Two-run singles by Mason Katz and Andrew Stevenson highlighted a five-run first inning as LSU defeated Southern 11-2 in the Wally Pontiff, Jr. Classic at Zephyr Field in Metairie on Tuesday night.
HOW THEY SCORED
LSU first inning - With one out, Mark Laird walked and Alex Bregman was hit by a pitch. An infield single by Raph Rhymes loaded the bases. Katz singled home Laird and Bregman. Katz and Rhymes moved to second and third on Tyler Moore's ground out to second. After JaCoby Jones walked, Stevenson singled home Rhymes and Katz. Michael Barash drove in Jones with a single. LSU 5, SOUTHERN 0
Southern second inning - Kevin Williams tripled and scored on D.J. Wesley's sacrifice fly to centerfield. LSU 5, SOUTHERN 1
Southern third inning - With one out, Tyler Kirksey singled and stole second. After Marcus Tomlin walked and Derrick Hopkins flied out to leftfield, Jose DeLaTorre singled home Kirksey. LSU 5, SOUTHERN 2
LSU fourth inning - With two out, Barash walked and Sean McMullen singled. Laird reached on an error by the shortstop Tomlin. Bregman drove home Barash, McMullen and Laird with a triple. LSU 8, SOUTHERN 2
LSU sixth inning - Barash doubled and McMullen walked. Laird doubled home Barash and McMullen. LSU 10, SOUTHERN 2
LSU eighth inning - Alex Edward singled. After Jared Foster popped out to second, singles by Casey Yocom and Chris Sciambra loaded the bases. Edward scored on Chris Chinea's sacrifice fly to rightfield. LSU 11, SOUTHERN 2
LSU WASTED SCORING CHANCES
Fifth inning - Katz and Moore singled. Jones hit into a 4-6-3 double play. Katz was stranded at third as Stevenson flied out to leftfield.
Seventh inning - Chinea walked. After Moore popped out, Jones singled. Stevenson forced Jones at second base and Barash grounded out to shortstop to end the inning.
LSU HITTING STARS
Katz and Bregman once again had the key hits for the Tigers. Katz, who extended his hitting streak to 13 games, gave LSU the lead with a two-run single in the first. Bregman, who extended his hitting streak to 21 games, put the Tigers on top 8-2 with a bases-loaded triple in the fourth. Katz also singled in the fifth. Bregman, who was hit by a pitch in the first, had no other hits.
LSU STARTING PITCHER
Making his first appearance of the season, Kurt McCune allowed two runs and three hits in three innings. McCune walked two and struck out three. Southern scored single runs in the second and third innings. McCune avoided a big inning in the third by getting Williams to ground out with two on and two out. It was announced before the game that McCune was only going to pitch three innings, so he received the victory.
Brent Bonvillain, who didn't pitch in the Kentucky series, threw three shutout innings. He allowed one hit and struck out seven. Bonvillain ran into trouble in the sixth when he issued one walk and hit two batters. Bonvillain got Fernando Morales to line out to Bregman at shortstop to end the inning. Nate Fury had a 1-2-3 seventh with one strikeout. Mitch Sewald made his first appearance of the year and worked the eighth and ninth innings. Sewald allowed two hits - a single in the eighth and a double in the ninth. Sewald struck out one.
Coach Paul Mainieri gave two regulars - third baseman Christian Ibarra and catcher Ty Ross - the night off. Moore replaced Ibarra at third base and Barash was the catcher. Moore was 1-for-5, while Barash was 2-for-3 with a RBI. Barash also walked once and scored two runs. . .Bregman has six triples. Only four LSU players had more than four triples in a season - Todd Walker (11 in 1993), Roger Sigler (8 in 1954), Mark Howie (7 in 1983) and Ryan Schimpf (7 in 2008). . .Katz has 57 RBIs. Rhymes led the Tigers in RBIs with 53 in 2012, while Mikie Mahtook led the team in RBIs with 56 in 2011. . .Rhymes extended his hitting streak to five games with his infield hit in the first. . .Laird extended his hitting streak to five games with his two-run double in the sixth. . .LSU had two runners thrown out at third base - Stevenson in the first and Laird in the sixth. . .The Tigers were 7-for-15 with runners in scoring position. . .Katz and Barash were the only LSU players with two hits. . .Edward, Yocom and Sciambra came off the bench to collect singles in the eighth. . .Southern starting pitcher Camilo Godoy gave up nine runs and nine hits in five innings. . .The Tigers have won 22 consecutive games against Louisiana schools . . .LSU has won its last six Wally Pontiff, Jr. Classic games - UNO in 2008, UL-Lafayette in 2009, Southern Mississippi in 2010-12 and Southern in 2013. The Tigers have won 13 games in a row - their longest winning streak in four years. LSU won 14 consecutive games in 2009. LSU is 31-2, while Southern is 12-13.
FROM THE LOCKER ROOM
Coach Paul Mainieri
"This was a tremendous experience for our players competing in front of our great New Orleans fans in a Triple-A ball park for a wonderful cause. We played with a lot of intensity early and I liked the approach we had at the plate to score those five first-inning runs. It was great to see Kurt (McCune) back on the mound again. He delivered an excellent outing that he can build upon. Brent Bonvillain was dominant on the mound in his three innings with seven strikeouts. That helped us stretch the lead midway through the game."
LSU will play Southern at The Box on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. Mainieri is undecided on the Tigers' starting pitcher.