No. 11 LSU extended its winning streak to eight games with a 6-4 victory over Michigan on Saturday night in Alex Box Stadium.
The Tigers (13-2) will send sophomore right-hander Kurt McCune to the mound to take on Notre Dame (6-4) at 3 p.m. Sunday The game will be televised by Cox Sports Television. The Fighting Irish defeated Michigan 2-0 in the early game on Saturday.
Michigan (6-9) faces Notre Dame at 10 a.m. Sunday in Alex Box Stadium prior to the Irish's 3 p.m. matchup with LSU.
LSU sophomore right-hander Ryan Eades (3-1) pitched eight solid innings, allowing four runs (four earned) on 10 hits and struck out seven. Eades' outing marked the third consecutive game in which the LSU starter pitched eight innings. Aaron Nola and Kevin Gausman achieved the same feat against Tulane on Tuesday and against Michigan on Friday.
Closer Nick Goody recorded LSU's first save on the season after a scoreless ninth inning.
For the third consecutive game, the LSU pitchers did not allow a walk, as Eades and Goody combined to record nine strikeouts without a base on balls.
"I don't think we played particularly well tonight; I thought we gave away a lot of at-bats and we popped up way too many times," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "Basically, we did just enough to win the game.
"Ryan Eades gave us another courageous effort on the mound; he's not afraid to throw the ball over the plate, and when you do that, you're going to give up some hits. Michigan is a talented, tough ball club and Ryan really battled to earn the win tonight."
Michigan reliever Matt Ogden was charged with the loss after entering the game in the seventh inning. The righty allowed three runs, two hits and four walks. Starter Ben Ballantine gave up three runs (two earned), three hits and two walks in five innings of work.
LSU relied on timely hitting and scored five runs over the course of four innings. Freshman left fielder Jared Foster produced his first career home run and designated hitter Grant Dozar smacked a two-run double.
Rightfielder Raph Rhymes extended his hit streak to nine games with his third three-hit game of the season, while scoring twice and collecting one RBI.
LSU to opened the scoring when Foster launched a leadoff home run just inside the left field foul pole.
Michigan responded in the top of the third. Dylan Delaney cracked a solo shot into the left field seats to tie the game at 1-1. The Wolverines threatened to do more harm after putting runners on the corners, but Eades limited the damage and forced Michael O'Neill to ground out.
The Wolverines scored two more to take the lead in the top of the fourth. Coley Crank smacked Michigan's second solo home run of the game on a liner that snuck inside the foul pole.
John Lorenz lined a one-out single to center and moved to third on John DiLaura's single past second. Delaney proceeded to place a sacrifice bunt in front of the pitcher's mound and Lorenz raced home from third.
LSU struck back in the bottom half of the fourth. Rhymes reached based on a single to center and moved to second on shortstop Austin Nola's walk. Third baseman Tyler Hanover laced a single just in front of the left fielder that allowed Rhymes to score.
Michigan threatened to increase the lead in the top of the fifth. Will Drake snuck a one-out double down the third base line and moved to third on a balk by Eades. The sophomore right-hander forced O'Neill to strike out swinging and Brett Winger to ground out to second.
LSU knotted the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the fifth. Second baseman JaCoby Jones catalyzed the inning after ripping a single between third and short. He stole second and moved to third on a throwing error by the catcher. Rhymes plated Jones on a line drive single off of the shortstop's glove.
In the top of the seventh and with a runner on second, Eades made a spectacular reflex catch on a line drive that appeared headed to the outfield. Nola added another defensive gem later in the inning. He fielded a hard hit ground ball that caromed off of Hanover's glove at third and fired a strike home to catch an aggressive Delaney at home to keep the score tied at 3.
The Tigers grabbed the lead in the bottom of the seventh off of Ogden. Foster led off the inning with a walk, but was thrown out at second on Jones's fielder's choice. After Katz popped out, Rhymes blooped a double just inside the first base line and Jones moved to third. Nola walked to load the bases.
Hanover drew a full count walk and plated Jones. Dozar extended the lead with a hard hit two-RBI single to right, which allowed Rhymes and Nola to score.
O'Neill's solo home run in the eighth narrowed LSU's lead to 6-4. Eades settled down by retiring the next three Wolverine batters.
After allowing a leadoff single to DiLaura in the ninth, Goody retired the side to preserve the victory for LSU and earn his first career save for the Tigers.
LSU 6, Michigan 4 (Mar 10, 2012 at Baton Rouge, La.)