LSU’s assignment for this game was easy, score runs. The Tigers only scored 16 runs in their last five games. The Tigers earned an A on their assignment as they scored seven runs on eight hits to beat the Tulane Green wave 7-5 on a chilly night in Alex Box.
The Tigers ended their five-game slide and also ended Tulane’s five-game win streak. It was a welcome relief for the Tigers. “It’s real important to break any losing streak. It stinks being in one, so this was a great win for us,” said LSU reliever Daniel Bradshaw.
Things got rough for the Tigers’ starting pitcher Ryan Byrd in the second after giving up three straight hits that lead to Tulane’s first run of the game. Coach Mainieri pulled Byrd after 1.1 inning of work and turned the game over to Austin Ross. Ross gave up a hit to Scott Powell that scored two runs and gave the Green Wave a 3-0 lead. Powell stole second and Ross issued a walk to Scelfo, and hit the next batter on the first pitch, loading the bases for Andrew Rodgers. Rodgers hit a line drive into shallow center field where Leon Landry made a beautiful sliding catch. Landry threw over to second to double up Scelfo who stood confused at third to retire the side and end the bases loaded Tulane threat.
The LSU second was led off with a Matt Gaudet hit. Tulane’s starter Jonathan Garrett walked Landry and Derek Helenihi moved the runners over with an infield chopper. Garrett issued another walk to DJ LeMahieu to load the bases for Ryan Schimpf. Garrett hit Schimpf with a pitch to score Gaudet and cut into Tulane’s lead. Michael Hollander grounded out to shortstop to end the threat and left the bases loaded for the Tigers.
The Tiger third started off with a double to right field for Blake Dean. Gaudet drove a pitch right up the middle that scored Dean to make it a 3-2 ballgame.
Tulane got runners to first and second with one out in the fifth, when Nolan Cain got Warren McFadden to ground into what should have been an inning-ending double play. LeMahieu’s throw pulled Matt Clark off the bag in what should have been runner interference. The runner at first was called safe, and Scelfo scored from second. LSU’s Paul Mainieri argued the call for some time, before the home plate umpire broke up the meeting. The inning ended with Tulane leading 4-2.
The Green Wave would score again in the sixth when Scelfo singled to drive home Rod Segedin. The run would be Tulane’s last of the night, giving them a 5-2 lead.
The sixth inning would be the inning the Tigers have been searching for since the beginning of March. Leon Landry hit a slow ground ball to the shortstop, but the speedy Landry made it to first safely. Helenihi hit a double, advancing Landry to third. Garrett issued yet another walk to Gibbs, filling the bases with Tigers before giving up his second free run to the Tigers when he walked LeMahieu. Schimpf drilled a base-clearing triple giving the Tigers their first lead at 6-5. Hollander slammed a double to score Schimpf and add to the Tigers lead 7-5.
Former LSU Head Coach Skip Bertman would often talk about the importance of “timely hitting”. It showed for the Tigers who were able to beat the Green Wave despite being out hit. Tulane scattered 10 hits and five runs, but Green Wave pitching gave up six walks and only six strikeouts.
At the plate, Tulane second baseman Anthony Scelfo led the team with two hits in three at bats with an RBI and a strike out.
Designated hitter Matt Gaudet led the Tigers with two hits in four at bats, an RBI and a strike out. Second baseman Ryan Schimpf finished the game with one hit in three at bats, the three RBI triple, four RBIs and one strike out.
LSU improved to 12-6 overall and Tulane dropped to 13-6. The game lasted three hours and eighteen minutes, the paid attendance was 7,820. The Tigers return to action on Friday night with a three-game home series against SEC opponent Arkansas while Tulane hosts Sacred Heart.