LSU beats Tulane behind Fraley’s three-hit outing

For a while, it appeared that Jake Fraley had again lost his hitting touch.

No, it’s still there.

Fraley had a career-high three hits — his first multiple hit game in nearly a month — and drove in a career-best three runs in LSU’s 6-0 baseball win over Tulane on Tuesday night at Alex Box Stadium.

Fraley, a freshman who struggled with a nasty slump in the fall season, had singles on his first three at-bats, helping stop a skid. He had four hits in his past 27 at-bats entering Tuesday’s game, a streak that dates to LSU’s series loss at Florida.

Starter Kyle Bouman allowed three hits through 4.2 innings in his first outing in more than a week, and relievers Zac Person and Brady Domangue helped their predecessors work out of some sticky jams.

LSU (31-10-1) avenged a 3-2 loss last month to the Green Wave (15-23), and Bouman bounced back from his last outing. He allowed a first-inning grand slam to Arkansas in that series finale a week and a half ago.

He needed some help from Person in this one. Person entered for Bouman in the fifth with the bases loaded and two outs. He retired Jake Rogers to end the inning.

Person (2-1) got the win.

The Tigers got some redemption for an 11-inning loss at Tulane on March 25, a defeat that started a four-game losing streak for coach Paul Mainieri’s club.

They dinged up Tulane starter Tyler Mapes, the Green Wave’s No. 1 pitcher, for 12 hits, the most he’s given up this season. LSU had five hits in the loss in New Orleans.

Batting in the No. 5 hole, Alex Bregman had a pair of hits, and Andrew Stevenson and Mark Laird each had an RBI as LSU re-arranged its batting order again.

The Tigers used a third different three-hole hitter for a third straight game. Conner Hale stuck out twice and drew a walk batting third.

Fraley, batting sixth, went 3-for-4 in the Tigers’ 11th win in 13 games, a run that’s vaulted LSU into the Top 10 in all of the major polls.

Fraley’s third-inning pop through the right side of the infield drove in two runs to give LSU an early 3-0 lead. The hit came with two outs and the bases loaded.

The Delaware native had slipped into somewhat of a hitting funk since Mainieri elevated him nearly a month ago into the team’s 10-11 rotation of starting position players.

Fraley entered fall practice having the best chance of any freshman to earn a starting gig, Mainieri had thought. He struggled at the plate during the fall, though, before finding his swing again over Christmas break.

There was no struggle on Tuesday. Fraley even had a diving catch in the fourth inning on a line drive, stealing a hit from Andrew Garner.

Bouman faced the minimum in the first, third and fourth innings, and the junior got out of a jam in the second. Garner walked and moved to second on a balk, LSU’s first of the season. A single had Garner at third with one out before Bouman retired the next two batters.

Person had some two-out trouble in the sixth.

He issued a two-out walk, then Lex Kaplan’s hard single bounced off third baseman Christian Ibarra. Domangue struck out Barry Buchowski to strand the pair of runners.

Kurt McCune, Nate Fury and Joe Broussard finished off the game on the mound.

Tulane loaded the bases with one out on Broussard in the ninth before he wiggled out with a strikeout and ground out.

Lagniappe

Laird extended his hitting streak to five games with a single in the third. … Tyler Moore got his first steal of the year on a hit-and-run in the fourth inning. ... Jared Foster, Danny Zardon and Chris Sciambra all got action late in the game, but did not start.