LAKE CHARLES, La. - First baseman Mason Katz collected four hits and four RBI Wednesday night to lead LSU to a 19-10 victory over McNeese State at Cowboy Diamond.
The Tigers improved to 7-2 with the victory, while McNeese dropped to 2-6. LSU opens a three-game series with Dartmouth at 7 p.m. Friday in Alex Box Stadium. Sophomore right-hander Kevin Gausman will start the game on the mound for the Tigers.
Katz, who has reached base in 12 consecutive plate appearances, produced a three-run homer and a double to pace the Tigers' 16-hit attack.
Freshman right-hander Aaron Nola (1-0) earned the win in his first collegiate start, working five innings and limiting the Cowboys to three runs on six hits with one walk and six strikeouts.
"I was very proud of the way Aaron pitched tonight in a new environment," Mainieri said. "He showed a lot of poise and gave us the outing we needed to win this game."
McNeese State starter Caleb Miller (1-2), the first of eight Cowboy pitchers, was charged with the loss as he allowed nine runs on eight hits in 6.1 innings with four walks and three strikeouts.
LSU grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning against McNeese starter Caleb Miller as Rhymes delivered an RBI single and shortstop Austin Nola produced a run-scoring groundout.
The Tigers expanded the lead to 5-0 in the second when Katz launched a three-run homer, his first dinger of the year.
McNeese State struck for three runs in the fifth against Nola as centerfielder Andrew Guillotte ripped a two-run double and catcher Renny Weber added an RBI groundout.
The Cowboys added a run in the sixth to narrow the deficit to 5-4 before LSU exploded for five runs in the seventh to take control of the game. Hanover's two-RBI double highlighted the rally, which gave the Tigers a comfortable 10-4 lead.
LSU added eight runs in the ninth inning against five different McNeese pitchers. Hanover and pinch hitter Evan Powell each ripped two-run doubles to pace the uprising.
LSU 19, McNeese State 10 (Feb 29, 2012 at Lake Charles, La.)
LSU........................ 230 000 518 - 19 16 2 (7-2)
McNeese State....... 000 031 105 - 10 14 2 (2-6)
Pitchers: LSU - Aaron Nola; Chris Cotton(6); Brent Bonvillain(7); Joey Bourgeois(7);
Nick Goody(8); Nick Rumbelow(9) and Ty Ross; Jordy Snikeris.
McNeese State - Miller,Caleb; Ware,Blake(7); Sampere,Ryan(8); Parke,Tyler(9); Rowland,Ross(9); Clemens,Michael(9);
Carroll,Dillon(9); Erickson,Tyler(9) and Weber,Renny.
Win-Aaron Nola(1-0) Loss-Miller,Caleb(1-2) T-3:07 A-2289
HR LSU - Mason Katz (1).
HR MCN - Guillotee,Andrew (1); Drake,Taylor (2).
Bonvillain faced 3 batters in the 7th.
Parke,T. faced 4 batters in the 9th.
Rowland,R. faced 2 batters in the 9th.
Carroll,D. faced 2 batters in the 9th.