Welcome to the 2009 NCAA Baseball Super Regional Blog on LSUsports.net. Over the next four days, LSU and Rice will take part in a three-game series to determine which will advance to the College World Series in Omaha.
On this blog, we'll attempt to answer fan's questions about the tournament, it's coverage and the team's involved. Questions? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday, June 6
For the first time at the new Alex Box Stadium, there has been an "Omaha Bound" dogpile! Matty Ott pitches a scoreless ninth to give the Tigers their 15th trip to Rosenblatt Stadium. Read More
With LHP Chad Jones and RHP Paul Bertuccini warming for LSU, Coleman allows a leadoff single to Mozingo but gets the next three in order to retire the side. Going to the ninth.
A two-out base hit to right by Schimpf was all that LSU could muster in the eighth. Coleman out for his eighth inning with about 98 pitches. No action in the LSU bullpen (yet).
Rice leadoff hitter Brock Holt is retired for thefirst time tonight (two singles and a solo homer) when LeMahieu leaps to snag a line drive toward right field. The play was nearly identical to last night's catch by the 6-foot-4 sophomore.
We're headed to the eighth. LSU's had at least one hit in each inning tonight. That was Rice's first time up and down in order today.
LSU runs itself out of the seventh inning, as Mahtook is thrown out trying to advance to third on a ground ball after a leadoff double. After stealing second, Mitchell is caught stealing third. It's 5-3 going to the bottom of the frame.
Coleman's thrown 86 pitches entering the seventh.
Another solor home, this time by Rice's Seastruck off Coleman, cuts to gap back to two runs, 5-3. We're going to the top of the seventh.
A solo homer down the rightfield line by Helenihi pushes the LSU lead to 5-2. Berry (5 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 4 BB, 6 SO) hits Austin Nola with the next pitch and is pulled. Rice RHP Jared Rogers enters in relief.
Coleman found himself in a two-on, two-out situation after a single and a hit batter, but got out of the situation with a groundout to the mound.
Actual attendance: 9,651, another stadium record. Paid is 10,279 (third-largest).
For horse racing fans, Summer Bird comes from behind to beat Mind That Bird in the Belmont.
For baseball fans, LSU rallied to retake the lead in the top of the fifth, plating Schimpf with a double by Dean and an RBI groundout by Gibbs. Dean scored on a wild pitch by Berry for a 4-2 lead.
Rice answers LSU's run to tie the game in the bottom of the fourth. Seastruck hit a double just out of the reach of Mahtook in center, and then advanced to third when Mahtook mishandled the ball. Seastruck scored on a bunt single by Michael Fuda.
The game is knotted at 2-2.
Jared Mitchell opens the inning with a bloop double to left when Hague wasn't able to hold onto an over-the-shoulder catch. A hard single to left by Ochinko and another by Helenihi scored Mitchell. However, Ochinko was gunned down at third by Sultzbaugh in center.
Holt ties the game at 1-1 with a solo homer to deep rigth-center field. Coleman left a 3-1 pitch over the plate and Holt made him pay -- his second homer in as many days. We're going to the top of the fourth.
Coleman allows an infield single, but Gibbs erases him with a prefect strike to catch Sultzbaugh stealing second. He's thrown 29 pitches in two innings, while Berry's at 52.
LSU shortstop Austin Nola legs out a double to left-center; a great risk to take considering the situation (No. 9 hitter, bases empty, two out). Rice's Hague makes a great play on an infield chopper but his throw pulled Jess Buenger off the bag a first. Buenger reached back and tagged LeMahieu to end the inning with a great defensive play. Buenger just entered the game to replace Rendon, while Jummy Comerota moved to third.
To start the second, Rendon is carried from the field with an injury to his left ankle after running into shortstop Rick Hague as the two try to chase down a fly ball in foul territory near the leftfield bullpen.
A single by Brock Holt, a hit batter and a sacrifice put Owls on second and third with one out, and brought stud freshman Anthony Rendon to the plate. Rather than pitching around Rendon with an open base, Louis Coleman threw three-straight strikes to stun the C-USA Player of the Year (Rice fans not too happy with the strike calls). Coleman then got Diego Seastruck to ground out to end the threat.
LSU leads 1-0 going to the second.
