Baseball Walks Off with Series Sweep, 5-4
BATON ROUGE -- Third baseman Tyler Hanover delivered a game-winning double in the bottom of the ninth inning Sunday to propel No. 13 LSU to a 5-4 victory and a three-game sweep over Dartmouth in Alex Box Stadium.
The Tigers extended their winning streak to five and completed a perfect 5-0 week. LSU defeated Dartmouth 8-4 and 16-3 in the first two games of the series over the weekend. Dartmouth, which opened its 2012 season on Friday, fell to 0-3 with Sunday's loss.
LSU returns to action on Tuesday as the Tigers travel to New Orleans to take on instate rival Tulane at 6:30 p.m. in Turchin Stadium.
The game was tied 4-4 in the bottom of the ninth inning when LSU shortstop Austin Nola delivered a two-out single against Dartmouth reliever Thomas Olson (0-1). Hanover followed with a fly ball into right-center field, where Dartmouth centerfielder Jake Carlson, who was battling the sun, had the ball carom off of his glove. Nola scored from first base on the play to give the Tigers the victory.
"I'm glad that we has this type of ball game today, a tight game where our players had to respond in pressure situations," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "I thought we executed well at the plate and we made some critical pitches throughout the day. Our run total doesn't reflect it, but we had a lot of very good at-bats with balls that were hit right at their fielders."
Rightfielder Raph Rhymes paced LSU with four hits and two RBI. Nola produced a career-high four hits and scored the game-winning run.
Reliever Chris Cotton (1-0) picked up the victory in relief after coming into the game in the top of the eighth inning and recording four outs. Starter Kurt McCune allowed two runs (two earned) on four hits, four walks and struck out four in 4.2 innings.
Olson gave up two runs (two earned) on four hits and two walks in 3.2 innings. LSU scored three runs on Dartmouth starter Michael Johnson with seven hits in the first four innings of the game.
LSU struck first in the bottom of the opening frame. Second baseman JaCoby Jones reached base on a single to left and reached second on a wild pitch before being caught stealing at third. First baseman Mason Katz tattooed a two-out double to right center.
Rhymes plated Katz on a hard hit single through the left side of the infield.
The Tigers extended the lead in the bottom of the third inning. Jones cracked a leadoff double into the left-center gap and moved to third on Katz's ground out to the right side. With the defense playing in, Rhymes pushed a single up the middle for his second RBI single of the contest.
Nola slapped a single into left center and Rhymes moved to third. Hanover placed a perfect sacrifice bunt that allowed Rhymes to score.
Dartmouth cut into the lead in the top of the fifth. After a leadoff walk to Jeff Keller and a single to left by Nick Lombardi, McCune struck out David Turnbull, but Matt Robinson knocked an RBI single up the middle.
McCune forced Joe Sclafani to pop out to center field, but second baseman Thomas Roulis placed a double into right center, scoring Lombardi from second and moving Robinson to third.
Right-hander Joe Broussard entered the game for LSU in relief of McCune with two in scoring position and two outs. He struck out Chris O'Dowd to minimize the damage.
Dartmouth knotted the game at 3-3 in the top of the sixth. Keller reached base on a two-out single and scored on Lombardi's RBI single to left.
Dartmouth captured the lead in the top of the seventh. Robinson led off the inning with a single up the middle and moved to second on a wild pitch. Sclafani's groundout advanced Robinson to third.
Left-hander Cody Glenn replaced Broussard, but Roulis greeted him with an RBI single to right that plated Robinson. Roulis stole second and Dustin Selzer was intentionally walked to set up a lefty-lefty matchup with DH Ennis Coble. A wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position before Glenn forced Coble to ground out to end the threat.
Rhymes dropped in a bloop double between the first baseman and right field to start a rally for LSU in the seventh. Rhymes moved to third on a wild pitch and Nola plated Rhymes on an infield single.
After entering the game in the top of the eighth with two outs and allowing a single, Cotton retired four straight, including all three in the top of the ninth.
LSU 5, Dartmouth 4 (Mar 04, 2012 at Baton Rouge, La.)
Dartmouth........... 000 021 100 - 4 10 1 (0-3)
LSU...................... 102 000 101 - 5 13 0 (10-2)
Pitchers: Dartmouth - Johnson, Michael; Dodakian, Mike(5); Olson, Thomas(6) and O'Dowd, Chris.
LSU - Kurt McCune; Joe Broussard(5); Cody Glenn(7); Joey Bourgeois(8); Chris Cotton(8) and Ty Ross.
Win-Chris Cotton(1-0) Loss-Olson, Thomas(0-1) T-2:37 A-9925
Actual Attendance: 4,175