LSU drops 8-3 decision to Tulane

Three Tulane pitchers combined to limit LSU to three runs on five hits Tuesday night as the Green Wave handcuffed the Tigers, 8-3, before 5,360 fans at Alex Box Stadium.

LSU dropped to 7-4 with the loss while Tulane improved to 6-4. Tulane has won three of its last four games in Alex Box Stadium.

The third-largest paid attendance in Alex Box Stadium history was recorded Tuesday as 8,577 fans purchased tickets. It marked the largest home paid crowd since LSU drew a school-record 8,683 fans against Houston on March 6, 2004.

The Tigers play host to Lipscomb in a three-game series this weekend. Game times are scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.

Sophomore right-hander Louis Coleman (2-2), who handcuffed Tulane for seven-plus innings last March, was touched for four runs on five hits in five innings of work.

Green Wave designated hitter Nate Simon led the way, going 3-for-4 with a homer and three RBI. Catcher Jared Dyer added two hits and scored three runs.

"Their lineup is strong, one through nine," said LSU head coach Paul Mainieri. "That is what good teams have. They have lineups that make the pitchers work. Louis would get 0-2 counts on people and just not be able to put people away. We have to come up with something that has a little more deception for him."

LSU second baseman Chris Jackson returned from a stomach ulcer he suffered following the Tigers' season-opening sweep of Saint Mary's (Calif.). Jackson, who was cleared to play Monday night, went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI despite rarely swinging a bat the past two weeks.

Freshman left fielder Blake Dean raised his average to .417 with two more hits, and designated hitter Buzzy Haydel saw his hitting streak come to an end at six games.

Tulane starter Matt Goebel failed to earn the win after exiting in the fifth, but he allowed only two runs on two hits. Freshman right-hander Preston Claiborne (1-1) tossed 3.2 innings of effective relief to qualify for his first victory.

Claiborne and senior righty Daniel Latham held the Tigers to one run on three hits in the final 4.2 innings.

"I don't think we made a hard out the entire night," said Mainieri. "I wish I had a good explanation. I know the kids have practiced really hard. In practice, the kids are focused and they want to do well. We had some very, very feeble at-bats tonight."

Neither team was able to manufacture a hit until the third when Tulane went out in front 2-0. Simon belted a 3-1 Coleman offering into the left field bleachers for a solo homer. Following a double by third baseman Seth Henry, shortstop Cat Everett lined an RBI single in front of Jared Mitchell in center.

Simon extended the Green Wave lead to 4-0 in the fourth with a two-out, two-run single to centerfield. The four-run margin proved to be more than enough for Tulane pitching.

LSU cut the deficit to 4-2 on an RBI single from left fielder Blake Dean in the fourth and a sacrifice fly from shortstop Michael Hollander in the fifth.

However, it would be as close as the Tigers would get as the Green Wave put the game away with two more runs in the eighth courtesy of two LSU errors. Dyer reached third on a throwing error by catcher Robert Lara and came into score on a wild pitch.

Jackson added an RBI single in the eighth, but Latham blanked the Tigers in the ninth with a perfect frame.

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