A double by DJ LeMahieu and walks to Ryan Schimpf and Micah Gibbs loaded the bases for LSU against Rice starter Ryan Berry. LeMahieu scored on a fielder's choice by Mikey Mahtook to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead. Berry threw 32 pitches in the top of the first. Not a good thing for a guy who is coming back from a midseason injury.
Also, the wind has changed directions in the first few minutes of the game, now blowing out to center field.
The coaches are exchanging lineup cards at the plate:
1. LeMahieu, 2B
2. Schimpf, LF
3. Dean, DH
4. Gibbs, C
5. Mahtook, CF
6. Mitchell, RF
7. Ochinko, 1B
8. Helenihi, 3B
9. Nola, SS
1. Holt, 2B
2. Hague, SS
3. Mozingo, RF
4. Rendon, 3B
5. Seastruck, DH
6. Fuda, LF
7. Sultzbaugh, CF
8. Manuel, C
9. Comerota, 1B
The crowd is pouring in, the field is nearly ready for play and the teams are warming in the outfield as game 2 of the NCAA Super Regional is getting close. With the earlier start time, it's going to be a little warmer with less breeze today. The flags are barely fluttering above the centerfield fence.
LSU, the visiting team, is wearing purple jerseys with white pants and purple caps. Rice is again wearing white jerseys and pants with navy caps.
Time to introduce the starting lineups...
Arkansas becomes the first to punch its ticket to Omaha, beating homestanding Florida State 9-8 in a see-saw game. The Hogs hit a two-RBI double in the bottom of the ninth to rally to their first trip to Rosenblatt Stadium since 2004. Arkansas will be making its sixth appearance all-time, but hasn't won there since 1989.
Friday, June 5
Though Rice scored three in the top of the ninth off Buzzy Haydel, LSU finishes off the Owls to take game 1, 12-9. Read more and see video highlights, postgame interviews, stats, quotes, and more right here.
LSU answered back in the bottom of the eighth with three runs on two hits, two walks and a hit batter. The Tigers now lead 12-6.
Rendon continues to prove why he was the C-USA freshman and player of the year, as he hits a towering two-run homer off LSU reliever Paul Bertuccini to bring the Owls within three, 9-6.
A pair of empty frames in the seventh. Ranaudo out for his eighth inning.
On the second pitch from Evers, Dean hits a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Schimpf for a 9-4 lead goin to the top of the seventh.
An RBI double by Schimpf scored LeMahieu from first, and drove Reckling (final line: 0.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 SO) from the game in favor of LHP Matt Evers. LSU leads 8-4 in the bottom of the sixth.
Paid Attendance: 9,923
Actual: 9,375 (LSU baseball record)
Pitch count on Ranaudo: 95 through six complete innings.
Defensive change for LSU: Derek Helenihi to third base in place of Hanover.
A double down the left field line by Hanover started a rally for LSU in the bottom of the fifth. Nola was then hit by a pitch and LeMahieu singled to left field to score Hanover.
Leading 4-2, Rice went to the bullpen and brought in No. 3 starter Tyler Wall -- thinking that the lefty could stop the left-hand dominant top of LSU's lineup (Ojala's final line: 4 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 6 SO). However, Schimpf pounded the second pitch from Wall over the right-center field wall for a 5-4 lead. And the Box was rockin'.
Wall gave up singles to Dean and Mahtook before he was pulled. Rice head coach Wayne Graham was probably planning to start Wall on Saturday if Rice won tonight's game -- Graham pulled him quickly so he can come back to start on Sunday if the Owls make it that far. Wall (0.1 IP, 3 H, 3 ER) threw only nine pitches.
In came Rice righthander Matthew Reckling, who gave up a two-RBI double down the left field line to Ochinko. LSU led 7-4 with one out.
Make that 4-1, as Rice's No. 8 hitter, Steven Sultzbaugh, hits a home run deep to left-center field off Ranaudo.
The Tigers finally touch Ojala for a run in the bottom of the fourth, as Dean walked and advanced to second on another balk. Gibbs hit a single and Mahtook was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Ochinko. A fielder's choice to the third baseman scored Dean, but that's all LSU could get out of the inning.
Rice leads 3-1.
An error by one of LSU's three freshmen in the field (Hanover allows a grounder to go between his legs), and another on a pick-off attempt that first baseman Sean Ochinko never saw while looking directly into the sun, gives Rice a man on second with one out. Rendon, who reached on error, scored on a two-out single up the middle by Michael Fuda to give Rice a 3-0 lead.
