Behind Eades, Baseball Wins Fifth Straight, 6-2
BATON ROUGE -- LSU starter Ryan Eades limited Tulane to only two hits and one run in six innings, and five different batters drove in a run to spearhead the Tigers to a 6-2 victory and season sweep of the Green Wave Tuesday night in Alex Box Stadium.
With the win, the Tigers (29-17) have now defeated the Green Wave (26-19) in six of the last eight meetings over the past four seasons.
LSU, which has won five straight games, will travel to Tuscaloosa, Ala., to take on Alabama this weekend in Sewell-Thomas Stadium. Game 1 will begin Friday at 6:30 p.m. CDT.
Eades, who walked four and struck out one, improved to 3-1 on the season.
Designated hitter Raph Rhymes and third baseman Tyler Hanover each delivered a pair of hits and an RBI, while center fielder Mikie Mahtook connected on his 12th home run of the season to lead the Tigers at the plate. However, all nine LSU starters contributed either a hit or RBI in the victory.
"I thought this was a good, solid win for our team," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "What I liked the most about it was the way Ryan Eades pitched tonight. He threw very well, and we played great defense behind him. I'm really encouraged by his progress and what that can mean for us down the stretch.
"I'm very proud of the way our players have kept a positive attitude and demonstrated that they will never give up. We've won five in a row now, and we're hoping to carry that momentum into what should be a great series with Alabama."
Mahtook got the Tigers off to a good start and a 1-0 lead with a solo homer to left in the first.
The Tigers manufactured three runs in the second to command a 4-0 advantage. Following back-to-back walks, Rhymes singled through the right side on a perfectly executed hit-and-run for an RBI, and catcher Ty Ross brought another home on the squeeze play. Left fielder Trey Watkins provided the third run of the frame on a sacrifice fly to left.
LSU added another run in the fourth to go up, 5-0, when Mahtook reached on a throwing error by third baseman Brennan Middleton, allowing Hanover to score.
Tulane catcher Jeremy Schaffer launched a solo shot in the sixth to cut the deficit to 5-1. However, an RBI single from Hanover in the bottom of the frame put the Tigers back up by five runs at 6-1.
Following two consecutive scoreless innings against LSU relievers Kevin Berry and Jimmy Dykstra, the Green Wave were able to push a run across with one out in the ninth to reduce the lead to 6-2. However, right-hander Matty Ott secured the final two outs of the game and recorded his sixth save of the season.
Tulane starter Wade Konvicka (2-1), who surrendered four earned runs off two hits and three walks, was charged with the loss.