BATON ROUGE, La. -- The Northwestern State pitching duo of Jacob Roark and Mason Melotakis limited No. 21 LSU (21-12) to two runs on seven hits to lead the Demons (11-22) past the Tigers, 5-2, Tuesday night in Alex Box Stadium.
LSU will return to action Wednesday when the Tigers host Alcorn State at 6:30 p.m. CDT in Alex Box Stadium. Live video, audio and stats of the game may be accessed in the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net. The game can also be heard on the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network.
Roark (1-2) earned the victory after holding the Tigers to two earned runs off seven hits and three walks in five innings, while Melotakis was credited with a save after delivering a phenomenal effort in the final four innings. The left-hander did not allow a hit and struck out 10.
Northwestern State left fielder Colin Bear collected two hits and an RBI to lead the Demons at the plate, while right fielder Stephen Gandy provided a two-run double.
LSU designated hitter Raph Rhymes spearheaded the Tigers offensively as the sophomore reached base in all four plate appearances with a two-run dinger, a double and a pair of walks out of the lead-off spot. Second baseman JaCoby Jones also contributed a pair of hits, including a double, on the evening.
Freshman right-hander Ryan Eades (1-1) was charged with the loss after surrendering three earned runs off four hits and a walk in four innings.
"Certainly, we're disappointed in the loss, but you have to credit Northwestern State for playing a great game," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "All we can do is keep fighting and playing as hard as we can. As difficult as this stretch has been, I would be much more concerned if I thought our players weren't giving great effort. They're certainly going to continue to work hard and we'll fight through this."
Rhymes put the Tigers up, 2-0, in the bottom of the third after blasting a two-run shot over the left field wall.
Northwestern State pushed three runs across in the top of the fourth to take a 3-2 advantage. Third baseman Chris Hebert brought a run home on a grounder to third, and Gandy doubled in a pair of runs.
The Demons added a run in the fifth to go ahead 5-2 when Bear drove in second baseman Justin Martinez from second with an RBI base hit to right.
A run-scoring single by Northwestern State shortstop Nick Hinojos in the sixth gave the Demons a 5-2 lead. Meanwhile, Melotakis kept the LSU bats at bay, retiring six straight in the sixth and seventh frames.
LSU right-hander Matty Ott kept the Tigers within striking distance as the junior prevented the Demons from scoring any more runs in the eighth and ninth innings, but Melotakis fired a perfect ninth for Northwestern State to close out the game.
Northwestern State 5, LSU 2 (April 12, 2011 at Baton Rouge, La.)
Northwestern State.. 000 311 000 - 5 8 0 (11-22)
LSU......................... 002 000 000 - 2 7 0 (21-12)
Pitchers: Northwestern State - Roark, Jacob; Melotakis, Mason(6) and Munoz, Aaron.
LSU - Ryan Eades; Tyler Jones(5); Joe Broussard(6); Matty Ott(8) and Ty Ross.
Win-Roark, Jacob(1-2) Save-Melotakis, Mason(1) Loss-Ryan Eades(1-1) T-2:20 A-9687
HR LSU - Raph Rhymes (2).
Actual Attendance: 3,366