BATON ROUGE -- Kevin Gausman may not have had his best stuff on Saturday night at Alex Box Stadium, but the sophomore LSU righty got an early lead and guided the Tigers into the NCAA Regional driver's seat, 7-1.
LSU (45-16) advanced to face the winner of Sunday's 1:30 p.m. CT elimination game between second-seeded Oregon State (39-19) and fourth-seeded Louisiana-Monroe.
First pitch for the Tigers is set for 6:30 p.m. CT on the LSU Sports Radio Network (98.1 FM in Baton Rouge) and the Jumbo Sports Network (Cox Sports Television in Baton Rouge).
Saturday's attendance of 10,367 was the largest in LSU baseball history. The paid crowd (11,535) was the largest in postseason history.
"It was such a good team victory," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "It was sort of a weird game; the tempo of the game was very slow. They laid off a lot of (Gausman's) pitches, but we swung at a lot of bad pitches. We kind of grinded our way through tonight and got ourselves a victory. We're going to put it in our back pocket and move on to tomorrow."
Gausman (11-1), making his first career NCAA start, gave up seven hits and three walks but held Oregon State to 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position. While Gausman threw 129 pitches, the Beavers stranded nine runners and scored their lone run with three-straight two-out singles in the top of the third inning.
"I've had Kevin now for almost two full years, and nothing the kid does amazes me anymore," Mainieri said. "He has gotten better every week. Today, maybe, he wasn't as sharp as he's been in previous weeks. He just showed another side of himself, how he could just battle through not being as fine as he normally is. A kid with lesser mental toughness would have probably started to pout and feel sorry for himself and let things get out of control. He just keeps battling right through it.
"He didn't have a 1-2-3 inning until about the sixth inning. It was a struggle for him, but he just kept fighting and fighting. I thought his last couple of innings were his best innings of the game."
Nick Goody pitched a perfect ninth for LSU.
Oregon State starter Dan Child (6-4) took the loss after allowing five runs on seven hits with two walks and a strikeout in 5 1/3 innings of work. Three Beavers relievers combined to keep the Tigers hitless until an Austin Nola RBI triple in the eighth.
But, the Tigers did their damage early then leaned on Gausman and then Goody to finish off Oregon State.
LSU got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the second, as catcher Ty Ross and designated hitter Grant Dozar each singled to open the inning. Both advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Alex Edward and Ross came home on a groundout by Tyler Hanover for a 1-0 lead. After Arby Fields was hit by a pitch, Nola drove in Dozar with an RBI single to center.
After Gausman allowed a run in the top of the third, the Tigers answered with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the inning. Mason Katz was hit by a pitch to start the frame and Raph Rhymes singled up the middle. Each advanced on a wild pitch by Child, and Katz came home on a RBI groundout to second by Ross. A single to left by Dozar plated Rhymes to put the Tigers ahead 4-1.
Despite a putout at home plate, LSU added to its lead in the sixth when Fields reached on an error on a sacrifice bunt and came around the score on a wild pitch.
The Tigers added two more runs in the eighth when Fields was again hit by a pitch with two outs and scored on a triple by Nola. Nola scored on a wild pitch to give the Tigers a 7-1 advantage.
LSU 7, Oregon State 1 (Jun 02, 2012 at Baton Rouge, La.)
Oregon State........ 001 000 000 - 1 7 2 (39-19)
LSU...................... 022 001 02X - 7 8 0 (45-16)
Pitchers: Oregon State - Child, Dan; Davis, Dylan(6); Wilkerson, Riley(8); Reser, Zack(8) and
Rodriguez, Jake; Esposito, Nate. LSU - Kevin Gausman; Nick Goody(9) and Ty Ross.
Win-Kevin Gausman(11-1) Loss-Child, Dan(6-4) T-3:16 A-11535
Actual Attendance: 10,367
Paid attendance is an LSU postseason record.
Actual attendance is the largest in Alex Box Stadium history.
Game televised by Cox Sports TV.
LSU-OREGON STATE GAME NOTES - GAME 4 - BATON ROUGE REGIONAL - JUNE 2, 2012
- LSU (45-16) awaits the winner of Sunday's 1:30 p.m. matchup between Oregon State and ULM.
- Austin Nola's triple in the eighth inning was his first of the season and the game's only extra-base hit among the eight for LSU and Oregon State's seven hits.
- Oregon State is now 37-25 in NCAA Tournament games (13 appearances)
- LSU's NCAA Tournament record is 125-47 (25 appearances).
- LSU's 7-1 win over Oregon State combined with LSU's 4-1 win over UL-Monroe is the first time LSU has held NCAA Tournament opponents to that low a run total in back-to-back games since the 2004 regional in a 9-0 win over Army and a 6-2 win over Southern Mississippi.
- But, it's not the best back-to-back pitching performances: In the 2000 Baton Rouge regional LSU defeated Jackson State 19-1, then followed with a 21-0 win over UL-Monroe, a feat that duplicated LSU's 14-1 and 3-0 (May 22, May 23) over the University of New Orleans in the 1987 South II Regional in New Orleans. (LSU's other wins were 5-3 over Tulane and 7-3 over Cal State-Fullerton) when LSU advanced to the College World Series for the second consecutive year.
- Oregon State starter Dan Child (6-4) pitched 5.1 innings, his shortest stint since lasting three innings in an April 29 loss to Southern Cal. He threw 102 pitches (61 strikes).
