Home Runs Lift Baseball to Friday Night Win, 9-4

The Tigers celebrate Mason Katz' three-run home run
The Tigers celebrate Mason Katz' three-run home run
Hilary Scheinuk
Seth Landry
Seth Landry

BATON ROUGE, La. -- Home runs from first baseman Mason Katz and leftfielder Raph Rhymes Friday night lifted No. 3 LSU (20-2, 3-1 SEC) to a 9-4 victory over Auburn (15-7, 0-4 SEC) in Alex Box Stadium.

The teams resume the series at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. Junior right-hander Ryan Eades will take the mound for LSU, while Auburn will counter with junior left-hander Michael O’Neal.

LSU’s 20-2 record is the Tigers’ best 22-game mark since the 1997 team also won 20 of its first 22 games.

“We did a lot of things really well tonight, and some other things we didn’t do so well,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “We had some big hits, including the home runs from Rhymes and Katz, but Auburn never quit and stayed in the game the entire night. I told our guys after the game that you can throw out the records every time you play an SEC team. Every game in our league is a serious challenge against a quality opponent.”

Rhymes connected with a three-run dinger to left in the first inning Friday after back-to-back singles from rightfielder Mark Laird and shortstop Alex Bregman, giving the Tigers an early 3-0 lead.

Auburn answered in the second and third frames with RBIs from catcher Blake Austin and first baseman Garrett Cooper.

Katz increased the Tigers’ lead to 5-2 with a two-run homer of his own to left, marking his 10th home run of the season.

Third baseman Christian Ibarra added two RBIs with a laser up the middle, giving LSU a 7-2 lead in the fifth inning.

A wild pitch and an RBI single from Katz gave the Tigers two more insurance runs in the eighth inning.

Bregman recorded his fifth three-hit game of the season and has now recorded a hit in 10 consecutive games. Rhymes finished 2-for-4 on the night and has reached base in all 22 games this season.

LSU starting pitcher Aaron Nola (3-0) earn the win striking out nine in 6.2 innings while giving up two runs on nine hits.

Auburn starter Daniel Koger (0-2) suffered the defeat, giving up five runs on five hits in 3.1 innings of work.

LSU 9, Auburn 4 (Mar 22, 2013 at Baton Rouge, La.)
Auburn.............. 011 000 011  -  4 12  1      (15-7, 0-4 SEC)
LSU................... 302 020 02X  -  9 10  0      (20-2, 3-1 SEC)
Pitchers: Auburn - Daniel Koger; Jay Wade(4); Reid Carter(5) and Blake Austin.
LSU - Aaron Nola; Brent Bonvillain(7); Nick Rumbelow(8); Joey Bourgeois(8); Kevin Berry(9) and Ty Ross
Win-Aaron Nola(3-0)  Loss-Daniel Koger(0-2)  T-3:22  A-10815
HR LSU - Raph Rhymes (1); Mason Katz (10).
Actual Attendance: 7,066
Wade, J. faced 4 batters in the 5th.
Bonvillain faced 1 batter in the 8th.



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