LSU took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning when catcher Micah Gibbs launched a solo homer, his third dinger of the year, against Georgia starter Trevor Holder.
LSU extended the lead to 5-0 in the third as second baseman Ryan Schimpf unloaded a three-run homer and first baseman Sean Ochinko added a solo shot.
While the Tigers built the five-run advantage, Ranaudo was able to silence the potent Georgia bats.
“I thought Anthony gave us another great outing,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri, “and we were finally able to give him the opportunity to pitch with a lead. He got into some trouble with walks, but he made big pitches when he had to get out of those jams.”
Ranaudo (3-2) allowed just four hits in six innings while recording five walks and 10 strikeouts. Ranaudo is the SEC strikeouts leader with 70 Ks on the year.
LSU scored three more runs in the seventh against Georgia relievers Justin Earls and Will Harvil. Ochinko delivered a two-run single and centerfielder Leon Landry provided an RBI groundout to give the Tigers an 8-0 lead.
Ranaudo was lifted after the sixth inning for right-hander Louis Coleman, who blanked the Bulldogs in the seventh but surrendered a solo homer to Georgia catcher Bryce Massanari in the eighth.
Coleman started the ninth by striking out pinch-hitter Lyle Allen before yielding the mound to reliever Jordan Nicholson. Georgia touched Nicholson for three runs, including an RBI single by first baseman Rich Poythress and a two-run homer by Massanari.
Right-hander Paul Bertuccini recorded the final out for LSU, striking out rightfielder Chase Davidson with a runner at second base.
Holder (5-2) was charged with the loss, as he surrendered five runs (four earned) on six hits in six innings with four walks and five strikeouts.
“I thought we swung the bats well tonight against one of the best pitchers in the SEC,” Mainieri said. “This was a good win for us, but there are still two more left to play. We’ve got to get ready to go again (Saturday).”
The teams will meet in Game 2 of the series at Noon CST today. Austin Ross is expected to get the start for LSU.