Gold Clinches Baseball's World Series, 5-3

LSU's Chris Matulis
LSU's Chris Matulis
Steve Franz
Chad Vignes
Chad Vignes

BATON ROUGE -- Shortstop Austin Nola’s two doubles and a solid outing by left-hander Chris Matulis clinched the LSU Baseball Purple-Gold World Series title for the Gold team, as it posted a 5-3 win over the Purple Thursday at Alex Box Stadium.

The Purple-Gold World Series is a three-game intrasquad series that concludes LSU’s five-week fall practice session.

“I think we’ve had a very productive fall, and we’ve learned a lot about our team,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri, who directed the Tigers to the 2009 College World Series title. “I was very pleased with the way our players competed in the scrimmages; there was a lot of energy and enthusiasm in a spirited environment.

“I’m very confident that we will have an excellent pitching staff and an outstanding starting nine. The only area of concern right now may be our depth, but I feel like we have players who will continue to develop and fill important roles on the club.”

Nola, a Baton Rouge native, led the Gold team offensively in Thursday’s game, going 2-for-2 with two doubles, two walks, an RBI and a run scored.

Centerfielder Mikie Mahtook also had a single and scored twice for the Gold squad in the seven-inning contest.

Matulis, a sophomore from Boynton Beach, Fla. earned the win for the Gold, as he pitched three innings and allowed only two hits, while striking out two.

Junior right-hander Anthony Ranaudo had a solid performance for the Purple squad, as he pitched three innings and allowed only two hits while striking out five.

The Purple team was led offensively by first baseman Blake Dean, who went 2-for-3 with two singles and an RBI.

The Gold team wasted no time getting on the board in the first inning when Nola’s RBI double scored Mahtook to give it an early 1-0 lead.

The Purple squad responded in the bottom of the frame when Dean singled home outfielder Trey Watkins to tie the score at 1-1.

Later in the inning, the Purple team took a 2-1 lead when left fielder Matt Gaudet hit a deep sacrifice fly to center, scoring outfielder Johnny Dishon, who singled earlier in the inning.

In the third inning, Nola led off the inning with a double and advanced to third on an error. He later scored on sacrifice fly by second baseman Mason Katz to tie the score at 2-2. On the same play, Micah Gibbs crossed the plate on a throwing error from the outfield to put the Gold squad up 3-2.

The Gold team added to its lead in the fourth inning when Mahtook scored on a wild pitch by freshman left-hander Zach LaSuzzo to make the score 4-2.

In the fifth inning, the Gold added to its lead when first baseman Wes Luquette scored after a deep fly ball by Gibbs to right-center was caught by a diving Dishon. The Gold team held a 5-2 advantage at that point.

The Purple team rallied in the bottom of the seventh, loading the bases and plating one run on a walk to Gaudet, making the score 5-3.

Sophomore right-hander Joey Bourgeois worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh, retiring Grant Dozar and Beau Didier to seal the victory for the Gold.

LSU opens the 2010 season on February 19 versus Centenary in Alex Box Stadium. Players begin individual workouts in January, and the Tigers’ first full-squad practice is on February 1.

“We’re definitely looking forward to re-convening in January,” Mainieri said. “I think our fans can expect another very exciting season.”




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