POSTED: Thursday, March 8, 2012 - 6:00am
UPDATED: Thursday, March 8, 2012 - 6:04am
New Orleans, La —
Freshman right-hander Aaron Nola fired eight shutout innings Tuesday night to lead No. 11 LSU to a 5-0 victory over Tulane in Turchin Stadium.
LSU, which won its sixth straight game, improved to 11-2 on the year. The Tigers play host to Michigan at 7 p.m. Friday in Alex Box Stadium.
Tulane dropped to 10-3 with Tuesday's loss.
Nola (2-0) allowed just three hits in the brilliant effort and recorded no walks with a career-best six strikeouts. He threw 78 pitches, including 62 for strikes.
"Aaron Nola was simply phenomenal tonight," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "Just a tremendous performance by a true freshman pitching on the road in front of a big crowd. He was outstanding tonight, and he demonstrated why he has a chance to be one of the best pitchers we've had here."
Nola received plenty of run support from the LSU lineup, which pounded out 12 hits, including a pair of doubles. Tulane starter Alex Byo (1-2) was charged with the loss after he surrendered four runs on 10 hits in 7.2 innings with no walks and one strikeout.
LSU took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning when third baseman Tyler Hanover singled with two outs and moved to third on designated hitter Grant Dozar's double. Catcher Ty Ross slapped a single down the right-field line, scoring both runners.
The Tigers added a run in the fourth when rightfielder Raph Rhymes singled, moved to second when shortstop Austin Nola was hit by a pitch and scored on Dozar's RBI single.
LSU increased the lead to 4-0 in the eighth as second baseman JaCoby Jones singled, stole second base and scored on Rhymes' single.
Centerfielder Chris Sciambra delivered a ninth-inning RBI double that scored Hanover to account for the final margin.
"I was very pleased with the way we played in all aspects of the game tonight," Mainieri said. "Obviously, we had great pitching and we also had very effective at-bats. If we can continue to play this way, we have a chance to do something special this season."