NEW ORLEANS - Freshman second baseman Grayson Byrd drove in four runs Tuesday night to lead top-ranked LSU to a 9-1 victory over New Orleans at Maestri Field.
LSU improved to 44-8, while UNO dropped to 14-37. The Tigers begin a three-game SEC series at South Carolina at 6 p.m. CT Thursday in a game that will be televised by the SEC Network.
Friday's LSU-South Carolina game will be televised by ESPNU and Saturday's game will be televised on the SEC Network. All three games can be heard on the LSU Sports Radio Network, and live stats and audio are available at www.LSUsports.net.
Byrd was 2-for-5 at the plate with two runs scored and four RBI to highlight the Tigers' 12-hit effort. Freshman catcher Michael Papierski added a two-run homer in the seventh inning, his first career collegiate home run.
Junior left-hander Hunter Devall (2-0) was credited with the win, as he worked the first three innings and limited the Privateers to no runs on two hits with one walk and three strikeouts.
Six LSU pitchers - Doug Norman, Collin Strall, Jesse Stallings, Russell Reynolds and Jake Godfrey - followed Devall and limited the Privateers to one unearned run on two hits over the final six innings.
The game was LSU's final non-conference contest of the regular season. The Tigers posted a 25-1 record in non-conference games.
LSU is in first place in the SEC standings with three games remaining in the regular season. The Tigers have a 1.5-game lead over Vanderbilt in the overall race and a two-game lead over Texas A&M in the Western Division standings.
"Tonight's win was a good way to start the final week of the regular season, leading us into a very important weekend," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "We were able to use a lot of pitchers, and our younger players made the most of their opportunities and contributed to the win. Now, our attention is focused upon South Carolina, and the opportunity to play some very significant games."
UNO starter Kevin Kelleher (2-9) was charged with the loss Tuesday night, as he allowed two runs on three hits in three innings with one walk and two strikeouts.
LSU took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on Byrd's RBI single, and the Tigers extended the advantage to 2-0 in the third on a run-scoring double by shortstop Alex Bregman, who extended his hitting streak to 17 games and his reached-base streak to 49 games.
The Tigers scored two runs in the fourth on fielder's choice groundouts by Byrd and by centerfielder Andrew Stevenson.
First baseman Chris Chinea lined an RBI single in the fifth, increasing the margin to 5-0.
LSU erupted for four runs in the seventh as Byrd delivered an two-run single and Papierski blasted a two-run homer to right field.