BATON ROUGE -- The LSU baseball team secured its place in the NCAA Super Regionals at Alex Box Stadium by scoring runs in the ninth and 10th innings to complete a 6-5 comeback over Oregon State on Sunday.
LSU (46-16), the region's top seed, advanced to the best-of-three series and will face the winner of Monday's 6 p.m. CT matchup between Central Florida and Stony Brook in Coral Gables, Fla. LSU is 5-0 in super regionals at Alex Box Stadium.
The Tigers, who have never failed to advance after winning the first two games of a regional, trailed 5-3 through six innings before finally scraping across an unearned run in the seventh against Beavers reliever Scott Schultz.
Schultz handcuffed LSU for 8 2/3 innings after entering in the first inning. He allowed only three runs on three hits in relief of starter Taylor Starr, who lasted only 1/3 of an inning after giving up three early runs.
Down 5-4 in the top of the ninth, LSU catcher Ty Ross doubled and Alex Edward hit another double to the same spot in left-center field to tie the game. In the bottom half, LSU lefty Chris Cotton (7-0) fought past a one-out double to force extra innings.
The Tigers got the game-winning ahead run in the top of the 10th when Austin Nola -- the tournament's Most Outstanding Player -- scored on a wild pitch by Dylan Davis (1-1). Nola had reached on the first of three walks in the 10th, advanced to third on a double by JaCoby Jones and scored on a wild pitch.
Though LSU left the bases loaded in the 10th, Nick Goody struck out the side to earn his 11th save and complete the perfect start to NCAA postseason play by the Tigers.
Oregon State's season came to an end at 40-20 overall.
|NCAA Super Regional Pairings/Update|
(1) Florida vs. NC State/Vanderbilt (6 p.m. CT)
* must win twice
"Obviously, it was a tremendous victory for our team," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "It was truly a tremendous victory. This was a total team victory. It was tough. It was a grind out there, it really was. (LSU starting pitcher) Ryan (Eades) was giving it everything he had. We had a great lead there in the first inning, with the way we started the game with Raph (Rhymes') home run."
To start the game, Oregon State starter Taylor Starr walked Nola, who moved to second on a wild pitch and third on a single by Jones. Mason Katz' single to right field scored Nola, and Rhymes launched his fourth home run of the season into the left field bleachers for a 3-0 lead.
In sending Starr to the dugout early, the Tigers got all they handle with Schultz. The right hander retired 15 of the first 18 batters he faced, as LSU managed base runners with two errors and a single by Rhymes that was erased with a double play.
Oregon State began to battle back against Eades (5.2 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 5 K) in the bottom half of the first, as Tyler Smith singled to center field and ran all the way to third when LSU center fielder Arby Fields overran the ball. Smith scored on a sacrifice fly by Michael Conforto to cut the deficit to 3-1.
The Beavers used Ryan Barnes' first double of the night and a two-out RBI single by Ryan Gorton to get within a run, 3-2, in the second.
The game was tied at 3-3 by Oregon State in the fourth when Barnes hit his second double of the game and scored on a two-out single to center by John Tommasini.
The Beavers went ahead for the first time in the sixth after Eades got the first two outs. Eades loaded the bases when Gorton singled to center, Tommasini walked and Max Gordon was hit by a pitch. A two-RBI single by Smith drove Eades from the game trailing 5-3.
LSU's Nick Rumbelow entered in relief of Eades and ended the threat with a strikeout.
"Ryan was competing really hard, but he just couldn't put them away with two outs," Mainieri said. "They came through with those hits, and suddenly we're down. I thought (Oregon State head coach) Pat (Casey) made a tremendous move going to his closer, Schultz, right away. That kid just shut us down. He totally had us baffled there for several innings, but our kids never got discouraged. We had some tough at bats, but the kids just kept battling. They kept battling all the way through.
"I thought Nick Rumbelow was very key to the game, for him to come in and stem the tide there for us. I almost wish I had brought him in a batter earlier now. (Chris) Cotton gave us a great inning. What Nick Goody did, I tell you, that's true closing. To close a championship with a one-run lead and throw the ball the way he did. That's why you have to stick with people that have that kind of talent."
LSU scored an unearned run in the top of the seventh, as Grant Dozar was hit by a pitch and both Edward and Tyler Hanover reached on errors by third baseman Ryan Dunn. The latter allowed Dozar to cut the Beavers' advantage to 5-4.
In the top of the ninth, a pair of doubles by Ross and Edward went to the gap in left-center to tie the game at 5-5. However, the Tigers couldn't push across the go-ahead run when Hanover struck out and pinch hitter Tyler Moore grounded out.
Paid attendance for the regional final was 11,036 (8,978 actual).
LSU 6, Oregon State 5 (Jun 03, 2012 at Baton Rouge, La.)
