LSU had very little hitting but made up for it with an abundance of effective pitching in a 4-0 victory against Grambling on Wednesday night at Alex Box Stadium.
Coach Paul Mainieri used his weekend batting order and it produced just a season-low three hits, though Christian Ibarra’s two-run home run was a big one. LSU’s previous low for hits was six against Maryland (Feb. 16), BYU (Feb. 21) and Missouri (March 29).
Ten LSU pitchers limited Grambling to three hits, walking two and striking out five. Two other Grambling batters reached when they were hit by pitches, but only one base-runner advanced as far as second base.
No. 2-ranked LSU, 35-3, begins a Southeastern Conference series at Alabama on Friday. Grambling, 14-22, begins a Southwestern Athletic Conference series against Southern with a doubleheader at noon Saturday at Lee-Hines Field.
Brent Bonvillain, making his first start since March 5, pitched two scoreless innings for LSU. In the first he allowed just a two-out walk to Darren Farmer before striking out Brandon Kiser. He walked Elias Todman leading off the second, then got a pop-up and a double play.
Kurt McCune relieved to start the third and allowed a two-out single to Juan Bueno. He gave up a leadoff single to Farmer in the fourth, then got a fly-out and two-pop-ups.
Grambling starter Cory Jordan (1-3) hit Sean McMullen leading off the first and gave up a leadoff single to Mason Katz in the second, but followed both with three consecutive outs.
He got the first two batters in the third before Mark Laird beat out a grounder to short and stole second. After Alex Bregman walked, Katz hit a high fly to right field that Kris Minter dropped for a two-base error, allowing Laird and Bregman to score.
LSU increased its lead to 4-0 in the sixth as Raph Rhymes led off with a walk and one out later Ibarra hit his fourth homer of the season on a fly ball that landed in the bleachers just inside the foul pole in left.
After McCune departed, Will LaMarche struck out the only two batters he faced and Kevin Berry gave up a single in one-third of an inning.
Hunter Newman and Hunter Devall each pitched a hitless inning, though each put a hit batsman on base.
Nate Fury retired the only two batters he faced to start the eighth and Nick Rumbelow got the next batter to end the eighth.
Joey Bourgeois retired the ponlt two betters he faced to start the ninth and Chris Cotton got the next batter to end it.