BATON ROUGE – The LSU baseball offense exploded Wednesday evening in its 14-6 victory over the University of New Orleans at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field. LSU hit its best with runners in scoring position, going 9-for-18 with RBI opportunities.

With the win, the Tigers move to 2-2 on the season. New Orleans falls to 2-3.

“I was impressed by our offensive effort, because UNO had some outstanding arms on the mound,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “Every pitcher we faced was throwing 88-91 miles per hour with some breaking balls. So, we were hitting against some pretty good pitchers, and there were a lot of great swings out there.”

Mainieri said he was especially pleased with the performance of freshman Hal Hughes, who started at shortstop for the first time in the place of the injured Josh Smith, who is expected to be out 4-6 weeks with a stress reaction in his vertebrae.

“Hal played flawlessly on defense, and every appearance at the plate, he did something positive, “Mainieri said. “I was so proud of him, and there’s was nothing better that happened tonight than the way he played overall.

Hughes was 2-for-4 at the plate with one double, one run, one sacrifice bunt and two RBI.

Freshman Ma’Khail Hilliard (1-0) picked up his first victory in Purple and Gold after working an inning of relief for LSU on Wednesday evening. Trent Vietmeier pitched three innings in relief of starter Cam Sanders, and he recorded four strikeouts while giving up one run.