[Information provided by: LSU Athletics]
Ryan Eades pitched eight shutout innings to power the Fighting Tigers to an 8-0 victory over Missouri Saturday night at Taylor Stadium, clinching the three-game Southeastern Conference baseball series.
LSU (25-2 overall, 7-1 SEC) won its third league series in as many weeks to remain atop the SEC West division. It will go for the sweep Sunday at 1 p.m.
Eades, who worked a career-high eight innings, improved to 6-0 this season and lowered his ERA to 1.35, striking out five and walking three. Missouri (9-14, 2-6) got nine hits off the junior right-hander, but for the second consecutive evening, those hits did not translate into runs.
Nick Rumbelow worked a perfect ninth to give LSU its first back-to-back shutouts in SEC play since it won at Arkansas 7-0 and 6-0 on April 23-24, 2005. The last time LSU won the first two games of an SEC series by shutout also came vs. Arkansas, 3-0 and 8-0 on April 26-27, 2002 at the old Alex Box Stadium.
LSU posted back-to-back shutouts twice in 2012 prior to the opening of conference play.
LSU pitchers have fired 24.2 consecutive scoreless innings over the past three games, beginning in the second inning on Tuesday night at Tulane.
"That was another tremendous effort by Ryan Eades," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "He battles with every pitch, and our defense was outstanding behind him throughout the game. He did a great job in working out of jams, and the three double plays we turned provided a big boost.
"The conditions for hitting were much more favorable tonight that they were last night, and again our aggressive approach at the plate allowed us to give Ryan a comfortable lead."
Ibarra got LSU on the board in the second with a towering home run over the left field fence just to the right of the Missouri bullpen, nearly in the same spot where Mason Katz launched his solo shot in the fourth inning of Friday's 2-0 victory.
Missouri had runners at the corners in the third with one out, but a nice stop deep in the hole by shortstop Alex Bregman keyed a double play which left the home team high and dry.
Bregman followed his defensive gem with an offensive one, leading off the LSU fourth with a towering home run down the left field line. Two batters later, Katz hit his 12th round-tripper to left-center to extend the margin to 3-0.
Missouri got its first two runners on base in the fourth, but Eades induced a double play ground ball from Mark Lester. He then struck out Shane Segovia to retire the side.
LSU put the game away with a five-run fifth. Missouri reliever Griffin Goodrich retired the first two batters of the inning, but Mark Laird kept the frame alive with a single, and Bregman followed with another base hit.
Missouri shortstop Dillon Everett made a diving stop of Raph Rhymes' ground ball, but Everett could not throw out Rhymes, allowing Laird to scamper home from second.
Katz brought home the final two runs of the game with a triple past diving Missouri right fielder Dane Opel.