The New Orleans Privateers (13-22) gave LSU (27-9) starter Jordan Nicholson a bit of trouble early, scoring a pair of runs on three hits to take the early 2-0 lead in the second.
By the third, Nicholson’s night was done.
No worry for the Tigers as right-hander Daniel Bradshaw (2-0) stepped in and tossed five scoreless innings and allowed only two hits to earn the win.
“I thought the key to the game was Bradshaw and the five innings he gave us,” head coach Paul Mainieri said. “Not only did he give us five shutout innings, but they were very efficient innings. He threw only 45 pitches, which was tremendous.”
The Tigers gave their arms room to work in the third frame, recording four runs off six hits to take a 4-2 lead.
Blake Dean homered in his third straight game, driving a three-run shot off of Privateer starter Jake Henderson over the right field fence.
Henderson went four innings and gave up six earned runs on ten hits in the loss.
The Tigers attacked again in the bottom of the fifth to go up 7-2, this time courtesy of three walks, a D.J. LeMahieu single, a Tyler Hanover fielder’s choice and an error.
Things seemed all but wrapped up by the final frame, yet the ninth would see UNO make their presence felt more than they had all night.
Pitcher Craig Schnell and catcher Kyle Maldonado each recorded bases-loaded walks to bring home a pair of runs, putting the Tigers’ backs against the wall as the visitors crept back into the game.
Second baseman Tyrone Wethers singled in two more to pull the Privateers to 8-6 before LSU right-hander Paul Bertuccini entered the game to put a stop to the slide.
“We had other guys ready to go in the ninth, but it was the best situation for Bertuccini,” said Mainieri. “[Shane] Riedie kind of lost it for a second, so it was good to see [Bertuccini] come in and close it out.”
The Tigers will be back in action Wednesday night against Nicholls State at 6:30 p.m. at Alex Box Stadium.
“I am going to throw Chris Matulis,” Mainieri said. “He needs to get back on the horse, so it will be nice to see him back in a starting role. I think he feels a little more comfortable there, so he should pitch well.”