BATON ROUGE, La. -- Top-ranked LSU scored two runs in the top of the 10th inning Tuesday night to break a 2-2 tie en route to a 4-2 win over Southern at Lee-Hines Field.
LSU improved to 19-2 with the win, and the Tigers open a Southeastern Conference series at 6 p.m. CT Thursday at Arkansas. Game 2 of the series is set for 8 p.m. CT Friday, and first pitch for Game 3 is 2 p.m. CT Saturday.
Southern dropped to 3-11 with Tuesday's loss.
"I'm very proud of our players for competing in a tough road environment and leaving here with a victory," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "It wasn't an artistic success, but our kids play under a lot of pressure because they're expected to win every time they step on the field. Southern was loose and relaxed and they played a great game, but our players managed to find a way to win."
LSU leftfielder Jake Fraley led off the top of the 10th inning with a double against Southern reliever Rafeal Diaz, and he moved to third on a single by rightfielder Mark Laird. Fraley scored the go-ahead run on shortstop Alex Bregman's groundout to second base, which advanced Laird to third.
Laird scored on a sacrifice fly by first baseman Chris Chinea to give the Tigers a 4-2 advantage.
LSU closer Jesse Stallings worked a perfect bottom of the 10th inning to earn his ninth save of the season.
Junior right-hander Collin Strall (2-0) picked up the win for the Tigers as he pitched a scoreless ninth inning, allowing one hit.
Diaz (1-1) was charged with the loss after surrendering three runs on four hits in two innings with one strikeout.
Southern starter Tyler Robinson worked the first seven innings for the Jaguars, limiting the Tigers to one run on three hits with two walks and five strikeouts. LSU starter Russell Reynolds pitched four innings, allowing just one unearned run.
LSU right-hander Hunter Newman started the fifth inning and was brilliant in relief, working three shutout frames and allowing just one hit with four strikeouts.
Southern benefited from a pair of LSU errors and took a 1-0 lead in the third before the Tigers finally tied the game in the eighth when Fraley walked, moved to third on Laird's single and scored on Bregman's grounder to short.
The Jaguars reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the eighth when catcher Jose DeLa Torre drew a bases-loaded walk, but the Tigers tied the game again in the ninth when centerfielder Andrew Stevenson singled, moved to third on catcher Kade Scivicque's double and scored on a sacrifice fly by pinch hitter Chris Sciambra.