All three Rice runs are unearned.
Ojala finally makes a mistake. On his fourth full count in eight batters, he walks Jared Mitchell. Of the three previous, two grounded out softly to second and one struckout swinging. After fouling off a pitch with Mitchell in motion, Hanover then lined out to center for the first out. Two pitches later, Ojala bounces his offering about seven feet in front of the plate and Mitchell takes off for second. The ball bounced right into catcher Diego Seastruck's hands, and he threw a strike to second base to get Mitchell. LSU's first hit of the game came from its No. 9 hitter, Nola, with two outs. Though he advanced to second on a balk, he was stranded there when LeMahieu lined out to short.
Rice holds its 2-0 lead through three complete.
Pitch counts through two innings:
Ranaudo - 51/34
Ojala - 41/27
Ranaudo faces the minimum in the third thanks to catcher Micah Gibbs' throw to get Rick Hague stealing.
Ojala works hit way through the next three Tigers with nothing across. Two more strikeouts to end the frame.
Pitch counts through two innings:
Ranaudo - 40 pitches, 28 for strikes
Ojala - 29 pitches, 20 for strikes.
LSU make the first major mistake of the game, costing the Tigers two runs in the top of the second. C-USA Player of the Year Anthony Rendon opened the inning with a double to right-center field. When Rice's Chad Mozingo grounded back to Ranaudo, Rendon looked to be caught in a rundown. However, instead of running at Rendon, Ranaudo elected to throw behind the runner to shortstop Austin Nola. Nola's throw to third baseman Tyler Hanover sailed into the dugout, allowing Rendon to score and Mozingo to advance to third. Hague scored on a sacrifice fly.
Rice leads 2-0 going to the bottom of the second. Both runs were unearned.
Rice starter Mike Ojala (5-0, 1.73 ERA, 24 BB, 68 SO) sits the Tigers down in order in the bottom of the first with strikeouts of Ryan Schimpf and Blake Dean. All zeros going to the second.
LSU starter Anthony Ranaudo dominates the top of the first, getting two popouts and an eight-pitch strikeout. Threw 16 pitches, 12 for strikes.
The sun is beginning to cast shadows from home plate to the pitcher's mound as we near first pitch. LSU's wearing its gold jerseys with white pants and purple caps, while Rice is in white tops and pants with navy caps.
The Tigers have taken the field and we're about to get underway.
In Oxford's Super Regional, Ole Miss takes game 1 over Virginia with a walk-off solor homer in the 12th, 4-3.
In Tallahassee, they're about to get underway for the fourth time. There have been three rain delays. In the bottom of the fifth, Arkansas leads Florida St., 2-1, with two runners on base and no outs.
Nothing against the three teams that visited Alex Box Stadium for the NCAA Regional last weekend, but this weekend is the real deal. LSU and Rice are two teams that -- if they didn't meet this weekend -- would both be virtual locks to advance to Omaha. Instead, one will go home on Saturday or Sunday, and the other will work on summer league travel plans and wait for the MLB Draft.
It's not exactly fair, but there's nothing either can do about it. And, the winner won't complain. The loser probably will....
LSU can only be thankful that this series is in Baton Rouge. The Tigers deserved a national seed after their SEC regular-season and tournament championships. Borderline for a national seed, Rice was probably aligned with LSU because of its proximity to Baton Rouge, and the fact that they didn't win their conference's regular-season title (East Carolina won by one game).
Let's face it: based on how good each of these teams are, they are going to have to face off at some point. But, most around here think it could have been in a three-game series on June 22-24 in Omaha.
Thursday, June 4
The latest two episodes of "The Buzz" -- a video diary and interview session with LSU infielder/pitcher Buzzy Haydel -- are now available. Watch them now! Also you can watch hightlights and interviews from the practice day at Alex Box Stadium now.
Here are ESPN coverage maps (.pdf) for the NCAA Super Regionals on Saturday and Sunday (Friday's games will have nationwide coverage).
Fans are advised that parking Lot U (across Nicholson Drive from Alex Box Stadium) will not be available due to a previously scheduled 3-on-3 youth basketball tournament. Read More | Parking Map
We're back for another weekend at Alex Box Stadium on the southwest side of LSU's campus. Thursday is a practice day for LSU (1 p.m.) then Rice (2:45 p.m.) | Photos
LSU finished off its practice with a little batting competition that coach Paul Mainieri uses to keep his team loose. Both teams are going through an interview session on the field before the Owls begin a 90-minute practice.
