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Hanover, Ranaudo Lead Baseball to 5-3 Win Over UK

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BATON ROUGE -- Third baseman Tyler Hanover homered and drove in three runs and starter Anthony Ranaudo struck out 13 as the third-ranked Tigers won their SEC opener 5-3 over Kentucky on a rainy Friday night at Alex Box Stadium.

The Tigers (12-3, 1-0) won their 13th straight SEC regular-season contest, dating back to last season. The loss snapped a nine-game winning streak for Kentucky (11-3, 0-1).

Heavy storms in the Baton Rouge area delayed the start of the game one hour and seven minutes until 8:07 p.m.

A pitchers’ battle raged through the first six innings between Ranuado and Kentucky starter James Paxton. Ranaudo struck out 13 batters while Paxton struck out 14. Both pitchers recorded career-high strikeout totals.

Ranaudo struck out the side in the first, second and third innings, while allowing no hits and walking one in that span.

LSU got on the board in the bottom of the third when Hanover lined a two-run homer over the wall in right to put the Tigers up 2-0. The homer was Hanover’s second of the season.

“I think he is unbelievable,” head coach Paul Mainieri said of Hanover, who finished 2-for-4 with three RBI. “He’s a gamer. I had to get him in the lineup and I knew he would make a difference and I think he did tonight.”

Kentucky cut the LSU lead to 2-1 in the fourth when catcher Marcus Nidiffer singled to center, scoring center fielder Keenan Wiley. The Wildcats threatened in the inning with runners on second and third with two outs, but Ranaudo struck out right fielder Cory Farris to end the Kentucky fourth.  

The Tigers extended the lead to 3-1 in the sixth when Blake Dean scored on a fielder’s choice hit by Jared Mitchell. It was Mitchell’s 16th RBI of the year.

The Wildcats clawed back in the seventh with back-to-back doubles by third baseman Andy Burns and second baseman Chris Bisson to cut the deficit to 3-2. Burns scored on Bisson’s double.

Paul Bertuccini entered the game in relief for Ranuado in the seventh and gave up a single to Wiley that advanced Bisson to third. Bisson scored to tie the game 3-3 when first baseman Branden Kapteyn grounded out to third.

Senior Louis Coleman came in and struck out the final two batters of the seventh to end the Kentucky threat with the game tied at 3-3.

Coleman (3-1) got the win, allowing only one hit and striking out four in 2.2 innings of relief.

The Tigers broke the 3-3 tie in the bottom of the seventh when Hanover singled to right, scoring right fielder Derek Helenihi, who singled two batters earlier.

LSU made the score 5-3 when Dean reached on a fielder’s choice, scoring Hanover. It was Dean’s eleventh RBI of the season.

The SEC-opening series continues Saturday at 3 p.m. in Alex Box Stadium. The game will be broadcast live on the LSU Sports Radio Network (WDGL 98.1 in Baton Rouge). Live audio, video and stats can also be accessed in the Geaux Zone at www.lsusports.net.

Sophomore right-hander Austin Ross (2-1, 1.59 ERA) is slated to take the mound for the Tigers. Kentucky will counter with senior left-hander Chris Rusin (2-1, 3.63 ERA).


LSU 5, Kentucky 3 (Mar 13, 2009 at Baton Rouge, La.)
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Kentucky............ 000 100 200  -  3  8  1      (11-3, 0-1 SEC)
LSU.................... 002 001 20X  -  5  9  2      (12-3, 1-0 SEC)
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Pitchers: Kentucky - James Paxton; Clint Tilford(7).
LSU - Anthony Ranaudo; Paul Bertuccini(7); Louis Coleman(7).
Win-Louis Coleman(3-1)  Loss-Clint Tilford(1-2)  T-3:16  A-8954
HR LSU - Tyler Hanover (2).
Actual attendance: 3,965
Game start delayed 1:07 due to rain.
Ranaudo faced 3 batters in the 7th.

 

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