BATON ROUGE -- Sophomore rightfielder Mason Katz drove in three runs, and the LSU pitching staff combined for a six-hit shutout as the 16th-ranked Tigers blanked McNeese State, 6-0, Wednesday night in Alex Box Stadium.
The Tigers (18-7) improved to 24-9 all-time against McNeese State. The Cowboys fell to 13-13 with the loss.
Katz was one of three LSU hitters to collect a pair of hits on the evening as center fielder Mikie Mahtook and third baseman Tyler Hanover each batted 2-for-3 with an RBI. Mahtook also hit his second triple of the season, scored a pair of runs and stole two bases.
Right-hander Samuel Peterson (1-0), who relieved starter Forrest Garrett in the second inning, earned his first career victory after surrendering only two hits and a walk in 3.1 innings. Garrett, who had surgery on his throwing elbow last April, hurled 1.2 innings in his first appearance of the season.
"I thought Peterson gave us a great outing," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "Originally, he was just going to pitch one inning, but he was throwing so well, we decided to let him keep going. He's a kid with a lot of competitiveness and desire, and he demonstrated that tonight.
"Overall, I thought it was a good team win. McNeese always plays us extremely tough, and they have a group of very good players. We executed at the plate, and we made things happen in some less-than-ideal hitting conditions. We played with a lot of spirit and enthusiasm, and that's something we plan to carry into this weekend."
LSU will return to Southeastern Conference play this weekend when the Tigers welcome Ole Miss to Alex Box Stadium. Game 1 of the series will begin Friday at 7 p.m. CDT.
Following an early-inning duel Wednesday between the pitching staffs, the Tigers broke the 0-0 tie with a run in the bottom of the fourth to take a 1-0 lead. Mahtook legged out a triple after drilling a ball off the wall in right, and Katz successfully executed the squeeze play two batters later to bring home the junior.
The Tigers added another run in the bottom of the fifth to go up, 2-0, when Hanover lined an RBI single up the middle to score first baseman Mike Lowery.
LSU plated three more runs in the sixth to claim a 5-0 advantage. Katz delivered a pair of RBI on a two-run single to center, and Lowery notched an RBI on an infield single.
Mahtook delivered a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh to give LSU a 6-0 lead.
Relievers Joe Broussard, Chris Cotton and Matty Ott were stellar out of the bullpen down the stretch as the trio gave up only two hits and struck out six in the final four innings.
Broussard fired a pair of perfect frames and struck out three, while Cotton and Ott preserved the shutout with scoreless eighth and ninth innings, respectively.
McNeese State left-hander Phil Parcell (2-2) was charged with the loss after allowing two earned runs off three hits in two innings.