BATON ROUGE -- First baseman Mason Katz reached base for the 17th consecutive plate appearance Friday night and scored four runs as No. 13 LSU (8-2) posted an 8-4 win over Dartmouth (0-1) in the first game of a three-game series at Alex Box Stadium.
Game 2 is slated to begin at 2 p.m. tomorrow with Ryan Eades (1-1) taking the mound for LSU.
Kevin Gausman (3-0) displayed his gutsy side by earning the victory without his best stuff. The sophomore pitched 6.1 innings, allowing four runs (three earned) and struck out six.
Dartmouth starter Kyle Hunter, who allowed three runs on eight hits through five innings, challenged the Tigers. LSU connected on five runs against reliever Louis Concato (0-1) in the sixth and seven innings.
Katz went 3-for-3 with two walks, raising his average to .548 through 10 games while blasting his second home run on the year. The NCAA record for consecutive times reaching base safely is 18 by Shaun Larkin of Cal State Northridge in 2002.
"Mason Katz has been a real inspiration for our entire team, and I feel like out entire lineup is swinging the bat pretty well right now," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "This was a very competitive, well-played ball game tonight, and I was very proud of the way responded to the challenge Dartmouth presented to us.
"Dartmouth swung the bats as well as any Northern team I've seen playing for the first time outdoors," Mainieri said. "We are definitely going to have to be at our best all weekend."
LSU struck first in the bottom half of the opening frame. Katz knocked a two-out double just behind the third base bag and just in front of the opposing bullpen. Rhymes plated Katz on a single up the middle.
The Big Green responded with two in the top of the second. Dustin Selzer crushed a double into the right center gap and moved to third on Ennis Coble's single to center.
Jeff Keller's double just over Rhymes's glove in right scored both runners, but Keller was thrown out at third attempting to stretch the play.
Katz knocked a one-out single under the second baseman's glove and into center field . Rhymes produced a single to center, and he moved to second on a wild pitch.
Short stop Austin Nola's high chopper to the pitcher allowed Katz to score and Rhymes moved to third.
Dartmouth took the lead back in the top of the fifth. Nick Lombardi led off the inning with a first pitch double into the left field corner. David Turnbull brought Lombardi home on a single into shallow right center. Gausman responded by striking out two to end the threat.
Katz tied the game for LSU in the bottom of the fifth with a solo shot into the left field seats.
Dartmouth retook the lead in the top of the sixth. Selzer led off the top of the sixth with a single to center. He moved to second on a wild pitch and to third on Ross's throwing error into shallow center. Coble floated a single over Jones at second to plate Selzer from third.
Coble moved over to second on Keller's ground out. He advanced to third on a failed pickoff attempt by Gausman. After a long battle, Gausman struck out Lombardi to record the second out. He got out of the jam by forcing Turnbull to ground out to second.
LSU answered in the bottom of the sixth. Ross tied his career high with his third base hit on a double to left center. He coasted to third on center fielder Chris Sciambra's ground out in the middle of the infield.
Left fielder Jared Foster ripped a double to the left field corner and plated Ross to tie the game at four at 4-4. Jones tapped an infield single that the third baseman could not make a play on and Foster moved to third. Katz walked to load the bases.
Rhymes plated Foster and Jones on a hard hit single under the first baseman's glove to give LSU the lead. Katz scored from third on a passed ball to increase the margin to 7-4.
LSU added an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh. Pinch hitter Grant Dozar smacked a one-out triple down the right field line. Ross's sacrifice fly to right scored Dozar and increased the lead to 8-4.
LSU 8, Dartmouth 4 (Mar 02, 2012 at Baton Rouge, La.)
Dartmouth........... 020 011 000 - 4 10 0 (0-1)
LSU...................... 101 014 10X - 8 13 2 (8-2)
Pitchers: Dartmouth - Hunter, Kyle; Concato, Louis(6); Langford, Max(8) and O'Dowd, Chris.
LSU - Kevin Gausman; Joey Bourgeois(7); Nick Goody(9) and Ty Ross.
Win-Kevin Gausman(3-0) Loss-Concato, Louis(0-1) T-2:30 A-9956
HR LSU - Mason Katz (2).
Actual Attendance: 4,245