BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU (16-1) earned its second shutout of the year Wednesday by using 11 different pitchers, as the top-ranked Tigers defeated McNeese State (11-6) by a score of 7-0 in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
The Tigers extended their win streak to 13 games, LSU's longest since the 2013 club won 15 straight from late March to mid-April. LSU is 16-1 through 17 games for the third time in five years; the Tigers were also 16-1 in 2011 and 2013.
LSU will begin SEC play Friday against Ole Miss (9-7) at 7 p.m. CT in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field. Friday's contest can be viewed online through SEC Network+, which can be accessed through the WatchESPN app and WatchESPN.com. The game can be heard on LSU Sports Radio Network affiliates, and LSUsports.net will carry audio of the game live in the GeauxZone.
LSU sophomore right-hander Russell Reynolds (1-0) earned his first win this season for the Tigers after he pitched two shutout innings and gave up just one hit.
LSU's 10-man bullpen combined to limit McNeese to four hits, two walks and six strikeouts through seven innings. LSU's bullpen has work 23 consecutive innings without allowing a run, dating back to February 28 versus Princeton.
"I'm very pleased with the way we're playing right now, and we're looking forward to beginning our SEC schedule," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "We did everything we needed to do to win this game - the pitching was outstanding, we played great defense and we showed a lot of versatility on offense. We executed a hit-and-run, we stole four bases and we hit a three-run homer. That's the type of balance that can make us a very effective ball club."
In the top of the first, junior right fielder Mark Laird chopped an infield single to second base with one out. With two outs and Laird at third base, junior designated hitter Chris Chinea ripped a RBI single up the middle.
After McNeese stranded a runner at second base and LSU went down in order in the second inning, sophomore first baseman Danny Zardon led off the bottom of the third inning with a single through the middle. With one out, Laird singled to put runners on first and second for junior shortstop Alex Bregman, who launched his third home run of the year to the left field bleachers. The Tigers led 4-0 after three innings.
Leading off the bottom of the fourth, junior centerfielder Andrew Stevenson tripled to right-center and scored on senior catcher Kade Scivicque's sacrifice fly to left field, extending the Tigers' lead to five runs.
With one out in the bottom of the fifth, Laird walked, and after stealing second and third, he scored on a sacrifice fly from Bregman. After five innings, LSU led 6-0 over McNeese.
In the bottom of the seventh, LSU loaded the bases with three straight walks. Sophomore left fielder Jake Fraley added another insurance run for the Tigers when he scored on a groundout to first base by senior Chris Sciambra.
Junior right-hander Ethan Stremmel (2-1) suffered the loss for the Cowboys after pitching three innings. He gave up five hits and four earned runs while striking out four.