Junior left-hander Cody Glenn limited Southeastern Louisiana to one earned run in five innings Wednesday night, and second-ranked LSU broke a 2-2 tie with a four-run sixth inning as the Tigers posted a 7-3 win at Alumni Field.
The game was played in front of a stadium-record crowd of 3,747, as LSU won its 32nd consecutive game against a Louisiana school. The Tigers also increased their win streak in mid-week regular-season games to 34.
LSU (4-0) plays host to Virginia Tech at 7 p.m. Friday in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field. Southeastern (2-2) plays host to George Washington in a three-game series beginning at 1 p.m. Friday.
Glenn (1-0) threw 71 pitches over five innings, allowing three runs (one earned) on seven hits with one walk and three strikeouts. LSU relievers Nate Fury, Parker Bugg, Joe Broussard and Kurt McCune combined to blank the Lions over the final four innings.
SLU starter Sean Kennel (0-1) was charged with the loss as he surrendered five runs on five hits in 5.2 innings with one walk and three strikeouts.
“Our pitching was very effective again tonight, and I thought we played spectacular defense,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “We knew coming in that this game was going to be a real challenge in a tough environment, and I thought our players handled it well. Southeastern is a difficult team to beat that always plays us tough, and we were able earn a hard-fought victory.”
Southeastern grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first. Jacob Williams and Jesse Buratt knocked back-to-back singles to open the bottom of the first for the Lions. After a sacrifice bunt by Jameson Fisher, right fielder Andrew Godbold lined a single up the middle to score Williams.
LSU answered with a pair of runs in the top of the second. Chris Chinea doubled to left with one out and scored on Tyler Moore's two-out double to right-center. Jared Foster plated Moore with a single to left.
Kennel and Glenn settled in, holding the bats at bay over the next few innings. Following a leadoff single in the third, Kennel retired the next nine batters he faced.
The Lions tied the game, 2-2, in the fifth. Gabe Woods led off with a single up the middle, his second hit of the game, and moved up to second on a passed ball by Chinea, the LSU catcher. With one out, Williams produced his second single of the contest to drive in Woods.
As was the case earlier in the game, LSU responded immediately. Mark Laird drew a walk, the first issued by Kennel, to lead off the top of the sixth. Ahead in the count, 1-2, Kennel plunked Alex Bregman to put a pair on base. Connor Hale followed with a single up the middle to load the bases.
Kennel then uncorked a wild pitch, allowing Laird to score from third. Fisher chased the ball down at the backstop, but did not have a play. Believing that time has been called, Fisher tossed the wet ball out of play. Bregman then scored from third, and Hale moved over to take his place, sparking a lengthy discussion at the plate.
Kennel rebounded to retire the next two hitters, but the Tigers would later score on a Foster RBI single and a balk by reliever Matt Pittari to take a 6-2 lead.
Southeastern pushed across its final run in the bottom of the sixth. Fisher, the last batter Glenn faced, was hit by a pitch. Reliever Nate Fury walked Godbold, the first hitter he faced, before Kevin Carr laid down a sacrifice bunt to move both runners into scoring position.
With two outs, Brett Hoffman chopped a grounder to Bregman at short, but a high throw allowed Hoffman to reach and Fisher to score.
An RBI single by Hale in the LSU ninth accounted for the final margin.