BATON ROUGE, La.-- No. 3 LSU exploded for four runs in the third inning Wednesday night, and seven pitchers allowed just four hits to propel the Tigers to a 4-3 victory over Southeastern Louisiana in Alex Box Stadium.
LSU improved to 33-9 on the year and SLU dropped to 28-14. The Tigers will play host to Georgia this weekend in a three-game SEC series in Alex Box Stadium. First pitch for Game 1 is set for 7 p.m. Friday, Game 2 begins at 6:30 p.m. Saturday and Game 3 starts at 1 p.m. Sunday.
LSU leftfielder Raph Rhymes raised his hitting streak to eight games with a fifth-inning double, marking his third hit streak of at least eight games this season. He also drove in his 45th run on the year on a sacrifice fly. Rhymes was 1-for-3 on the night and is currently batting .496 on the year.
First baseman Tyler Moore added a pair of RBI for the Tigers, and shortstop Austin Nola scored a run and plated another on a double.
Brent Bonvillain (3-0) picked up the victory for LSU after entering the game in the fourth inning. The left-hander fired two innings, allowed no hits and struck out four.
LSU starter Joe Broussard struck out six and permitted one run (one earned) on two hits. Closer Nick Goody earned his seventh save of the season with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
"We only scored in one inning, but we had some great at-bats to give us the lead," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "I would have liked to have seen us generate more at the plate, but I thought all of our pitchers threw pretty well. Broussard set the tone with six strikeouts in three innings, and the relievers came in and did a nice job."
SLU starter Josh Janway (2-3) was charged with the loss after allowing two runs (two earned) on four hits in 2.1 innings of work.
Southeastern Louisiana scored the game's first run in the top of the opening frame. Brock Hebert scored on a wild pitch after drawing a two-out walk.
LSU's bats woke up the second time through the order and put four runs on the board. Second baseman JaCoby Jones and center fielder Arby Fields connected on consecutive one-out singles that chased Janway. Reliever Tanner Rainey walked right fielder Mason Katz to load the bases.
Rhymes tied the game with a sacrifice fly to right that plated Jones. Nola drove home another run with his double down the left field line. Moore added two more with a single up the middle that scored Katz and Nola.
SLU narrowed the LSU lead in the top of the sixth. Ben Hernandez led off the inning with a single, stole second and scored from second on a wild pitch. In the frame, Rhymes took away an extra base hit with a leaping catch at the warning track.
The Lions narrowed the margin to 4-3 in the top of the eighth. Kurt McCune forced consecutive ground out, but walked Hernandez to keep the inning alive. Nick Rumbelow relieved McCune and Hebert greeted him with an RBI triple to center. Hebert was tagged out at home by LSU catcher Ty Ross trying to score on a pitch in the dirt.