Dean Leads Baseball Past Delta Devils, 4-1

LSU's Blake Dean
LSU's Blake Dean (@LSUsports) (@LSUsports)
LSU Sports Interactive

BATON ROUGE -- Freshman designated hitter Blake Dean finished a home run shy of the cycle, going 3-for-3 with an RBI to lead LSU to a 4-1 non-conference victory over Mississippi Valley State on Wednesday night at Alex Box Stadium.

The Tigers (19-15-1) collected double-digit hits for the third straight game and did not commit an error while improving to 5-2 in mid-week contests.

The Delta Devils dropped to 14-23 overall with the loss in the first meeting between the two schools.

LSU closes a seven-game homestand with a three-game Southeastern Conference series against No. 13 Ole Miss this weekend. Game times are 7 p.m. Friday, 3 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.

Eight Tiger pitchers combined to limit MVSU to one run on 10 hits Wednesday. Starter Matt Jackson tossed two scoreless innings and allowed three hits. Junior Kyle Beerbohm (1-1) qualified for his first career win with a scoreless third inning.

Beerbohm was one of seven LSU pitchers who worked one inning, a move head coach Paul Mainieri said was to give every pitcher a chance to get ready for the Ole Miss series this weekend.

"They needed to get their outs on the mound and stay sharp," said Mainieri. "Secondly, we obviously want to keep everybody rested for this weekend."

Freshman Shane Ardoin and sophomore Louis Coleman worked back-to-back scoreless frames in the fifth and sixth. Ardoin was the only LSU pitcher to walk a batter. Coleman exhibited his new sidearm throwing motion instead of his over-the-top delivery.
Dean was one of three true freshmen who contributed clutch, two-out RBI hits as part of a three-run third inning. Centerfielder Jared Mitchell drove a run-scoring double to right-center field, scoring right fielder Chris McGhee, who singled to start the inning.

Dean then extended his hitting streak to 15 games with his team-leading third triple down the right-field line. The streak is the longest by a Tiger since Clay Harris and Ryan Patterson hit safely in 15 straight games in 2005.

First baseman Sean Ochinko was the third of the true freshmen to deliver a two-out hit with an RBI single to right field, giving LSU a 3-0 lead after three innings.

"We had three two-out RBI hits in a row," said Mainieri. "I don't think we've seen that all year. All of those were by freshmen."

Third baseman Chris Jackson extended the advantage to 4-0 in the seventh with a run-scoring single through the left side before the Delta Devils produced their only run in the eighth.

First baseman Sean Bard ripped a live-drive single off of Nolan Cain, the Tigers' seventh pitcher of the evening, scoring second baseman Kyle Latiolais with one out.

Freshman Paul Bertuccini registered his second save, allowing a hit and no runs in the ninth to preserve the 4-1 score. As a staff, LSU pitching has only surrendered two runs in its last 19 innings of work.

"He (Bertuccini) has done a great job for us all year," said Mainieri. "He's not overpowering. He doesn't have the greatest breaking pitch in the world, but he seems to make big pitches when he needs to. It was a good outing by a lot of guys."

LSU 4, Mississippi Valley 1 (Apr 11, 2007 at Baton Rouge, La.)
Mississippi Valley.. 000 000 010  -  1 10  0      (14-23)
LSU...................... 003 000 10X  -  4 10  1      (19-15-1)
Pitchers: Mississippi Valley - REID, Scott; MOSS, Andy(6); EDWARDS, Anthony(7);
CASIAS, Rudy(8); STOVALL, J.T.(8).
LSU - Matt Jackson; Kyle Beerbohm(3); Chris Sorce(4); Shane Ardoin(5); Louis Coleman(6); Clay Dirks(7); Nolan Cain(8); Paul Bertuccini(9).
Win-Kyle Beerbohm(1-1)  Save-Paul Bertuccini(2)  Loss-REID, Scott(2-4)  T-2:42  A-7050
Actual Attendance: 1677



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