Johnson, Stony Brook Even Super Regional, 3-1
Director of Digital Media
BATON ROUGE, La. -- After losing Game 1 Saturday morning, Stony Brook came back to take Game 2 of the NCAA Baseball Super Regional in the afternoon, 3-1, and force a deciding game on Sunday at Alex Box Stadium.
Sunday's deciding game is set for noon CT on ESPN2 and www.ESPN3.com. Pregame on the LSU Sports Radio Network begins at 11:30 a.m. The winner advances to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb.
A limited number of Standing Room Only tickets for Game 3 will go on sale at 10 a.m. in the Alex Box Stadium ticket office.
LSU (47-17) will be the home team in Sunday's deciding game.
"What we need to do now is just regroup, realize that we won one and lost one today, and tomorrow we are playing for all of the marbles," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "I told the kids after the game that this is what you have worked all year for, an opportunity to go to Omaha and what happens tomorrow they will remember for the rest of their lives."
Stony Brook (51-13) suffered a 5-4 loss in Game 1, which resumed Saturday at 10 a.m. after 11 innings of play on Friday. Friday's game was delayed two hours and 34 minutes before NCAA officials called it due to rain.
Facing elimination in game 2, Seawolves starter Tyler Johnson (12-1) pitched a three-hit complete game while allowing one unearned run with four walks and a strikeout.
In the bottom of the third, LSU starter Kevin Gausman (12-2) - who earned the win by pitching the 12th inning of game 1 - got into trouble during a driving rain shower. With one out, No. 8 hitter Kevin Courtney doubled to right and scored on a single by Sal Intagliata. Then, with runners on the corners and two outs, an RBI single to right by William Carmona gave Stony Brook a 2-0 lead.
The Seawolves added another run off Gausman with a solo home run to right by Courtney for a 3-0 advantage.
Courtney finished 3-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI.
LSU's lone run came in the top of the sixth when JaCoby Jones singled and advanced to second on a throwing error by Johnson. Jones scored on a single through the right side by Rhymes, cutting the deficit to 3-1. However, after Ty Ross walked, Jordy Snikeris grounded into a double play to end the threat.
Ten minutes after resuming Game 1 of the NCAA Super Regional in the 12th inning, LSU's Mason Katz hit an RBI single to center field to drive in Tyler Moore and move the Tigers within one win of the College World Series.
LSU inserted its pitching ace and Game 2 starter, Gausman, on the mound to start the 12th inning, and he retired the Stony Brook side in order on 12 pitches.
In the bottom half, Moore hit a bloop single to right field off Seawolves closer Frankie Vanderka. Moore advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Austin Nola. After an intentional walk of JaCoby Jones, Katz laced a single to left-center field. Though Moore had to hold up waiting for the line drive to fall, he slid into home plate safely and the celebration started around Katz.
Katz tied the game in the bottom of the 11th with a solo home run before the delay on Friday.
"When (Austin) Nola came up with a guy on first, Coach (Mainieri) turned to me and JaCoby (Jones) and said 'one of you drive the run in,'" Katz said. "I said 'if he doesn't, I will.' They intentionally walked JaCoby and tried to get a double-play ball. I was going to do my best to drive something in the gap. In that situation, I was not going to hit into a double play. I wanted to get something early in the count to hit. That kid has a great curve ball. He threw me a curve ball and left it up in the zone and that was it."
2012 NCAA Baseball Championship
Baton Rouge Super Regional
Game 2: LSU vs. Stony Brook
June 9, 2012
LSU-STONY BROOK GAME 2 SUPER REGIONAL NOTEBOOK
- Stony Brook evens the series with a 3-1 win over LSU to force a game 3 Sunday at 12:05 p.m. on ESPN2. Stony Brook now evens its record at 1-1 in Super Regionals, while LSU is 12-9 in NCAA Super Regional Games.
- LSU's loss was its first in 10 regional/super regional games in the New Alex Box Stadium. LSU had won 11 straight regional/super regional games in either Alex Box Stadium starting with game 2 of the 2008 Super Regional against Cal-Irvine.
- The loss stopped LSU's 14-game winning streak against non-SEC opponents dating back to its start on March 14 against Northwestern State.
- Stony Brook is 5-4 in 2-run games this year; 42-6 when they outhit their opponents. LSU is 1-2 in 2-run games this season; 8-8 when out-hit by opponent.
- Tyler Johnson wins his 36th career game at Stony Brook, the all-time career leader in wins at the school.
- Willie Carmona, who went 11-for-21 with 11 RBI in the Coral Gables Regional and was named the MOP, is 4-for-9 here in Baton Rouge with an RBI.
