Tigers tame the Lions

Sophomore left-hander Ryan Byrd allowed only one earned run in five innings, and freshman reliever Matt Jackson fired three scoreless frames as LSU edged Southeastern Louisiana, 5-3, on Wednesday night at Alex Box Stadium.

The Tigers (14-9), who put the leadoff batter on base in every inning, won for the seventh time in 10 games.

SLU (16-7) committed four costly errors that led to two unearned runs. Two of the Lions' three runs were the result of two LSU errors.

The Tigers play host to Kentucky in their Southeastern Conference home-opening series this weekend. Game times are 7 p.m. Friday, 4 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. Sunday.

Live audio and streaming video of all three contests are available to members of the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net.

LSU freshman Ryan Schimpf continued his hot hitting, going 2-for-3 with a triple and an RBI. Schimpf, who was making his first start in left field, is batting .500 (5-for-10) in his last four games.

Designated hitter Blake Dean added two hits, second baseman Chris McGhee extended his hitting streak to four games and right fielder Steven Waguespack homered for the third time this season. As a team, LSU has homered in six of its last seven games.

Byrd (2-0) scattered five hits and issued three runs -- one earned -- while walking none and striking out three in a five-inning start.

Jackson helped the Tigers maintain a one-run lead with three brilliant innings of relief. The Haughton, La., native retired all nine batters he faced and struck out two between the sixth and the eighth.

"I thought Ryan Byrd pitched great, but I thought Matt Jackson was the story of the game really," said LSU head coach Paul Mainieri. "Matt Jackson came in and threw three goose eggs for us in those key innings."

Waguespack gave the Tigers an early lead with a leadoff homer in the second, but an error by shortstop Michael Hollander allowed the Lions to tie the game in the third. Third baseman Casey Summerlin reached to start the frame on Hollander's error, and two batters later, first baseman Dillon Sudduth laid down an RBI bunt single.

LSU quickly responded with two runs in the bottom of the frame by capitalizing on an SLU error. Schimpf laced his first career triple into the right field corner to start the inning, and centerfielder Jared Mitchell beat out an infield RBI single. Waguespack was credited with an RBI on a misplayed ball by second baseman Richard Imhoff.

The Lions once again knotted the score in the fifth courtesy of another Hollander error. Shortstop Scott Viator singled, Imhoff executed a sacrifice bunt and Sudduth grounded a ball off Hollander's glove into centerfield. Viator scored, and two batters later designated hitter Chase Burch provided an RBI sacrifice fly.

SLU's next error allowed LSU to break the 3-3 tie in the bottom of the fifth. Dean led off the inning with a single, and he later scored when Viator misplayed J.T. Wise's grounder.

Jackson prevented any attempt at an SLU comeback as he was perfect after relieving Byrd to start the sixth. Schimpf provided LSU with an insurance run in the eighth on a sacrifice fly, scoring McGhee.

"The kids that have some failure in the games and then bounce back to do something positive, that shows me a lot of character," said Mainieri. "I think you can win with those kinds of kids, and that is why I try to look at the positive aspect of things."

Sophomore right-hander Louis Coleman, who entered the contest ranked second in the SEC in saves, pitched around a walk and a single to record his fourth save of the season.

LSU 5, Southeastern La. 3 (Mar 21, 2007 at Baton Rouge, La.)
Southeastern La..... 001 020 000  -  3  6  4      (16-7)
LSU...................... 012 010 01X  -  5  8  2      (14-9)
Pitchers: Southeastern La. - Treadaway, P.J.; Velez, Andrew(5); White, Phil(6); Rugg, Robert(8); Collins, Ryan(8).
LSU - Ryan Byrd; Matt Jackson(6); Louis Coleman(9).
Win-Ryan Byrd(2-0)  Save-Louis Coleman(4)  Loss-Treadaway, P.J.(0-2)  T-2:46  A-7320
HR LSU - Steven Waguespack (3).
Actual attendance: 2,449
Treadaway, P faced 2 batters in the 5th.

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