Freshman left-hander Jordan Rittiner allowed only one earned run in six innings, and centerfielder Leon Landry went 3-for-4 with two triples, as No.1 LSU topped Brown, 9-2, Sunday afternoon in Alex Box Stadium.
LSU is 11-0 for the first time since 1997, when the Tigers won their first 19 games of the year. Sunday’s win was LSU’s 17th straight home victory, dating back to last season.
Rittiner (2-0) threw six innings, including five shutout frames and allowed only one earned run in the second start of his LSU career. Brown starter Rob Wilcox (0-1) was charged with the loss after throwing 5.2 innings and allowing six runs on eight hits.
Landry’s three hits paced LSU offensively, while second baseman Tyler Hanover finished 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored to supplement the Tigers’ offense.
“I don’t know if we would have won this game today without Leon Landry,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “He had a great day, and he really sparked us when we kind of slept-walked through the first few innings. I was worried that after an emotional win last night (3-2 over Pepperdine) we might be a little sluggish early, but we were finally able to generate some offense and build a lead.”
The Bears (1-3) took an early 2-0 lead in the second inning when third baseman Cody Slaughter singled to right-center field, scoring first baseman Pete Greskoff. The next batter, Nick Punal blooped a single into shallow right, scoring Josh Feit.
LSU got on the board in the fourth inning when Blake Dean ripped a double off the wall in right and later scored on an RBI triple by Landry that pulled the Tigers within one at 2-1.
The Tigers tied the game, 2-2, in the fifth when Austin Nola hit a soft ground ball to second allowing Beau Didier to score from third. Didier singled earlier in the inning.
LSU broke the game open in the sixth inning when Landry laced his second triple of the game, scoring Hanover, who singled one batter earlier, to give the Tigers their first lead of the game, 3-2. Landry became the first Tiger to hit two triples in a game since former LSU infielder DJ LeMahieu accomplished the feat on Feb. 22, 2009 against Villanova.
The next batter, Mikie Mahtook, belted his second homer of the season, a two-run shot that extended the Tigers’ lead to 5-2. The Tigers increased their lead to 6-2 later in the inning when Nola singled to right, scoring catcher Grant Dozar from second.
In the seventh inning, Dozar crushed a two-out double, scoring Hanover and Mahtook to make the score 8-2 in favor of the Tigers. Pinch hitter Johnny Dishon roped a double to right and scored on a sacrifice fly by Hanover in the eighth to give LSU a 9-2 advantage.
Mitch Mormann, Paul Bertuccini and Matty Ott combined to shutout the Bears in the final three innings while allowing two hits.
“I’m pleased that we’re 11-0; you can’t do much better than that in 11 games,” Mainieri said. “At the same time, we know we have a long way to go before we can feel satisfied. We haven’t won anything yet.”
The Tigers (11-0) will host UL-Monroe in a mid-week contest beginning Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in Alex Box Stadium. LSU will then travel to Shreveport to take on Northwestern State Wednesday at 6 p.m. before returning home to play host to Kansas in a three-game series beginning Friday at 7 p.m.