BATON ROUGE, La. - Right-hander Paul Skenes tossed a career-high nine innings and tallied 12 strikeouts to lift the No. 5 national seed LSU Tigers to an opening-round 7-2 victory over Tulane in the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional Friday afternoon.
With the win, LSU improved to 44-15 on the season and the Green Wave dropped to 19-41 on the year.
LSU, the No. 1 seed in the Baton Rouge regional, will face the winner of the Oregon State and Sam Houston State matchup - a bout between the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds. The winner's bracket game is scheduled for an 8 p.m. CT first pitch Saturday night, and it will be streamed on ESPN+. The game can also be heard on the LSU Sports Radio Network affiliates.
Tulane moves into the loser's bracket and will take on the loser of the OSU-SHSU game at 2 p.m. CT Saturday.
Skenes (11-2) tossed the first complete game of his career and tallied 12 strikeouts in the process while only allowing two runs on seven hits and no walks.
The performance marks the first LSU pitcher to throw a complete game since Alex Lange tossed on in postseason play against Cal State Fullerton on May 30, 2015. Lange posted 10 strikeouts and allowed three runs on six hits. Since 2004, two pitchers threw complete games in postseason play including Aaron Nola in a 2-0 complete game shutout over Oklahoma during the 2013 super regional round and Lane Mestepey, who threw one against Texas A&M in 2004 during super regional play.
Tulane starter Dylan Carmouche (5-9) was charged with the loss after firing 4.0 innings and allowing six runs on nine hits.
The Tigers broke the scoring seal in the Baton Rouge regional, plating one in the bottom of the first. The frame began with centerfielder Dylan Crews and third baseman Tommy White poking singles into left field. After a double play, catcher Hayden Travinski delivered an RBI double to the RCF gap to give LSU a 1-0 lead.
The home team extended its lead in the second to 3-0 on the strength of situational baseball. Second baseman Gavin Dugas began it with a single and right fielder Brayden Jobert reached via hit-by-pitch. Both runners advanced on a sac bunt and left fielder Josh Pearson drove a run with an RBI groundout.
Crews continued his impressive outing by smoking one down the third base line for an RBI double to make the score 3-0. LSU increased the margin to 4-0 in the third inning on an RBI groundout from Jobert.
The Tigers tacked on two more in the fifth inning following their first scoreless frame of the afternoon. Travinski coaxed a four-pitch walk and Beloso singled down the right-field line. Dugas pushed another run across with a sac fly. Pearson added his own sac fly to score Beloso and make the score 6-0.
In the top of the seventh, Tulane scored its first runs of the ballgame with a two-run shot from designated hitter Brennan Lambert.
LSU tacked on a final run in the eighth inning to account for the final score.