As evidenced by ESPN's primetime slot on the parent company's primary channel, many in the national media have pointed to this series as the most competitive of the eight NCAA Super Regionals. LSU is ranked No. 1 by Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball in entering NCAA postseason play, while Rice is ranked No. 6 or 7 depending on whom you ask.
The Owls finished second in Conference USA (one game behind East Carolina), a league that has three teams in Super Regionals for the first time (Rice, ECU and Southern Miss).
Third baseman Anthony Rendon (.384, 19 HR, 70 RBI) was the first freshman in C-USA history to be named the Freshman of the Year and Player of the Year. He'll be batting clean-up tomorrow night for the visiting Owls.
Rice might have won the league if they had right-handed starter Ryan Berry for the entire season. Despite missing a month with an injury, Berry was 7-1 with a 2.00 ERA and 62 strikeouts with 15 walks in 76.2 innings pitched. He returned to the lineup on April 29.
Along with CS-Fullerton, Florida State and Miami, Rice has appeared in an NCAA-record nine Super Regionals in the 11-year history of the format. The Owls are 13-7 with six College World Series appearances in that timeframe.
The last time these teams met was in the 2008 College World Series. LSU's Blake Dean hit bottom-of-the-ninth, bases-load double off the leftfield wall to give the Tigers a 6-5 comeback victory. It was LSU's 30th comeback, and its final win of the '08 season. They're hungry to get back to Omaha, but need to get past Rice twice to do so.
It's going to be a great weekend weather-wise, hot but with low humidity and little chance of rain.
Follow live stats and live audio on LSUsports.net, or watch live on ESPN. Postgame video will be available on each day.
NCAA Super Regional Matchups
GAMES BEGIN FRIDAY, JUNE 5 – All Times are Central
Louisville (47-16) at No. 2 Cal State Fullerton (45-14)
9:30 p.m. (ESPN2), 4 p.m. (ESPN), 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
Arkansas (37-22) at Florida State (45-16)
11 a.m. (ESPN), 11 a.m. (ESPN2), 11 a.m. (ESPN)
Virginia (46-12-1) at Mississippi (43-18)
1 p.m. (ESPN2), 11 a.m. (ESPN2), 2 p.m. (ESPN)
Rice (43-16) at No. 3 LSU (49-16)
6 p.m. (ESPN), 4 p.m. (ESPN), 6 p.m. (ESPN2)
GAMES BEGIN SATURDAY, JUNE 6 - All times are Eastern
TCU (39-16) at No. 1 Texas (44-13-1)
5 p.m. (ESPNU), 2 p.m. (ESPN), noon/6 p.m. (ESPN/ESPN2)
Southern Miss. (38-24) at No. 8 Florida (42-20)
2 p.m. (ESPNU), 6 p.m. (ESPN2), noon/6 p.m. (ESPN/ESPN2)
Clemson (44-20) at No. 5 Arizona State (47-12)
8 p.m. (ESPNU), 9 p.m. (ESPN2), 6 p.m. (ESPN2)
East Carolina (46-18) at No. 4 North Carolina (45-16)
11 a.m. (ESPNU), 11 a.m. (ESPN), noon/6 p.m. (ESPN/ESPN2)
Sunday, May 31
LSU finishes off the win, 10-3. More to come on LSUsports.net.
P Anthony Ranaudo, LSU
P Louis Coleman, LSU
C Micah Gibbs, LSU
1B Sean Ochinko, LSU
2B Derek McCallum, Minnesota
SS Austin Nola, LSU
3B Kyle Knu, Minnesota
OF Jared Mitchell, LSU
OF Ben Booker, Baylor
OF Justin Gominsky, Minnesota
DH Matt Nohelty, Minnesota
Most Outstanding Player: P Anthony Ranaudo, LSU
Minnesota pitching coach Todd Oakes has been ejected after arguing with the second base umpire during a pitching change.
We've also learned that Oakes' son Tyler (a pitcher who was in the dugout) was ejected in the sixth inning when Jared Mitchell was ruled to have caught a line drive to right. For those who didn't see the play, Mitchell didn't catch the ball....and to make matters worse, it ended up being a double play when the runner advanced to second base after seeing Mitchell drop the ball.