- LSU starter and All-America righthander Kevin Gausman (11-1) allowed three walks, the most since giving up four in a 7-0 loss to Florida (April 6). It was Gausman's only loss this year. His three strikeouts is the lowest of the season. He struck out four in a no-decision May 4 at Ole Miss.
- JaCoby Jones continued to lead LSU in stolen bases. He got his 11th of the season in the sixth inning.
- Through four games: Paid attendance 42,938; Actual attendance 23,572.
- Saturday night's Game 4 paid attendance was 11,535, a Baton Rouge Regional single-game record.
- The game's actual attendance, 10,367, all-time Alex Box (and NCAA Baton Rouge Tournament) single-game record.
2012 NCAA Baseball Championship
Baton Rouge Regional
Game 4: LSU vs. Oregon State
June 2, 2012
LSU HEAD COACH PAUL MAINIERI
On pitcher Kevin Gausman ...
"I've had Kevin (Gausman) now for almost two full years, and nothing the kid does amazes me anymore. He has gotten better every week. Today, maybe, wasn't as sharp as he's been in previous weeks. He just showed another side of himself, how he could just battle through not being as fine as he normally is. A kid with lesser mental toughness would have probably started to pout and feel sorry for himself and let things get out of control. He just keeps battling right through it. He didn't have a one-two-three inning until about the sixth inning. It was a struggle for him, but he just kept fighting and fighting. I thought his last couple of innings were his best innings of the game."
On Grant Dozar and catcher Ty Ross ...
"(Grant) Dozar and (Ty) Ross both had some really good at bats. Ty in particular, I don't think his statistics will show you the value of his at bats. It's so awesome to have him back in our line-up. He's such a critical and vital part of our team."
On the game ...
"It was such a good team victory. It was sort of a weird game, the tempo of the game was very slow. They laid off a lot of (Gausman's) pitches, but we swung at a lot of bad pitches. We kind of grinded our way through tonight and got ourselves a victory. We're going to put it in our back pocket and move on to tomorrow."
On pitcher Nick Goody ...
"We have all the confidence in the world in him, and it was a good opportunity to get him back out there. I thought he threw the ball exceptionally well. He got back into a groove. I don't want to say he got his confidence back, because I don't think that kid ever lost his confidence. It was good to see him go out there and have a clean inning."
LSU PITCHER KEVIN GAUSMAN
On his pitching performance tonight...
"I didn't have my normal command; it was something I had to fight the entire night. I didn't really have my best secondary pitch, which is my change-up. I had to go to my curveball or my slider, and I had to find which one was going to be the difference-maker for me, and it ended up being my slider. I tried to throw that early in counts and deep in counts. I give all the credit to (Oregon State); they didn't chase a lot. I think that was the scouting report they had on me. They didn't chase anything, and they made you throw a lot of strikes.
LSU DESIGNATED HITTER GRANT DOZAR
On tonight's game...
"Tonight the whole lineup made it a point to have tough outs one through nine. Guys came through with some big hits and got that run in from third base with less than two outs; we did that really well tonight. It was a good team effort. Kevin (Gausman) battled, and it was a good team win for us tonight.
On being back in the regional championship game...
"It's always good to win two early in the regional. It puts a lot of stress on those other teams having to play in the heat of the day and having to play that double-header."
LSU CATCHER TY ROSS
On his performance at the plate...
"At the plate I felt really good. I was seeing the ball really well, and I was just trying to hit it back up the middle. I got some good pitches to hit, and took a couple ugly swings on some sliders. Other than that I was seeing the ball really well, and I was trying to hit the ball the other way in the right situations."
On Kevin Gausman's pitching performance...
"Gausman really battled in the first couple of innings. He had to throw a lot of pitches, not necessarily bad, but I thought he was throwing well. Like Kevin said, they laid off a lot of pitches. I thought he did a great job. He battled, as always."
OREGON STATE HEAD COACH PAT CASEY
Opening statement ...
"I would agree with what both players said. I thought we did a nice job offensively with our approach to what we wanted to do with (Kevin) Gausman. He only struck out three. A couple of guys got away from that a little bit and seemed like they were the ones up with guys in scoring position and we could not get a hit off of him and part of that was him. We take a lot of pride in how we defend and how we pitch and that is where we got hurt tonight."
On making errors ...
"Guys are going to make errors. I think we went eight games in a row without making an error. We play really well, but tonight we did not play as well as we can. In a lot of situations the ball went off of the backstop. I do not think it has anything to do with effort or anything to do with concentration. You make errors once in awhile and that is the area that we were not very good. You win with pitching and defense and that hurt us tonight."
OREGON STATE P DAN CHILD
On his performance...
"I didn't have my best stuff today. Coming out against a really good LSU team, you can't leave the ball up. I just feel like I didn't play like I usually play."
On pitching in front of the largest crowd in Alex Box Stadium history...
"It was exciting to pitch in that kind of atmosphere. I don't think it really affected me. I enjoyed it."
On if he felt good about his performance...
"I was definitely battling every inning. I was struggling to work in and out of my fastball. That's usually what I live off of. My slider was two out of three. I just wasn't myself today."
OREGON STATE 3B RYAN DUNN
On Oregon State's performance...
"I thought we did a pretty good job as a team. We hit some balls hard but didn't stick with the game plan on defense."
On where the defensive problems were...
"I made an error by rushing a throw and Dan didn't secure the ball on a bunt."
On the frustration of not capitalizing on the large amount of pitches LSU P Kevin Gausman had in the first three innings...
"Obviously that's frustrating. You want to get him out of there as quick as possible. We hit some balls hard we just couldn't follow through. Hopefully we improve tomorrow."