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February 24, 2013

Rewind: LSU 13, SLU 1

Raph Rhymes and Mason Katz combined for seven hits and 11 runs batted in as LSU defeated Southeastern Louisiana 13-1 on Sunday afternoon at The Box.

LSU first inning - On Friday, Mark Laird singled with one out and advanced to third on a two-out single by Rhymes. Katz hit a three-run homer over the leftfield fence when the game resumed Sunday. JaCoby Jones singled, stole second and scored on a single by Alex Edward. LSU 4, SLU 0

LSU second inning - Laird doubled with one out. After Alex Bregman flied out, Rhymes had a run-scoring double off reliever Mason Klotz. Katz singled home Rhymes. LSU 6, SLU 0

LSU fourth inning - Christian Ibarra got a double when centerfielder Corey Bryan lost his fly ball in the sun. Chris Sciambra bunted Ibarra to third. Ibarra was thrown out trying to score on Laird's grounder to first base. After Bregman walked, Rhymes doubled home the two runners. LSU 8, SLU 0

SLU sixth inning - Aaron Haag singled and Jameon Fisher was hit by a pitch. Haag went to third on Gabe Woods' fly out and scored on a single by Ben Hernandez. LSU 8, SLU 1

LSU sixth inning - Laird singled and went to second on a passed ball by Sam Roberson. After Bregman flied out, Rhymes reached on an error by Woods on a grounder to second base. Katz doubled home Laird and Rhymes. LSU 10, SLU 1

LSU seventh inning - Chris Chinea had a leadoff single. After Tyler Moore popped out, Jared Foster singled. Following an Andrew Stevenson strikeout, Casey Yocom singled home Chinea and took second on the throw to the plate. Rhymes followed with a two-run single. LSU 13, SLU 1

Eighth inning - Chinea doubled with two out. Moore flied out to rightfield leaving Chinea at second base.

Rhymes was 4-for-5 with five runs batted in. The four hits matched his career high - the fourth time he has had that many hits in a game. Rhymes had two doubles for the sixth time in his career. Rhymes had three hits with runners in scoring position Sunday. He had just one such hit in the first six games. Rhymes had his third multiple-hit game of the season with two singles and the two doubles. Katz was 3-for-4 with six RBIs. Katz, the first batter when the game resumed, hit a three-run homer in the first. Katz had a run-scoring single in the second and a two-run double in the sixth. Katz set a career-high with his six RBIs. Katz' first-inning homer was his second of the season and the 19th of his career. Katz won LSU's suspended game against Stony Brook in last year's super-regional series with a RBI single in the bottom of the 12th.

Ryan Eades allowed one run and seven hits in six innings as he picked up his first victory of the season. Eades started off well Sunday by retiring the first right batters he faced. But, eight of the next 14 SLU batters reached base - six singles, one walk and one hit batter. Eades pitched out of trouble in both the fourth and fifth. Eades allowed singles by Haag and Fisher with two out in the fourth. He then got Woods to ground out to Ibarra at third base. In the fifth, SLU loaded the bases on singles by Hernandez and Ladd Rhodes and a walk. Eades got Harry Slade on a topper in front of the plate for the third out. Eades gave up a run in the sixth on a single by Haag, a hit batter and a single by Hernandez.

Four relievers allowed just two base-runners over the last three innings. Kevin Berry hit a batter in the seventh and Hunter Devall gave up a leadoff double to pinch-hitter Tanner Rainey in the eighth. Devall had one strikeout in his inning. Taylor Butler made his season debut in the ninth and got two ground ball outs. Chris Cotton, who had not pitched since the Tuesday victory against Lamar, got the final batter out on a ground ball.

The victory was LSU's 16th in a row against an in-state opponent. The last Louisiana team to defeat the Tigers was Northwestern State (5-2) on April 12, 2011. . .The Tigers had a season-high 19 hits. . .Five two-out hits drove in LSU's first eight runs. . . Ty Ross, who was 0-for-9 coming into the game, had two singles. . .Laird had three hits Sunday and eight in the three weekend games. Laird had two hits in the first four games. Laird scored four runs - one more than he had in the previous six games. . .Chinea recorded his first Tigers hit with a pinch-hit single in the seventh. He doubled one inning later. . .Jared Foster got his first hit of the year with a pinch-hit single also in the seventh. . .Sean McMullen didn't play this weekend due to coach's decision, according to Paul Mainieri. McMullen was in uniform for the three games. . . SLU starting pitcher Jordan Hymel gave up five hits to the seven batters he faced Sunday. . . Haag and Hernandez each had two hits for the Lions. . .There were no changes in the lineups for either team from Friday's game when it was suspended. The umpires were even the same. The teams played 13 minutes Friday. The game resumed in the bottom of the first with Laird at third and Rhymes at first with two out and Katz at the plate with a 1-1 count. The actual crowd was 6,953. The three weekend games - two against BYU and one against SLU - drew a total of 15,528 fans. LSU is 6-1, while SLU is 5-2. Both teams went 2-1 over the weekend.


Coach Paul Mainieri:
"I was really proud of our team for the way they bounced back after a tough loss last night. We showed what we can do when Katz and Rhymes hit. I analyzed everything with our team and figured out what had happened over the first six games last night. Looking at the team, what's wrong is you look at what our four and five-hole hitters (Rhymes and Katz) were doing. If that's what I have to worry about, I have nothing to worry about. Those guys have been hitting for three years. I know they are going to hit."

Mason Katz: "Raph and I are not going to hit to that extent every game. I called us both out after the game last night. We haven't been producing. Raph hadn't been getting two-out hits and today he gets three. It was really weird going up there to start the game. You go up thinking fast ball. But, he might not throw a fast ball since the count was 1-1 and there was a runner on third. I just wanted to put a good at-bat together. I took a curve ball and then he threw me a fast ball. I was really just trying to hit a ball up the middle."

Ryan Eades: "It was a little bit different for me starting after starting two days ago. "That was not something I had done before. I just had to be focused and be aggressive. It was nice to have a cushion. I knew it would be big for us to jump on them early. I felt good out there today. My fast ball was really good and I had a good downhill angle with my pitches. My curve was good. My changeup has to get better. I just tried to pitch as deep into the game as I could."

Raph Rhymes: "The home run by Mason was huge for him. A start like that was big for us. You can only say so much. Mason and I have to lead by example and by words. I had been struggling early on at the plate. Mason and I both realized that it was time to turn it on. We had a pretty good day today. It was huge for the veteran guys to come through."

Mark Laird: "I am just starting to settle in at the plate. I am getting more confident. I was more selective at the pitches I was swinging at this weekend. I was not just hacking away. Today the hitting was contagious. You see one person drive a ball and the next person drives a ball as well. We were able to string some hits together."

LSU will play its first road game on the season against Louisiana-Lafayette on Tuesday at 6 p.m. The Ragin Cajuns defeated Texas-San Antonio on Sunday to improve their record to 7-1. Cody Glenn will be the starting pitcher for the Tigers.



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