LSU's now leading 10-1 after a solo homer by Schimpf.
Coleman has exited in the bottom of the eighth to a standing ovation (7.2 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 8 K). Another senior, Nolan Cain, has taken the ball for the Tigers.
Though no one's taking this game for granted, here are the details on the NCAA Super Regional:
- the winner of the Baton Rouge Regional will face either Rice or Kansas St. in a three-game series.
- it appears that the Owls and Wildcats will play a winner-take-all game on Monday, as Rice leads 8-0 in the bottom of the ninth
- the sites will be announced at 10 p.m. CT on Monday night on NCAA.com
- should LSU win, it will play host to the Super Regional at Alex Box Stadium
- the dates will be announced early Tuesday morning -- four sites will begin on Friday, four will begin on Saturday
- game times will be decided by the NCAA and ESPN on Tuesday, as all games will be televised by the ESPN network
Minnesota just spoiled the shutout with a solo homer by Kyle Knudson in the bottom of the seventh off Coleman. LSU leads 10-1.
Mitchell steals his 33rd base of the season, and then scores on a single to right-center by Dean. In the process, Mitchell continued his climb in the LSU record book:
33rd stolen base this season - tied with Ron Lim (1989) for third on LSU single-season list
67the career stolen base - now tied with Larry Wright (1975-78) for second on LSU list
Gibbs' double to left-center scored Dean from first to give LSU a 9-0 lead heading to the bottom of the sixth.
In the bottom of the fifth, a one-out double to right-center field by Eric Decker and a bunt single Justin Gominsky gave the Gophers runners on first and third. Coleman responded with a strikeout and a groundout to end the threat.
Coleman works another empty frame in the fourth, as the Tigers starter has allowed only one hit today.
Minnesota has gone to the bullpen. Tim Ryan will take over for Bechstein.
Scores from NCAA Regional finals today (* team needs one win to advance):
4 Army leads 1 Texas*, 4-3 Top 4
3 Oregon St. leads 1 TCU*, 1-0 Bottom 1
1 Georgia Tech leads 3 Southern Miss*, 4-2 Top 3
1 Florida* leads 2 Miami (Fla.), 7-1 Top 5
1 Arizona St.* vs. 2 Oral Roberts, 8 p.m.
1 Clemson* leads 3 Oklahoma St., 11-0 Top 3
1 East Carolina leads 2 South Carolina*, 8-2 Bottom 7
1 North Carolina def. 3 Kansas, 12-1 (advances to face East Carolina or South Carolina)
1 Cal St. Fullerton* vs. 4 Utah, 8 a.m.
3 Vanderbilt leads 1 Louisville*, 6-1 Top 4
1 Florida St.* def. 3 Ohio St., 37-6 (advances to face Arkansas or Oklahoma)
2 Arkansas* leads 1 Oklahoma, 2-0 Top 2
Loser's bracket final: 1 UC Irvine leads San Diego St., 4-0 Bottom 3 (winner faces 2 Virginia at 10 p.m.)
1 Ole Miss* leads 3 Western Kentucky, 7-3 Top 7
1 Rice leads 2 Kansas St.*, 5-0 Bottom 5
1 LSU* leads 2 Minnesota, 7-0 Bottom 4
After Schimpf hit a double, Minnesota second baseman Derek McCallum made two outstanding stops to end the top of the fourth without any more damage.
Dean's 15th homer of the season sailed just inside the leftfield foul pole, pushing the lead to 5-0 in the top of the third. When Bechstein allowed a single to Gibbs and hit Mikey Mahtook with the next pitch, action began in the Gophers bullpen (righty Tim Ryan). An RBI single by Ochinko and a sacrifice fly by LeMahieu made it 7-0.
In other regional news: Florida State has become the first team to advance to the NCAA Super Regionals after handing Ohio State a 37-6 defeat. It was 32-0 in the fifth inning. One Ohio State pitcher had a 297.0 ERA today (0.1 IP, 11 ER).
For the second-straight inning, LSU gets a leadoff single up the middle as catcher Micah Gibbs fires one past Bechstein and into center field.
With one out, Ochinko hit a soft grounder right at third baseman Kyle Geason, who booted the ball into left field for an error. DJ LeMahieu made the Gophers pay for the error by rifling a double over the centerfielder's head to score Gibbs. Helenihi then redeemed his error with a two-RBI single up the middle for a 3-0 lead.
