Tigers avoid the sweep

Third baseman Chris Jackson collected a career-high four hits, and junior right-hander Jared Bradford notched his fifth win with seven strong innings as LSU salvaged the series finale with Auburn, 10-1, on Easter Sunday at Alex Box Stadium.

LSU (18-15-1, 4-7-1 SEC) snapped a three-game losing streak and posted 10 hits for the second straight game.

Auburn (23-12, 3-9) committed five errors -- three by catcher Josh Donaldson -- which led to three unearned runs. The Plainsmen had already secured the series with wins on Friday and Saturday.

LSU plays host to Mississippi Valley State at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday before concluding a seven-game homestand against No. 10 Ole Miss next weekend.

Live streaming video and audio are available to members of the Geaux Zone on www.LSUsports.net.

Bradford (5-2) responded as he has all season when called upon by LSU head coach Paul Mainieri. The Hueytown, Ala., native tossed seven innings, limiting Auburn to one run on six hits while walking one and striking out nine.

"Today was as must win a game as there possibly could be in a season," said Mainieri. "We just needed to go out there today and play better and win. Jared Bradford was the answer. He has answered the call every time this year.

"When your backs are against the wall, you expect your veteran players to step forward. That was what Bradford did today on the mound, and that is what Chris Jackson did in the field and at the plate."

Auburn starter Justin Bristow (1-3) was tagged for five runs on five hits in 3.1 innings of work. He walked two and struck out one before leaving in the fourth.

Jackson, who was making his first start of the year at third base, went 4-for-5 with a run and an RBI. Centerfielder Jared Mitchell scored three runs, and designated hitter Blake Dean extended hit hitting streak to 14 games with a two-run double in the sixth.

"When Jackson is swinging the bat the way he is capable of swinging it, he just adds such a boost to our team," said Mainieri. "That is what I expected to happen all year, but he has had some bad luck with injuries. I thought he swung the bat well all weekend." 

LSU took its first lead of the weekend with a run in the first on an RBI sacrifice fly from right fielder Jason Lewis, who was making his eighth start of the year.

Shortstop Michael Hollander increased the advantage to 2-0 with a leadoff solo homer into the left field bleachers in the third. Hollander's fourth homer of the year came on a 2-1 offering from Bristow.

LSU put the game out of reach with four runs in the fourth and four runs in the sixth. Catcher Robert Lara singled up the middle to start the fourth, and left fielder Ryan Schimpf reached on an error by second baseman Robert Brooks.

Second baseman Chris McGhee followed with an opposite field, two-run triple into the right field corner, scoring Lara and Schimpf. It was McGhee's first career triple and the eighth by LSU this season.

Jackson contributed the second of his four hits with a run-scoring single. He was erased attempting to steal. However, Mitchell then doubled to right field and stole second. He came in to score when he stole third and advanced home on a wild throw by Donaldson to cap the four-run frame.

Auburn got on the board in the top of the sixth after Bradford fired 5.2 scoreless innings. Centerfielder Bruce Edwards singled to start the inning, and four batters later, third baseman Joseph Sanders made it a 6-1 contest with an RBI single up the middle.

LSU answered the run with four more runs in the sixth. Hollander and Mitchell were hit by pitches, and Jackson singled to load the bases. Dean delivered with a clutch two-run double off the base of the right field wall. First baseman Sean Ochinko added an RBI sacrifice fly, and Lara gave the Tigers a 10-1 cushion with a single to center.

Bradford left after firing a scoreless seventh. It marked the fifth time in his six starts that he had gone six or more quality innings.

Freshman T.J. Forrest inherited a 10-1 lead in the eighth and finished off the final two frames, allowing no runs on three hits. He fought his way out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the eighth without surrendering a run.

LSU 10, Auburn 1 (Apr 08, 2007 at Baton Rouge, La.)

Auburn.............. 000 001 000  -  1  9  5      (23-12, 3-9 SEC)
LSU................. 101 404 00X  - 10 10  1      (18-15-1, 4-7-1 SEC)

Pitchers: Auburn - Justin Bristow; Bryan Woodall(4); Josh Blake(6); Chris Dennis(6).
LSU - Jared Bradford; T.J. Forrest(8).
Win-Jared Bradford(5-2)  Loss-Justin Bristow(1-3)  T-2:52  A-6757
HR LSU - Michael Hollander (4).
Actual attendance: 687
Woodall faced 2 batters in the 6th.

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