Sweet 16: Baseball Wraps Regular Season, 11-7

LSU's Micah Gibbs
LSU's Micah Gibbs
LSUsports.net (@LSUsports)
LSUsports.net (@LSUsports)
LSU Sports Interactive

AUBURN, Ala. -- No. 16 LSU erased a 7-5 Auburn lead with a five-run seventh inning Saturday as the Tigers won their 16th straight game, 11-7, at Plainsman Park.
LSU (39-16-1, 18-11-1 SEC), the SEC Western Division champion, plays at 10 a.m. Wednesday in the first game of the conference tournament in Hoover, Ala. The Tigers will play No. 7-seeded South Carolina.
The 16-game win streak is the third-longest in LSU history, trailing only a 19-game streak in 1997 and an 18-game streak in 1986. LSU has won 12 consecutive SEC games, the longest single-season conference streak in school annals.
Trailing 7-5 Saturday, LSU sent nine men to the plate in the seventh inning, scoring five runs on four hits. Third baseman Buzzy Haydel led off the frame with a single and later scored on centerfielder Jared Mitchell’s double to reduce Auburn’s lead to 7-6.
The Tigers loaded the bases before first baseman Matt Clark hit a sacrifice fly to deep center field, scoring shortstop Michael Hollander from third base and Mitchell all the way from second base.
Micah Gibbs hit a pinch-hit double and rightfielder Johnny Dishon ripped an RBI triple to complete the rally and give LSU a 10-7 advantage.
The Tigers added a run in the ninth on second baseman Ryan Schimpf’s RBI single.
“Our team simply refuses to lose,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “We rested five of our starters today, and I thought our role players came in and did an outstanding job. This group of guys truly epitomizes what it means to be a team. They pick each other up, and they play with confidence no matter the score or the situation. I’m proud to call this team division champions they’ve worked so hard to earn it and I’m hoping we can add some more championships as we move into the postseason.”
Freshman right-hander Austin Ross (3-1), the second of three LSU pitchers, earned Saturday’s win as he worked three innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on four hits with no walks and one strikeout.
Right-hander Louis Coleman picked up his second save of the season with a brilliant outing, blanking Auburn over the final three innings. Coleman allowed just one hit and recorded no walks and six strikeouts.
LSU freshman right-hander Anthony Ranaudo, making his first career collegiate start, allowed three runs none earned on one hit in three innings with three walks and five strikeouts.
LSU grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first when second baseman Chris McGhee walked to lead off the inning and later scored on designated hitter Blake Dean’s RBI single.
The Tigers extended the lead to 3-0 in the second when Auburn second baseman Joseph Sanders bobbled shortstop Michael Hollander’s fielder’s choice grounder with the bases loaded, allowing two unearned runs to score.
LSU added a run in the third when Dean doubled, advanced to third on a wild pitch and later scored when catcher Sean Ochinko grounded into a double play.
Auburn narrowed the gap to 4-3 in the third when rightfielder Mike Bianucci launched a three-run blast off of Ranaudo.
Hollander’s RBI single in the fourth gave LSU a 5-3 advantage, and Auburn cut the lead to 5-4 in the bottom of the frame on catcher Ryan Jenkins’ RBI grounder.
Auburn took its first lead in the sixth when centerfielder Trent Mummey unloaded a three-run homer his fourth of the season off of Ross, giving the Plainsmen a 7-5 advantage.
Right-hander Michael Hurst (3-5), the second of four Auburn pitchers, was charged with the loss as he surrendered four runs on two hits in 2.1 innings with one walk and two strikeouts.
LSU 11, Auburn 7 (May 17, 2008 at Auburn, Ala.)
LSU.................... 121 100 501  - 11 14  3      (39-16-1, 18-11-1 SEC)
Auburn.............. 003 103 000  -  7  6  1      (28-28, 11-19 SEC)
Pitchers: LSU - Anthony Ranaudo; Austin Ross(4); Louis Coleman(7).
Auburn - Luke Greinke; Michael Hurst(5); Bryan Woodall(7); Austin Hubbard(8).
Win-Austin Ross(3-1)  Save-Louis Coleman(2)  Loss-Michael Hurst(3-5)  T-3:08  A-2907
HR AU - Trent Mummey (4); Mike Bianucci (13).

SEC Tournament Pairings
Hoover, Ala.
Regions Field

Wednesday, May 21
Game 1: #2 LSU vs. #7 South Carolina, 10 a.m.
Game 2: #3 Florida vs. #6 Vanderbilt, 1 p.m.
Game 3: #1 Georgia vs. #8 Ole Miss, 5 p.m.
Game 4: #5 Kentucky vs. #4 Alabama, 8 p.m.

Thursday, May 22
Game 5: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 10 a.m.
Game 6: Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 1 p.m.
Game 7: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 5 p.m.
Game 8: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4, 8 p.m.

Friday, May 23
Game 9: Winner Game 5 vs. Loser Game 7, 3 p.m.
Game 10: Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 8, 6 p.m.

Saturday, May 24
Game 11: Winner Game 8 vs. Winner Game 9, 10 a.m.
Game 12: Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 10, 1:30 p.m.
Game 13*: Winner Game 11 vs. Loser Game 11, 5 p.m.
Game 14*: Winner Game 12 vs. Loser Game 12, 8 p.m.

Sunday, May 25
Game 15: Winner Game 13 vs. Winner Game 14, 3 p.m. 

* Game 13 will be necessary if the winner of Game 9 also wins game 11.

* Game 14 will be necessary if the winner of Game 10 also wins Game 12. If Game 13 is not necessary, Game 14 would start at 5 p.m.

If both bracket winners are undefeated, there will be no 5 or 8:30 p.m. games on Saturday and the championship game will be the 13th game, which will be played on Sunday. 



Inside LSU Baseball - Episode 5
Apr. 17
Baseball vs. UL-Lafayette - Audio Replay
Apr. 16
The Paul Mainieri Show - Week 4
Apr. 15