SLU (28-14) plated the game’s first run in the top of the opening frame when Brock Hebert scored on a wild pitch after drawing a two-out walk.
LSU’s bats woke up the second time through the order and put four runs on the board. Second baseman JaCoby Jones and center fielder Arby Fields connected on consecutive one-out singles that chased SLU starter Josh Janway (2-3). Reliever Tanner Rainey walked right fielder Mason Katz to load the bases.
Rhymes tied the game with a sacrifice fly to right that plated Jones. Austin Nola drove home another run with his double down the left field line. First baseman Tyler Moore added two more with a single up the middle that scored Katz and Nola.
SLU narrowed the LSU lead in the top of the sixth. Ben Hernandez led off the inning with a single, stole second and scored from second base on a Joey Bourgeois wild pitch. In the frame, Rhymes took away an extra base hit with a leaping catch at the warning track.
The Lions narrowed the margin to 4-3 in the top of the eighth. Kurt McCune forced consecutive groundouts but walked Hernandez to keep the inning alive. Nick Rumbelow relieved McCune, and Hebert greeted him with an RBI triple to the centerfield wall. The ball missed leaving the park by approximately one foot. LSU catcher Ty Ross tagged out Hebert at home for the second time in the game as he was trying to score on a pitch in the dirt
Moore added a pair of RBI for the Tigers, and Nola scored a run and plated another on a double.
Brent Bonvillain (3-0) picked up the victory for LSU (33-9) after entering the game in the fourth inning. The left-hander fired two innings, allowed no hits and struck out four.
LSU starter Joe Broussard struck out six and permitted one earned run on two hits. Closer Nick Goody earned his seventh save of the season with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
“We only scored in one inning, but we had some great at-bats to give us the lead,” LSU coach Paul Mainieri said in a university news release. “I would have liked to have seen us generate more at the plate, but I thought all of our pitchers threw pretty well. Broussard set the tone with six strikeouts in three innings, and the relievers came in and did a nice job.”
Janway (2-3) was charged with the loss after allowing two earned runs on four hits in two and a third innings of work.
Rhymes, the nation’s leading hitter, raised his hitting streak to eight games with a fifth-inning double, marking his third hit streak of at least eight games this season. He also drove in his 45th run on the year on a sacrifice fly. Rhymes was 1-for-3 on the night and is currently batting .496 on the year.
LSU improved to 33-9 overall, and SLU dropped to 28-14. The Tigers (33-9) will host Georgia this weekend in a three-game Southeastern Conference series in Alex Box Stadium. First pitch for Game 1 is 7 p.m. Friday, Game 2 begins at 6:30 p.m. Saturday and Game 3 starts at 1 p.m. Sunday.
The Lions road trip continues this weekend as Southeastern travels to Natchitoches for a three-game Southland Conference series with Northwestern State. First pitch in the series opener is set for 6:30 p.m. Friday.