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LSU clinched the 2013 SEC Western Division


LSU clinched the 2013 SEC Western Division title Saturday with a 2-1 victory at Texas A&M. The division title was LSU’s second in a row and its fourth during coach Paul Mainieri’s seven-season tenure with the Tigers.


LSU’s 45 regular-season wins matches the most recorded in school history since the NCAA adopted a standardized 56-game regular-season schedule in 1992. The 45 wins equals the mark set by the 1997 LSU club, which completed its regular season with a 45-11 record.


LSU’s 21 SEC wins this season are the most by a Fighting Tiger club since the 1998 team posted a 21-9 league record. The LSU record for SEC wins in a season is 22, set in 1986 and 1997.


LSU has won 26 consecutive games against Louisiana schools and the Tigers have 33 straight non-conference mid-week victories.


“It’s important that we continue to play well during the final week of the regular season,” LSU coach Paul Mainieri said. “We have to build momentum as we head into the postseason, and I know our players have several significant goals in mind as we head down the stretch. UNO has played a very difficult schedule this season against a lot of quality programs, so I’m sure they’ll be ready to play their best against us.”


Mainieri said freshman right-hander Hunter Newman (1-0, 2.63 ERA) will make his second career start on Tuesday, and several pitchers should appear in the game as the Tigers prepare for the SEC series with Ole Miss.


UNO coach Bruce Peddie will counter with sophomore right-hander Alex Smith (3-8, 4.10 ERA).


LSU junior designated hitter Sean McMullen led LSU to the series win at Texas A&M last weekend, providing the game-winning RBI in the victory over the Aggies Saturday that clinched the SEC Western Division title for the Tigers. McMullen batted .455 (5-for-11) in the three games with two doubles, four RBI and one run scored.


In Friday’s Game 2 win over the Aggies, McMullen collected a career-high four hits, including two doubles, and tied his career  best with three RBI. In Saturday’s 2-1, eight-inning victory at Texas A&M, McMullen delivered the game-winning RBI in the top of the eighth inning with a two-strike sacrifice fly.


LSU reliever Chris Cotton earned a save and win last weekend at Texas A&M, improving his record to 3-1 and his saves total to 11 in 28 appearances out of the bullpen. Cotton worked a total of 2.2 scoreless innings against the Aggies, allowing just one hit with no walks and one strikeout.


Cotton’s fellow reliever, junior right-hander Nick Rumbelow, also turned in two effective outings against the Aggies, firing two scoreless innings with no hits, one walk and two strikeouts.


UNO is led at the plate by sophomore infielder Zach Liberto, who is batting .280 with three doubles, one triple, one homer and 14 RBI. Sophomore infielder Jonathan Coco is hitting .274 with three doubles, two homers and 11 RBI.


LSU leads the all-time series with UNO, 53-34, as the Tigers and Privateers first met in 1976. Tuesday’s game marks the first meeting between the schools since the 2011 season, when LSU defeated the Privateers 13-0 in Baton Rouge and 5-0 in New Orleans.



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