The top-seed and host LSU Tigers rode their bats to an 11-7 victory over the fourth-seed Jackson State Tigers in the Baton Rouge Regional's opening contest.
Mason Katz was a perfect 2-for-2 with a home run, four RBI and three runs scored to lead LSU (53-9). Jared Foster pinch-hit for left-fielder Raph Rhymes in the fourth inning and in his second at-bat launched a three-run home run. Kurt McCune pitched 4 2/3 scoreless innings in relief to earn the win.
Fred Hampton went 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI and Charles Tilery was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI for Jackson State (34-21). Alexander Juday was on the hook for the loss as he was tagged for seven runs, six of which were earned, while lasting just 3 2/3 innings.
Moving on to face LSU in the winner's bracket on Saturday will be the third- seed Sam Houston State Bearkats who earned a 4-2 victory over the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns.
Luke Plucheck went 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBI to power the Bearkats (38-20) offense in the contest. Meanwhile Alan Scott allowed just a single hit over 3 1/3 innings of relief, after starter Cody Dickson was taken out, to secure the win.
Dex Kjerstad had two of a total of four hits by Louisiana while Matt Hicks was handed the loss after allowing two runs in 1 2/3 innings of relief work.
On Saturday Jackson State and Louisiana will meet up in the loser's bracket while LSU and Sam Houston State will play later in the day in the winner's bracket. The winner of the Jackson State/Louisiana contest will face the loser between LSU and Sam Houston State on Sunday for a spot in the regional final. The loser of the Jackson State/Louisiana contest on Saturday will be eliminated from the tournament.