BATON ROUGE, La.- Ten LSU pitchers combined to blank Louisiana-Lafayette Wednesday night, and the Tigers launched two home runs in the first three innings to post a 5-0 win over the Cajuns in Alex Box Stadium.
The Tigers (19-6) will return to SEC action on Friday as the Arkansas Razorbacks come to town for a three-game series. Right-hander Kevin Gausman (4-0) will get the Friday night start for LSU.
UL-Lafayette dropped to 13-11 with Wednesday's loss.
The shutout was the seventh this season by the LSU pitching staff, marking the most shutouts by a Tiger staff since the 1996 club recorded 10 on the year.
Starting pitcher Joe Broussard (3-0) picked up the victory for LSU. The right-hander struck out three and walked one in two innings of work.
Austin Robichaux (0-3) took the loss and permitted five runs (four earned) on four hits and two walks in two innings of work.
"It was great to see two home runs in the first three innings," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "I thought our players had some great at-bats early and set the tone for the game. We swung the bat well against Robichaux, who really has a good arm. All of our pitchers looked good tonight and did a very nice job in earning a shutout."
Broussard got off to a hot start in the opening frame. After forcing Tyler Frederick to pop out to the infield, Broussard struck out Jace Conrad and Dylan Butler.
Katz blasted a long ball to left field to give LSU the early advantage. The home run marked the fifth of the season for Katz, which is one more than his previous two seasons combined.
The Tigers kept the pressure on Robichaux. Rhymes smacked a single up the middle and moved to second on Dozar's walk. Shortstop Austin Nola knocked a soft ground ball to short and the throw to first pulled the first baseman off the bag, allowing Rhymes to score from second.
LSU extended the lead in the bottom of the third just before a 1:17 rain delay. Katz drew a leadoff walk and proceeded to steal second. Rhymes' single through the left side left runners on the corner. Dozar stepped in and ripped a first-pitch dinger into the right field seats for his second homer of the season.
Nola kept things going with a single to left and moved to second on catcher Ty Ross's sacrifice bunt. After the rain delay, the Tigers stranded two runners.
Kevin Berry entered the game in the top of the fifth and kept the dominant pitching performance going, and was helped by a spectacular play by Nola at short. Jordan Bourque hit a comebacker off of Berry's glove and Nola accounted for the deflection, scooped the ball and fired to first just in time.
Louisiana-Lafayette attempted to close the gap in the top of the sixth inning. Carson Baranik walked Chris Sinclair to open the inning. After Baranik fanned Brian Bowman, consecutive singles by Frederick and Jace Conrad loaded the bases.
Baranik struck out Dylan Butler and was replaced by southpaw Chris Cotton to face the left-handed Chase Compton. Compton knocked a grounder to first to end the inning.
LSU 5, Louisiana-Lafayette 0 (Mar 28, 2012 at Baton Rouge, La.)
Louisiana-Lafayette. 000 000 000 - 0 3 3 (13-11)
LSU......................... 203 000 00X - 5 6 0 (19-6)
Pitchers: Louisiana-Lafayette - Robichaux, Austin; Howell, Derek(3); Cockrell, Cord(5);
Faucheux, Henri(7); Zimmermann, Joe(8) and Sinclair, Chris.
LSU - Joe Broussard; Cody Glenn(3); Brent Bonvillain(4); Kevin Berry(5); Carson Baranik(6); Chris Cotton(6); Nick Rumbelow(7);
Joey Bourgeois(8); Kurt McCune(9); Nick Goody(9) and Ty Ross; Jordy Snikeris.
Win-Joe Broussard(3-0) Loss-Robichaux, Austin(0-3) T-2:29 A-11043
HR LSU - Mason Katz (5); Grant Dozar (2).
Rain Delay of 1 hour, 17 minutes in the bottom of the 3rd inning.
Actual Attendance: 6,203
Robichaux faced 3 batters in the 3rd.