BATON ROUGE, La. — Paul Skenes threw a complete game and turned a stunning fifth-inning double play to key LSU's 7-2 win over Tulane in the Baton Rouge Regional on Friday.
The Tigers (44-15) face the winner of the game between Sam Houston and Oregon State Saturday. Tulane faces the loser of that game in a loser-out game.
Skenes blanked the Waves over the first six innings. The right-hander struck out a dozen batters, walked none and surrendered just two earned runs on seven base hits over nine innings to earn his 11th win in 13 decisions.
Jake LaPrairie hit into a pair of hard-luck double plays for Tulane (19-41). He drove a fly ball to the warning track to right, but the Tigers turned it into a double play to end the second when the runner on first took off with the clank of the bat. LaPrairie hit a line drive back up the middle in the fifth, but Skenes snared the ball between his legs and doubled the runner off of first.
Hayden Travinski and Dylan Crews each hit an RBI double as LSU built a 6-0 lead through five innings.
Brennan Lambert hit a two-run homer in the seventh to account for Tulane's scoring.
“Congratulations to (LSU),” said Tulane head coach Jay Uhlman. “(Skenes) pitched really well and our guys were up to the challenge. We had some spots where a couple of things could’ve changed the fortune of the game a little bit and made it tighter, earlier. Dylan Carmouche, on short rest, went out there and battled. I thought Michael Lombardi pitched really well and hung some zeroes. (Brennan Lambert) put a big charge into one and got us close.”
“The fact that (LSU) ran Skenes out for 120-plus pitches, and didn’t go to its bullpen against us, I’d like to take a measure of respect. We’ll live to fight another day and be back tomorrow against whoever our opponent is.”