- Kevin Courtney is 5-for-9 in the two games with 24 putouts at first base.
- Kevin Gausman missed out on what might have been LSU's single best two-game, same-day pitching performance since 1989 when on the final day of the College Station regional, Ben McDonald, who is working the regional for ESPN in Bristol, Conn., as a studio analyst, recorded a win in the first game and a save in the second game on Championship Sunday against the Aggies.
- The Tigers are 8-4 this season following a loss and 5-2 (Appalachian State, Vanderbilt) in three-game series at home this year.
- With today's win Stony Brook is now 9-4 following a loss.
- Today's attendance was 11,207 paid and 9,446 actual bringing the two-game total to 22,673 paid and 18,668 actual. In the 2009 two-game regional, the paid attendance was 20,202 actual and 19,026 paid.
LSU HEAD COACH PAUL MAINIERI
Opening statement ...
"Today was obviously quite a day. The way it started, the threat of rain that cleared up, and then a great ball game to finish the day. First of all, let us talk about the continuation of yesterday's game. I have never slept on a decision as much as this one to bring Kevin (Gausman) into start the 12th inning. It was really a tough call. It all started with making that decision to bring him in and then he goes out there and pitches tremendously, although they did have a couple of good at bats against him and they hit the ball fairly hard a couple of times."
"With Kevin (Gausman) only throwing 12 pitches to get through that inning, I had no qualms about starting him for the second ball game. Let me say this, what he did today for our team was really heroic. Their kid was great too. It was two warriors going at it, toe-to-toe, pitch-to-pitch, and you can tip your hat to their kid. He was phenomenal. He deserves all of the accolades that he receives, but so does our guy. It is a shame that our guy had to lose that game because he pitched his heart out. I am just so proud of Kevin and what he has done for our team. The story of the game is that we just could not get to (Tyler) Johnson. We only had three hits. There were times where we thought we had something going, we had a couple of tough breaks go against us. In my years of coaching I do not think I have ever seen a guy get thrown out at second on a ball four when he was forced to second base. Maybe Skip (Bertman) has, but he is a lot older than I am. I have not seen it and obviously it was a very pivotal play in the game for us in a negative way and it was a shame that it happened. We had a few tough breaks go against us and going against a kid like that you just do not have that many opportunities. What we need to do now is just regroup, realize that we won one and lost one today, and tomorrow we are playing for all of the marbles. I told the kids after the game that this is what you have worked all year for, an opportunity to go to Omaha and what happens tomorrow they will remember for the rest of their lives."
On the team's approach at the plate ...
"We need to get some more hits than we are getting, that is for sure. We have run up against some tough pitching. These kids from Stony Brook are good. They are not over powering guys and we knew that, but have good command, they mix their pitches well, and they do not get you too comfortable in the batters box. We had a few balls hit hard, not a lot. We just have to do a little bit better tomorrow. These kids have done it before and hopefully they will do it tomorrow."
LSU OUTFIELDER MASON KATZ
On his game-winning hit in the 12th inning of Game 1 ...
"Coming up in that inning, when Tyler Moore got on base, Coach (Mainieri) looked at me and JaCoby (Jones) and asked if one of us was going to drive that run in. I said if he doesn't, I will. I was excited to be in that position. (Austin) Nola laid down a perfect bunt. Thinking about it now, getting in a double-play position was probably pretty smart putting JaCoby on in the bottom of the 12th, but I wasn't going to hit into a double play. I was going to lift something, at least to the gap, and I got a relatively good pitch to hit. I put a good swing on it, and I was able to drive him in."
On Stony Brook pitcher Tyler Johnson ...
"He threw a phenomenal game; the kid has been doing that all year. He did it this summer in the Cape (Cod League). He's a great pitcher; he works both sides of the plate with a good sinker, and a good slider he can throw in and out to both lefties and righties. He's a great pitcher; that wasn't a fluke. Kevin (Gausman) threw a great game, and that kid just beat us today. He was spotting up inside and outside. With two strikes he was extending in and extending away and hitting all the spots. He didn't get into many hitter's counts. He kept us off balance with change-ups, sinkers, and sliders. He did a great job."
LSU PITCHER KEVIN GAUSMAN
On his performance in Game 2 ...
"I felt pretty comfortable out there, especially towards the end of the game. I think that's when I started to find my groove. In the middle of the game I was kind of inconsistent hitting my spots, and I got into some hitter's counts and had to throw fastballs. I was living down for the most part in the game, and I think the three pitches I left up were the ones that hurt me."
On how the rain affected his pitching ...