LSU....................... 300 000 101 1 - 6 7 1 (46-16)
Oregon State........ 110 102 000 0 - 5 10 4 (40-20)
Pitchers: LSU - Ryan Eades; Nick Rumbelow(6); Chris Cotton(9); Nick Goody(10) and Ty Ross;
Oregon State - Starr, Taylor; Schultz, Scott(1); Davis, Dylan(10); Bryant, Tony(10); Brocker, Cole(10); Boyd, Matt(10) and Gorton, Ryan.
Win-Chris Cotton(7-0) Save-Nick Goody(11) Loss-Davis, Dylan(1-1) T-3:38 A-11036
HR LSU - Raph Rhymes (4).
Actual Attendance: 8,978
Game televised by Cox Sports TV.
2012 Baton Rouge Regional All-Tournament Team
MOP: Austin Nola, LSU
P Kevin Gausman, LSU
P Aaron Nola, LSU
C Ty Ross, LSU *
1B Joey Rapp, UL-Monroe
2B John Tommasini, Oregon St.
SS Austin Nola, LSU *
3B Judd Edwards, UL-Monroe
OF Michael Conforto, Oregon St.
OF Ryan Barnes, Oregon St.
OF Joey Matthews, Oregon St.
DH Danny Hayes, Oregon St.
TICKET INFORMATION FOR NCAA SUPER REGIONAL AT LSU
LSU is expected to be designated as the host site for next week's NCAA Baseball Super Regional against either Central Florida or Stony Brook.
The Super Regional will consist of a best two-out-of-three series beginning either Friday or Saturday. Days and times are to be determined by the NCAA.
Tickets for the Super Regional are available now to LSU baseball season ticket holders.
Super Regional tickets will remain on sale to season ticket holders until 5 p.m. on Tuesday. Super Regional ticket booklets, good for all games, are $60 (suites and Champion's Club), $45 (gold field box, gold grandstand and grandstand) and $30 (bleachers and standing room only). All parking passes are $40.
All tickets will be either held at will-call and available at the LSU Athletic Ticket Office until 5 p.m. on the day prior to the first game or at the Alex Box ticket office on the day of the game, or will be available to print at home depending on the option the season ticket holder requested. No tickets will be mailed.
Tickets will go on sale to the general public only if tickets are available following season ticket renewals and after the visiting team has indicated how many it will take. Per NCAA regulations, LSU is required to hold 600 tickets for the opposing team's fans. LSU fans are encouraged to sign up for Geaux Mail for e-mail alerts regarding ticket availability should a public on-sale be available at LSUtix.net.
For more information, visit www.LSUtix.net or call 225.578.2184.
LSU-OREGON STATE NOTES - GAME 6 - BATON ROUGE REGIONAL - JUNE 3, 2012
- Raph Rhymes (LSU All-America outfielder) two-run, first-inning home run was the only homer in the regional's six games.
- LSU's win improved its overall NCAA Tournament record to 126-47 in 25 appearances. LSU's .728 winning percentage is tops in the NCAA record book.
- Oregon State finished the Baton Rouge Regional with a 2-2 record. In 13 NCAA postseason appearances, Oregon State is 38-26.
- LSU reliever Nick Goody struck out the side in the bottom of the 10th inning to pick up his 11th save this season. His three Ks upped his season total to 45 strikeouts in 32.1 innings.
- Oregon State's Dylan Davis uncorked a wild pitch that allowed the winning run (Austin Nola) to score in the top of the 10th inning. Davis recorded a wild pitch in Saturday's 7-1 loss to LSU in a winner's bracket game, a play that allowed LSU outfielder Arby Fields to score LSU's fifth run.
- Oregon State's Scott Schultz came on in relief of starter Taylor Starr after Rhymes' homer gave LSU a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Schultz pitched the next 8.2 innings allowing three hits and giving up single runs in the seventh and ninth. The run in the seventh was unearned when Oregon State committed its third and fourth errors on the game. Schultz allowed only one hit (a Raph Rhymes single in the second. Rhymes was erased on an inning-ending double play).
- Only two LSU batters reached base in the first 19 batters Schultz faced from the first through the sixth innings. He hit LSU DH Grant Dozer to open the seventh (Dozar scored with the help of those two seventh-inning errors.) Dylan Davis replaced Schultz to open the 10th inning.
- Total attendance (six games)
Paid 64,343; Actual 34,239
- Game 4 (June 2) LSU vs. Oregon State paid (11,535) was an all-time Baton Rouge Regional record, and the 10.367 actual attendance was an all-time LSU record.
- The windows for Super Regional broadcasts that LSU could play in are as follows according to the ESPN media relations department (times listed are CDT):
Site 1 - 11 a.m., ESPN2; 11 a.m., ESPN2; Noon, ESPN2
Site 2 - 2 p.m., ESPN2; 2 p.m. ESPN2; 3 p.m. ESPN2
Site 3 - 6 p.m., ESPN 2; 5 p.m., ESPN2; 6 p.m. ESPN2
Site 4 - 8 p.m., ESPN; 8 p.m. ESPN2; 9 p.m. ESPN2
Site 5 - 1 p.m., ESPNU; Noon, ESPNU; Noon, ESPN2
Site 6 - 4 p.m. ESPNU 3 p.m.; ESPNU; 3 p.m. ESPN2
Site 7 - 7 p.m., ESPNU 6 p.m., ESPNU; 6 p.m. ESPN2
Site 8 - 10 p.m. ESPN2; 9 p.m. ESPNU; 6 p.m. ESPNU
2012 NCAA Baseball Championship
Baton Rouge Regional
Game 6 LSU vs. Oregon State
June 3, 2012
LSU HEAD COACH PAUL MAINIERI
On Oregon State ...
