Gold Posts Walk-Off Win in Baseball World Series
Communications Graduate Assistant
BATON ROUGE, La. -- With two outs and the score tied, 7-7, in the bottom of the eighth inning, rightfielder Giovanni DiGiacomo ripped the first pitch he saw into the right field bleachers to walk off the Purple-Gold World Series Game and give the Gold team the 8-7 victory Friday night.
With the Gold trailing 7-6 entering the eighth and final inning, shortstop Josh Smith led off with a single, stole two bases and scored on a sacrifce fly by catcher Brock Mathis to knot the score at 7-7, setting the stage for DiGiacomo's game-winner.
Friday' game concluded the Tigers' fall practice session. LSU opens its 2019 regular season at 7 p.m. CT on Friday, February 15, versus Louisiana-Monroe in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
“There are a lot of things that need improvement,” head coach Paul Mainieri said. “We just didn’t get to play enough scrimmages this fall because of the injuries to our pitchers and because of the rain, but I will say this, tonight, I saw a lot more positives than negatives. I thought our team played really great in a lot of aspects. Tonight, you saw the difference Josh Smith makes for a team and what (Zach) Watson and (Daniel) Cabrera are capable of doing. There was a lot of great stuff here tonight. There were some things that I was pleased with. I just wish we could have played another 30 or 40 innings of scrimmage baseball because all of those mistakes the young players made could have been corrected all along.
"We will switch our attention in January and early February leading up to February 15. We are just going to have to do a lot of work and make a lot of improvement during that time, make the corrections that need to be made in the preseason. The way the game ended was exciting and created a lot of spirit among the teams. The Purple team had a tremendous comeback. Of course, the Gold team came back. It was the best Purple-Gold World Series championship game I can remember.”
The Purple team started the game with the 1-0 lead after second baseman Brandt Broussard took the first pitch from right-hander Jaden Hill up the middle for a single. With Broussard on second after a stolen base freshman first baseman Cade Beloso hit a single to drive in Broussard.
In the bottom of the first, Gold center fielder Zach Watson led off the inning with a loud double and then scored on Smith’s single to knot the game 1-1.
To give Gold the 3-1 lead in the bottom of the third, with runners on first and first and second after consecutive one-out walks, Mathis sent a ball to the left-center wall for a booming two run double.
In the top of the fifth with the bases loaded, Broussard drew a walk to bring the game within one run, 3-2 in favor of the Gold team.
The Gold team countered in the bottom of the fifth with a run of their own after Mathis singled in Smith who was on base after a leadoff double to make it 4-2.
In the top of sixth, the Purple team tied the game, 4-4, in the sixth when center fielder Antoine Duplantis and shortstop Hal Hughes scored on a fielder’s choice after reaching on a walk and an error, respectively.
After a leadoff single by Watson, with one out, Smith crushed a home run to right field to lift the Gold team to a 6-4 lead.
The Purple team rallied in the final inning of regulation when the squad loaded the bases with one out. Duplantis ripped a three-run single to left field to grab the 7-6 edge.
Gold starter Jaden Hill fired three innings. The freshman gave up one run on three hits and walked one.
Purple starter Riggs Threadgill also tossed three innings, allowing three runs on four hits. The right-hander walked two and struck out three.