No. 3 LSU (40-6, 16-4 SEC) put together a four-run sixth inning Tuesday night to defeat McNeese State (20-22) by a score of 7-3 at Alex Box Stadium.
The victory improved LSU's win streak over in-state opponents to 26 games. The Tigers have also won 33 straight mid-week games, dating back to April 12, 2011, when LSU dropped a 5-2 decision to Northwestern State.
LSU returns to The Box on Thursday for the start of a three-game SEC series against No. 19 Florida (25-20, 12-9 SEC). First pitch for Thursday's game is set for 6:30 p.m. on ESPNU and the LSU Sports Radio Network.
"I'm very pleased with the way our players approached this game," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "We had a lot of really good swings, and I thought we threw the ball well on the mound. The kids came out focused tonight and ready to play, and I think that was demonstrated in the way they performed. I congratulated them after the game on earning their 40th win of the season. Anytime you can get 40 wins before you have 10 losses, you're having a pretty significant season."
Right-hander Hunter Newman (1-0) picked up the first victory of his collegiate career Tuesday night. The freshman fired a season-high three innings in his first career start, allowed two hits and no runs and struck out one.
McNeese's Trey McGee (2-5) was charged with the loss after allowing three runs (all earned) on nine hits in four innings of work.
Third baseman Christian Ibarra and second baseman JaCoby Jones paced LSU with three hits apiece as the Tigers offense exploded for 15 base knocks.
The Tigers grabbed the 1-0 lead in the bottom half of the opening frame. Centerfielder Mark Laird knocked a one-out single up the middle, stole second and scored on first baseman Mason Katz's RBI single.
Ibarra added to LSU's lead in the bottom half of the second with a solo shot to left, which was his fifth home run of the season.
LSU chased McGee and added a third run in the bottom of the fifth. The left-hander was pulled in favor of Steven O'Bryant following a leadoff double by Laird, his second hit of the game. After moving to third on Katz's single to left, Laird scored on left fielder Raph Rhymes's sacrifice fly.
The Tigers broke the game open in the bottom of the sixth inning. LSU started off with four singles off the bats of Ibarra, catcher Ty Ross, Jones and pinch hitter Tyler Moore. With the bases loaded and nobody out, designated hitter Sean McMullen walked in the fifth run, which chased O'Bryant.
Right-hander Tyler Park forced Laird into a fielder's choice, scoring Jones from third. With men on the corner and one out, shortstop Alex Bregman knocked an opposite field single to score pinch runner Andrew Stevenson and the fourth run of the inning.
McNeese took advantage of a pair of LSU errors to score two unearned runs in the top of the seventh off of right-hander Mitch Sewald.
LSU right-hander Will LaMarche was impressive in his two innings of work. The junior struck out three and allowed one hit during the fourth and fifth frames. Right-hander Nate Fury pitched a perfect sixth and was followed by Sewald, Nick Rumbelow, Butler and Kevin Berry.