BATON ROUGE — A three-run fourth and six shutout innings thrown by six different Colonel relievers was enough to lift Nicholls State past top-ranked LSU, 3-1, Wednesday night in Alex Box Stadium.
Nicholls State (17-18) defeated LSU (27-10) for the first time in Baton Rouge since 1989. The win broke a 17-game losing streak for the Colonels against LSU dating back to 1994.
The Colonels’ pitching staff kept the Tigers off balance as they threw a different pitcher each inning from the third inning on. Six different relievers held LSU scoreless from the fourth through the ninth innings.
Nicholls State allowed only four hits while forcing the Tigers into 16 groundball outs in the contest.
“We didn’t make a few plays when we needed to,” LSU head coach Paul Mainieri said. “The next thing you know they have a three-run rally, and with the way we were swinging the bat it was enough for them.
“It was frustrating, but congratulations to Nicholls State. They came in here and beat us and they deserved the win and we have no excuses.”
Blake Dean led the Tigers offensively, going 2-for-4 with two doubles.
LSU took a 1-0 lead in the third when third baseman Derek Helenihi hit a sacrifice fly to center to score Buzzy Haydel from third.
The Colonels tied the score 1-1 in the fourth when right fielder Scott Mosley laced a single up the middle to score second baseman Keith Kulbeth, who walked two batters earlier.
Nicholls St. took the lead when the next batter, Tyler Minto, lined his second single of the night to right field to score left fielder Josh Swenson and put the Colonels up 2-1. The next batter, Adam Miley grounded out to first, scoring Mosley and making the score 3-1.
After surrendering three runs in the fourth, starter Chris Matulis fought back to retire the side in order in the fifth, before giving way to reliever Ben Alsup in the sixth.
Matulis (4-2) threw five innings allowing three runs on four hits, while walking one and striking out five.
Meanwhile, LSU relievers Ben Alsup, Nolan Cain and Matty Ott combined to throw four shutout innings, allowing only one hit and striking out seven.
The Tigers resume SEC play when they host Tennessee in a three-game series beginning Friday at 7 p.m. CT in Alex Box Stadium.
Nicholls State 3, LSU 1 (Apr 15, 2009 at Baton Rouge, La.)