Right fielder Mason Katz’s first inning home run gave LSU (19-6) the early lead, and a third inning, three-run shot from Dozar, the Tigers’ first baseman, finished off the scoring for LSU.
Not long after Dozar’s home run, a one hour, 17 minute rain delay ensued.
When play resumed, the Ragin’ Cajuns’ bullpen held the Tigers to one hit during the final 52/3 innings.
After being held hitless the first five innings, the Cajuns (13-11) broke through on the Tigers pitching staff in the sixth when Tyler Frederick singled up the middle with one out off LSU’s Carson Baranik.
Jace Conrad followed with a single to right field to load the bases, but Baranik struck out Dylan Butler and Chris Cotton came out of the bullpen to induce a grounder from Chase Compton to end the threat.
UL would get only two more base runners during the final three innings as the Tigers’ pitching staff completed the shutout, the first for ULL this season. The shutout was the Tigers’ seventh this season, the most in a season since the 1996 club recorded 10.
“The one thing we didn’t do well tonight was compete at the plate,” ULL head coach Tony Robichaux said in a university news release. “We looked at a lot of fastballs tonight. They got the big hit on us early, and that was enough. We did scatter six hits through nine innings, and that is manageable, especially in this yard.
“Our bullpen really shut the faucet off and didn’t give them anything to work with,” Robichaux added. “The big key is with the bases loaded, we had a chance to cut their lead in half, and we came away empty. With a young ball club, they could have been blown out 20-0, but they stuck with it, and if we would have competed a little better at the plate, we are in this ballgame.”
Freshman Austin Robichaux (0-3), the youngest of the ULL’s head coach’s adult children, was charged with the loss for the Cajuns, surrendering five runs (four earned) on four hits in two-plus innings of work. He also walked two.
Derek Howell, Cord Cockrell, Henri Faucheux and Joe Zimmermann combined for six innings of scoreless, two-hit relief for Louisiana.
The Tigers registered the game’s first run on a two-out home run from Katz to left field in the bottom of the first. The home run was Katz’s fifth of the season and one more than his previous two seasons combined.
After the home run, the Tigers kept the pressure on Robichaux in the first inning. 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 and allowed Rhymes to score from second.
LSU used the home run ball to extend the lead in the third inning. Dozar, who followed a Katz leadoff walk and Raph Rhymes’ single through the left side, hit the three-run shot over the right field wall to increase the host’s lead to 5-0. The home run was Dozar’s second of the season.
“It was great to see two home runs in the first three innings,” LSU coach Paul Mainieri said in a university news release. “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.”
After the rain delay, Howell registered a pair of fly outs to end the Tigers’ half of the third inning. He then notched a strikeout of Ty Ross with the bases loaded in the fourth inning to prevent LSU from stretching the lead further.
Cockrell took the mound for UL and retired the Tigers in order in the fifth and sixth innings to continue the ULL bullpen’s stranglehold, while Faucheux and Zimmermann followed with zeros in the seventh and eighth inning, respectively.
Starting pitcher Joe Broussard (3-0) earned the victory for LSU. The right-hander struck out three and walked one in two innings of work.
The Tigers (19-6) will return to Southeastern Conference action Friday when they host the Arkansas Razorbacks in a three-game series. Right-hander Kevin Gausman (4-0) will get the Friday night start for LSU.
ULL returns to Sun Belt play this weekend when they travel to Boca Raton, Fla., for a series with current Sun Belt leader, Florida Atlantic (16-10, 5-1 Sun Belt). The series, which runs Friday-Sunday, begins on Friday at 5:30 p.m.