.


"With a runner on second and two outs, we definitely needed that run," said Hollander. "We weren't getting it going the whole game and needed to with runners in scoring position."


Garth (1-2) was saddled with the loss, allowing three runs on seven hits in 7.2 innings of work. He walked two, struck out four and fired 125 pitches.


Dardar (4-1) earned the win with 3.1 innings of one-run relief. He fanned three and worked a scoreless ninth.


"Dardar did a very good job," said Laval. "He ran in to some tough luck. Against Bonura they hit some hard balls but didn't get many good swings off Chase. He went 38 pitches and that part is good."


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