A pair of RBI by catcher Micah Gibbs and five shutout innings by the LSU bullpen led the fourth-ranked Tigers to a 4-3 victory over UL-Lafayette Wednesday night in Alex Box Stadium.
The Tigers (17-3) have won seven of their last 10 meetings with the Cajuns (11-10) since 2000 and lead the all-time series 46-22.
LSU improved to 6-0 in one-run games this season, and the Tigers extended their win streak over Louisiana opponents to 12 straight games, dating back to last season.
Along with Gibbs’ two RBI, the LSU offense was led by a pair of doubles by second baseman Tyler Hanover, as well as two hits by shortstop Austin Nola.
Junior right-hander Mitch Mormann (2-0) earned the victory for LSU after throwing 1.2 innings and allowing no runs and one hit. The LSU bullpen featured six relievers over the final six innings that combined for only one run on five hits.
“I thought our pitching plan worked very well tonight,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “We were able to give several guys some work and have them ready for this weekend at Tennessee. Offensively, we certainly weren’t a juggernaut, but we did hit several balls hard into the teeth of the wind, and ULL made some outstanding plays on defense.”
Sophomore right-hander Matty Ott earned his eighth save of the season after he struck out Cajun right fielder Matt Goulas to end the game with the tying run on third base. UL-Lafayette right-hander Dayton Marze (1-2) was charged with the loss after allowing two runs on two hits in two innings of relief.
The Tigers took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning when Trey Watkins led off with a single and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Blake Dean. The next batter, Gibbs, singled to the right side of the infield, allowing Leon Landry to score from third. LSU led 2-0 at that point.
The Cajuns tied the score, 2-2, in the third inning with a two-run homer off the bat of second baseman Jordan Poirrier. The homer was Poirrier’s sixth of the year.
LSU broke the 2-2 tie in the bottom of the sixth when Hanover reached first safely on a fielder’s choice, allowing Gibbs to score from third putting the Tigers up 3-2.
The Tigers extended their lead to 4-2 in the seventh when Gibbs crushed a two-out double off the wall in right field to score Dean from first base. The RBI was Gibbs’ second of the game and 20th of the season.
UL-Lafayette pinch hitter Jon Masch reached first safely in the top of the ninth on a fielder’s choice off Ott that scored pinch runner Trask Switzenburg to pull the Cajuns with one at 4-3. UL-Lafayette was able to advance the tying run to third base before Ott struck out Goulas to end the Cajuns’ rally.
LSU will be on the road for the first time this weekend when its travels to Knoxville to take on Tennessee in a three-game series beginning Friday at 6 p.m. CT. Friday’s game will be televised by CSS across the southeastern United States, and it can be seen in Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Lafayette on Cox cable channel 4.
The LSU-Tennessee game Friday can also be seen online on ESPN360.com.