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BATON ROUGE, La. (WGNO) — In the longest outing of the season, Paul Skenes struck out 11 batters in nine innings as top-seed LSU made easy work of Tulane, 7-2, in the opening game of the NCAA Tournament’s Baton Rouge Regional in Alex Box Stadium on Friday afternoon.

LSU jumped to a 4-0 lead after scoring in each of the first three innings.

The Tigers’ two-time First-Team All-American who was just named the NCAA National Pitcher of the Year, struck out eight in his first 45 pitches and improves to 11-2 after recording his first complete game victory at LSU.

“The fact that we ran him past the season-high seven innings and 120 plus pitches, I think that says something about, you know, the way we went about it and maybe the respect that they have for our hitters and our program,” Tulane head coach Jay Uhlman told WGNO Sports. “So, that I feel good about.”

With the win, the fifth-ranked Tigers (44-15) advance to play the winner of Sam Houston-Oregon State.

“As [Paul Skenes] spoke of, there’s some other value to him being able to do what he did today that should help the rest of the pitchers the rest of the way,” said LSU head coach Jay Johnson during the post-game presser.

That game is set for Saturday, 8 p.m.

Tulane (19-41) drops to the elimination bracket on Saturday at 2 p.m.