METAIRIE, La. - Senior shortstop Kramer Robertson collected two RBI and played stellar defense Tuesday night to lead No. 8 LSU to a 3-2 win over Louisiana-Lafayette in the annual Wally Pontiff Jr. Classic at the Shrine on Airline in Metairie, La.
LSU improved 23-11, while UL-Lafayette dropped to 18-14-1.
The Tigers return to Southeastern Conference action at 6:30 p.m. Thursday when the Tigers play host to Ole Miss in Game 1 of three-game SEC series in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
Thursday's game will be carred by affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network, and the broadcast can be heard at www.LSUsports.net/live. The game may be viewed on SEC Network +, accessible at WatchESPN.com and the WatchESPN app.
"It was a good, hard-fought victory against a very good ball club," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "It was a great ball game, and we had some clutch pitching throughout the night. We had a tremendous crowd, and our team fed off the energy in the stadium and played very well. The Pontiff Classic is a wonderful event, and we're proud to participate each year in front of our great fans in the New Orleans area."
Freshman right-hander Todd Peterson (2-1), the second of eight LSU pitchers, earned the victory as he blanked the Cajuns in the third and fourth innings, allowing one hit with one strikeout.
UL-Lafayette starter Jack Burk (2-4) was charged with the loss, as he surrendered three runs on eight hits in six innings with two walks and five strikeouts.
The game was scoreless in the bottom of the fourth when the Tigers grabbed a 3-0 lead against Burk. Consecutive singles by centerfielder Zach Watson, third baseman Josh Smith and first baseman Nick Coomes plated the first run of the contest, and Robertson later delivered a two-out, two-RBI single to give the Tigers a three-run advantage.
The Cajuns responded with two runs in the top of the fifth to narrow the gap to 3-2. Catcher Handsome Monica belted an RBI double against LSU reliever Collin Strall and shortstop Brad Antchak followed with a run-scoring single. Monica also attempted to score on Antchak's single but Robertson stopped it from going into center field and fired a strike to the plate to preserve LSU's one-run lead.
LSU's final three relievers - right-hander Zack Hess, right-hander Caleb Gilbert and right-hander Hunter Newman - combined to blank the over the final 3.2 innings, allowing just one hit with one walk and seven strikeouts.
Hess worked 1.2 innings and allowed one hit, but recorded no walks and four strikeouts. Gilbert gave up a walk in the eighth, but came back to record two strikeouts to end the inning.
Newman earned his fourth save of the season, pitching avperfect ninth inning with one strikeout.