"I want to compliment the Oregon State baseball program and their coach, Pat Casey, for going out there today in that heat this afternoon and playing a three and a half hour game, then coming back tonight, falling behind 3-0 and fighting back the way that they did. I think they deserve a real tip of the hat. Their team has a lot of character and great leadership. They've had a great season."
On the victory ...
"Obviously, it was a tremendous victory for our team. It was truly a tremendous victory. This was a total team victory. It was tough. It was a grind out there, it really was. Ryan (Eades) was giving it everything he had. We had a great lead there in the first inning, with the way we started the game with Raph (Rhymes') homerun and so forth."
On pitchers ...
"Ryan (Eades) was competing really hard, but he just couldn't put them away with two outs. They came through with those hits, and suddenly we're down. I thought (Oregon State head coach) Pat (Casey) made a tremendous move going to his closer, (Scott) Schulz, right away. That kid just shut us down. He totally had us baffled there for several innings, but our kids never got discouraged. We had some tough at bats, but the kids just kept battling. They kept battling all the way through. I thought Nick Rumbelow was very key to the game, for him to come in and stem the tide there for us. I almost wish I had brought him in a batter earlier now. (Chris) Cotton gave us a great inning. What Nick Goody did, I tell you, that's true closing. To close a championship with a one-run lead and throw the ball the way he did. That's why you have to stick with people that have that kind of talent."
LSU SHORTSTOP AUSTIN NOLA
On drawing a walk to lead-off the 10th inning...
"I knew going up to the plate in that situation I needed to get on base for my team. I was facing a tough pitcher who had good stuff, and I fell behind early. I knew he had to throw it over the plate, and I just protected the plate. I was able to work a walk in a crucial situation."
On advancing to the Super Regional...
"It's very exciting, but we know we have to take it one step at a time here. We have very solid ball clubs all around us in the postseason, and we have to play our best every game. We did it tonight; we had to play a very tough ball club in Oregon State, and we have a lot of respect for those guys how they played. We just have to continue on, and take it one game at a time."
LSU RIGHTFIELDER ALEX EDWARD
On his RBI double in the ninth inning...
"I had been struggling all weekend, but when you have the crowd behind you and all your teammates behind you and getting a good pitch to hit and being able to barrel it up; there's no better feeling in the world."
On the crowd ...
"I can't even describe the feeling. Being in the stands is one thing, but having 10,500 people cheering and screaming behind your back; there's no better feeling than that."
LSU LEFT FIELDER RAPH RHYMES
On his home run in the first inning...
"I honestly was just trying to hit the ball. I had a rough weekend so far, so I was just really trying to put a good swing on the ball. It happened to leave the park, and it ended up being a pretty big hit."
On the crowd ...
"There wasn't a second that I doubted whether or not we would win. Growing up, coming to these regional games, and watching LSU baseball, I know how big of a factor the crowd is. I just knew we were going to come away with that win; I knew the crowd was going to will it. Our guys feed off that energy, and it proved it tonight."
OREGON STATE HEAD PAT CASEY
On the game...
"I'm just extremely proud of our club. We asked them one thing before the game and that was just to battle and compete and they went above and beyond the call."
On RHP Scott Schultz's Performance...
"It was outstanding. He punched out nine (batters) in eight and two thirds (innings). He was electric. He threw the ball on both sides of the plate with command of three pitches. I thought he dominated for a long period of time there especially during about a three inning stretch there where he was sharp."
On the top of the 10th inning...
"We were just trying to keep them from scoring. We knew we were going to get (Nick) Goody in the bottom of the 10th. Scoring two runs off him is pretty difficult. We just thought we had good matchups. (Dylan) Davis was electric last night and he didn't find the plate. We thought we had good matchups with (Cole) Brocker and (Matt) Boyd. It worked. We had (Austin) Nola 0-2 to start the inning and he did a heck of a job walking. We had the next kid (JaCoby Jones) 2-2 and the guy found just inside the right field line. The guys who came in did a heck of a job."
On the team's resilience...
"Like I said before the game, we were going to battle. This is why you get up in the morning and lift weights, why you stand in the rain, so you get a chance to compete. We had been on the field for three and a half hours to start with and we weren't supposed to win the game. We said let's just show them what we can do. We did everything we could do to win the game, we just didn't finish it."
On starting pitcher Taylor Starr's performance...
"He looked uncomfortable out there. In his last outing I think he went about seven innings against Oregon and shut them out. He just looked uncomfortable."