Tigers salvage series with 5-2 win Sunday

Brian Wilson pitched seven innings of shutout ball, and Ivan Naccarata hit a two-run home run to pace LSU to a 5-2 victory over Houston on Sunday afternoon at Alex Box Stadium, giving the Fighting Tigers and the Cougars a split of the two-game series. <br><br> LSU (6-4) is off until Friday, when the Tigers open a three-game series against Long Beach State in what will be LSU's first visit to California. Friday's series opener is set for 8:30 p.m. CST.

Wilson, who gave up five runs and 11 hits last Sunday in a 6-4 loss to Kansas last Sunday, retired the side in order in four of the first seven innings and at one point retired 10 consecutive Houston batters.  Wilson finished with no earned runs allowed and no walks while striking out five and scattering six singles.


Houston finally got on the board in the eighth.  Pinch hitter Greg Buchanan reached on Aaron Hill's second error of the game, and back-to-back singles by Gabe Lucas and Hyung Cho scored Buchanan. 


Bo Pettit, whose turn in the rotation was wiped out when Friday's game was canceled by rain, relieved Wilson and immediately walked Brett Cooley to load the bases. 


Houston (3-6) scored its second run on a sacrifice fly by Stuart Musselwhite, but Pettit fanned Thanos Papavasiliou and Adam Bluhm to leave the Tigers with a three-run lead. 


Prior to the eighth inning, the Cougars could get only one runner to third base, and that was in the first inning when Houston had runners on the corners with two out, but Musselwhite grounded out


Houston All-American Brad Sullivan took the loss to fall to 0-3 on the season, giving up four runs (two earned) on four hits with three walks and three strikeouts.  Sullivan's last victory came in game one of last year's NCAA super regional against Texas.


Sullivan retired the first six LSU batters in order over the first and second innings, but to start the third, Bruce Sprowl lifted a high fly ball to the right field fence that came down to the left of Houston right fielder Cooley, and by the time Cooley retrieved the, Sprowl was on third with a triple.


Will Harris broke the scoreless one batter later by lifting a sacrifice fly to deep center field, allowing Sprowl to trot home from third.


Ivan Naccarata led off the LSU fourth with an infield hit deep in the hole at shortstop, and Naccarata ended up on second when Stuart Musselwhite's ill-advised throw sailed over the LSU dugout.  Back-to-back fly balls by Aaron Hill and Blake Gill scored Naccarata for a 2-0 Tiger lead.


Naccarata, who has hit safely in LSU's last seven games, doubled the Tiger lead to 4-0 when he launched his first career home run to right center field.  LSU added another run in the seventh when Dustin Weaver singled home Harris, who led off the inning with a double.

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