BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU first baseman Chris Chinea collected three RBI Saturday night, and freshman right-hander Alex Lange fired seven strong innings as the top-ranked Tigers captured the series over No. 21 Missouri in an 8-2 victory in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
LSU improves to 42-8 on the season and 18-7 in conference play while Missouri falls to 28-23 overall and 14-12 in the SEC.
The Tigers were led on the mound by Lange (9-0) who fired seven innings, surrendering only one run on two hits, striking out eight and walking one.
"Alex Lange was certainly the story of the game tonight," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "He had great command and displayed tremendous composure on the mound. Expectations have been so high for him since he threw his first pitch here at 95 mph back in February, and he again showed tonight why he's one of the best pitchers in the nation."
Missouri right-hander Tanner Houck (7-4) suffered the loss after pitching six innings, giving up five runs-four earned-on six hits, walking one and striking out three
"Houck is an outstanding young pitcher with a great future, and I was very pleased with our hitters' approach against him," Mainieri said. "We were able to extend him a bit early and drive up his pitch count, and we had some big swings that produced runs."
The series finale is set for a 2 p.m. CT start Sunday in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field. The game will be televised on the SEC Network. It will also be broadcast live on LSU Radio Network affiliates, including 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge. Fans can go to LSUsports.net for live stats and audio through the GeauxZone.
After reaching on an one-out single in the bottom of the second, LSU catcher Kade Scivicque scored on first baseman Chris Chinea's two-out double to right field. Chinea advanced to third on a balk by Houck. LSU took a 2-0 lead after designated hitter Chris Sciambra tripled to right-centerfield, allowing Chinea to score from third.
In the bottom of the fourth, left fielder Jake Fraley reached after being hit by a pitch and scored when Chinea hit a two-run blast to left field to give LSU the 4-0 lead heading into the fifth.
Missouri shortstop Ryan Howard broke up the shutout in the top of the seventh when he sent a solo shot to left field, bringing the score to 5-1 in favor of LSU heading into the bottom of the seventh inning.
LSU extended the lead further in the seventh inning when Sciambra scored on right fielder Mark Laird's one out single to left-center field. With two outs and runners in scoring position, third baseman Conner Hale ripped a single up the middle to score centerfielder Andrew Stevenson and Laird, giving LSU an 8-1 lead.
In the top of the ninth Missouri cut the lead to 8-2 against reliever Hunter Newman on pinch-hitter Case Munson's single to left-centerfield.
Newman fired the final two innings, giving up one earned run on four hits, while walking one and recording two strikeouts.