In the opening weekend of his eighth season, all LSU coach Paul Mainieri hopes is that he learns something about his admittedly young team.

With game one under its belt, the Tigers showed their coach moxie on the mound and clarity among a murky bullpen.

Junior righty Aaron Nola worked six scoreless frames while classmate Joe Broussard and senior Kurt McCune staved off a scrappy UNO group to preserve a 2-0 victory for the Tigers in Alex Box Stadium on Friday night.

"Overall, you can't be displeased," Mainieri said. "We got the win. I know we can play better, offensively especially, but I'm not displeased, believe me."

With the exception of three hit batsmen, Nola had a clean opening start, scattering only four hits and striking out six.

He ran into trouble in both the fifth and sixth — where he allowed three of his four hits — but was able to wiggle out of both frames with two Privateers stranded in each inning.

"My inside stuff obviously wasn't working," Nola said. "I don't think I've ever [hit three batters] before and hopefully that will never happen again. But I felt pretty good, my arm felt real good. I had real life on the ball."

Broussard, whose seventh inning entrance was his first game action since an appearance in the 2012 super regional, showed a combination of rust and jitters as he fired five straight balls to open the frame.

After a visit from pitching coach Alan Dunn, Broussard settled to throw two hitless innings with two strikeouts.

"I had to take a couple deep breaths to take it in at first," Broussard said. "I got back in, filled the zone up a little bit but now I have to just work on my command."

Without a clear-cut replacement for the departed Chris Cotton, McCune got the first crack in a save opportunity as the Tigers nursed a two-run lead in the ninth.

The Norco native, who struggled last season to recuperate from a stress fracture in his back, struck out his first two hitters before inducing a bouncing ball to Tiger second baseman Connor Hale for the final out of the contest.

It's nowhere near set in stone, but McCune said his healthy fall coupled with his outing had him excited about taking the closer role.

"I enjoy closing a lot," McCune said. "It's really a confidence booster and something I can take going forward. It was great to know I could go out there and still be pain free."

Mainieri said the Tiger offense suffered from some opening night butterflies as LSU left ten runners on base — including three on third base with less than two outs.

Hale picked up his first career hit in the third, leading the inning off with a sinking liner to right field for a single.

He advanced to third as sophomore outfielder Mark Laird laced a double to left field on a hit-and-run before sophomore shortstop Alex Bregman drove Hale in on a single to make it 1-0.

Hale — a junior college transfer — admitted to those nerves Mainieri mentioned, but said once flow of the game progressed, it was as if nothing was different.

"I've never played in front of this many people before," Hale said. "I was just trying to get something started [in the third inning] and I'm happy I did that."

The Tigers added an insurance run in the sixth after senior third baseman Christian Ibarra snuck a double inside the third base line and junior designated hitter Kade Scivicque sent him home with a sacrifice fly.

The seven hits were at a premium for LSU, but Hale and Ibarra lauded UNO starter Raymond Winter's mixed bag of pitches and changing velocity for stymieing Tiger hitters.

But Bregman assured the lackadaisical offense was just a byproduct of progression.

"I think we were just getting our feet wet," Bregman said. "It's different for a lot of people, playing in front of this. Game one is different. We'll be ready to hit, I'm not worried about it at all."

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