"Really I was just trying to get the grip of my pitches. I was having trouble having that feel for my pitches. I never use rosin, and I had to use rosin today; that was something different. It's definitely not an excuse. I just couldn't find it, and I felt like I didn't have that pin-point accuracy. Usually I can throw my fastball on both sides, and that (third) inning I felt like all I could do was throw it down the middle, hoping it went where I was trying to throw it."
STONY BROOK HEAD COACH MATT SENK
"I cannot be more proud of these two young men and their performance today. Tyler (Johnson) just keeps outdoing himself every time he gets the ball. Kevin (Courtney) is kind of the offensive version of Tyler. He keeps doing some amazing things for us offensively coming up big. These guys basically epitomize our team. The two men you see here and the performances they had is what Stony Brook baseball is all about. We are a very tough-minded group, a gutsy group. They love playing the game, they love playing together and they just keep on playing to keep on playing. I can't be more proud."
On Tyler Johnson's performance...
"It was a concern when I asked Tyler to pitch last Monday. I am very concerned about all my young men and doing anything that might in some way injure them. The type of pitcher Tyler is I felt he could handle that. We monitor him closely and he did a great job last Monday. I was concerned about him going out there today. I didn't know what the residual effect might be from last weekend. In the third inning, knowing he has had a little bit of a problem of fatigue more in his legs than anywhere else, I was concerned that this was going to be something that might keep him from throwing for us. That is quite a bullpen we have out there for us. Just as he did on Monday in Miami, it's like he got an adrenaline surge. From the fourth inning on Monday he threw tremendous. From the third inning on today you all saw what he did, unbelievable."
On tomorrow's pitching plans...
"I don't have a definitive starter for tomorrow. I need to discuss that with my staff, but I can let you all know that he will be right handed."
On Stony Brook's mindset...
"They were disappointed for a few minutes and then I just had to quickly remind them of a weekend ago. Then they knew that we had been here and done that. They were good to go. It was back to business as usual. Whether it was coming back a weekend ago or finding a way to split these two games in tight games is really a testament to these young men. I don't have a speech planned for tonight. As I do just about every night, I will be thinking about if I can find one thing to say. As I tell them, 'when you don't even know I am in the dugout, when you don't hear a word out of me, then you have got it.' Right now, in a lot of ways, they have got it. This is what we try to get to and I will continue to be there to manage them. As far as pep talks and things like that, they are doing that for each other. I just want to be there with them to help them in any way that I can."
STONY BROOK FIRST BASEMAN KEVIN COURTNEY
On hitting performance so far through two games...
"I'm just trying to go up there and hit good pitches. I knew coming in that [Kevin Gausman] was going to be throwing up in the nineties and mid-nineties. Just trying to put the bat on the ball and have a good approach up there and just hit what comes at me."
On his thoughts on the environment of Alex Box Stadium and the team's approach going into tomorrow's game...
"Coming in here, we knew Alex Box was going to be rocking the whole time. It's lived up to the hype that we've heard about and it's just an awesome experience. We, as a team, just like playing baseball, and whatever we have to play in front of is what we're going to do."
On facing Kevin Gausman twice...
"Going in, we knew we were going to face [Kevin Gausman] in the second game. So coming out there, we were going to try to do our best to get his pitch count up in the first game, and obviously that didn't happen. But coming out in the second game, we knew we had three quality at-bats against him in the first inning [he threw today, to end game one]. With the warmups between games, we knew we had a good shot at him and we had total confidence in ourselves."
STONY BROOK PITCHER TYLER JOHNSON
On his performance...
"At this point of the year, you're doing it for the guy next to you. I always said that in the regional when I pitched two games in about three days. But it's been a pleasure playing with these guys and it's been a pleasure going out there every week and pitching for them. So going nine innings and doing what I did today is more, I think, for the guys next to you."
On when the trainers came out to visit him at the mound in the third inning...
"It's just a bit of a fatigue issue in the third inning there. My legs were a little tired but that's not the issue. I told Coach [Senk] that I wanted to stay in the game and I wanted to pitch and give my team a chance to win. So it was just a minor thing - nothing to worry about."
On if he was more pumped to pitch today, knowing he was facing a high draft choice in Kevin Gausman...
"I guess I could say I was a little more juiced to pitch against the fourth overall draft choice. As a starting pitcher, you pitch against more of the hitters than the other guy on the mound. But I like to go out there face-to-face against my opponent, no matter who I'm going up against each week. I just try to throw my best pitches and work on both sides of the plate. With [Kevin] Gausman pitching, it's definitely a tough game for the whole team, but I just try to do the same thing I do every week."