Schimpf added to the lead with an RBI double down the rightfield line, but Mitchell was tagged out at home to end the inning.
LSU leads 4-0.
Gophers leadoff hitter Matt Nohelty nubs a 3-2 pitch to LSU third baseman Derek Helenihi, whose throw was unable to be handled by Sean Ochinko at first. After the error, Pettersen popped out to right and Derek McCallum singled through the right side for his fifth hit of the day (four in game 5).
With runners on the corners, Coleman fanned Michael Kvasnicka a breaking ball in the dirt and then Kyle Knudson with a fastball to end the inning.
Minnesota's starter is Allen Bechstein (8.84 ERA in 18.1 IP, .395 OBA)
LSU leadoff hitter Jared Mitchell opens the game with a single that barely rolls past Minnesota shortstop AJ Pettersen behind second base. But the speedy Tigers rightfielder is caught stealing for the eighth time in 40 tries this season.
Ryan Schimpf and Blake Dean each groundout quietly to end the top of the first.
Fans are beginning to pour into Alex Box Stadium on a beautiful late-afternoon in Baton Rouge. Temps are still in the 80s. LSU is wearing purple jerseys as the visiting team, while Minnesota dons their gold tops with white pants.
Watch the game live at www.lsusports.net/live. It's free!
Despite a seven-run ninth, Minnesota holds on for the win, 15-12. Baylor had the tying run on-deck, but came up short.
Make that a 10-run lead for Minnesota going to the bottom of the ninth. They've scored 13 runs in the final three frames.
Handran exits with no outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth after giving up one run.
Righty Austin Lubinsky enters in relief for Minnesota. The marry-go-round starts again with an RBI single to center, cutting the lead to 15-7. Then, a grand slam cleared the bases and brought the Bears to within four, 15-11.
This is getting interesting all of the sudden.
If Minnesota avoids giving up a five-run lead for the second time in the tournament, the Gophers would be the home team in today's 6 p.m. game against LSU. They would need to beat LSU twice to advance to the NCAA Super Regional next week. If Baylor is able to come back, they would be the visitor tonight.
Not looking very good for the Bears, as Minnesota starter Chauncy Handran cruises through the eighth. He's allowed five runs on seven hits with seven K's.
In the top of the eighth, Minnesota puts two men on base with one out with a walk and a hit batter. Gophers third baseman Kyle Geason was hit in the nose by the pitch, causing a brief delay. Geason bounced back -- after changing his jersey -- to take first base. Not to be too graphic, but the grounds crew came out with a shovel to remove the bloody dirt.
During the same delay, Baylor made a pitching change. In the process, Baylor catcher Gregg Glime cramped up so badly that he had to be removed from the game. He was replaced by Brooks Kimmey, and the new pitcher is Brooks Pinckard.
Back to action: Minnesota loads the bases with one out on an infield single by Nohelty, and broke the tie with an RBI single by Pettersen and a two-RBI double by McCallum. The Gophers lead 8-5, and we've got another pitching change for Baylor. Righthander Ross Speed is now on the mound -- still one out.
A two-RBI single to left by Knudson off Speed breaks the game open. Now 10-5, as the inning ends on a long fly ball to right.
The rematch of Friday evening's matchup is all square again, as Minnesota scores three to tie the game at 5-5 in the top of the seventh. With two outs, AJ Petterson singled and then came around to score on another strange play. McCallum hit a hard ground ball past the left field bullpen. Baylor leftfielder Ben Booker bobbled the ball and it bounced into the stands. Umpires ruled a two-base error, Petterson scored and Booker was sent to third base. He then scored on a two-run homer by Kvasnicka that tied the game.
Same score (Baylor, 5-3) in the top of the sixth, as neither team has scored since the bottom of the fourth. Baylor's got a righthander in the bullpen (Reed Woytek) with two outs and a runner on first.
Baylor plates three runs in the bottom of the fourth to take the lead for the first time, as centerfielder Don Lambert comes up with a two-run single and Glime drives in Lambert with a double.
Actual attendance: 1,639
Still tied at 2-2 here in the bottom of the third.
Georgia becomes the second SEC team to be eliminated, falling to Ohio State in Tallahassee, 13-6. Alabama was taken out with consecutive losses to Oklahoma State and Tennessee Tech in the Clemson Regional.
An update on regionals across the country.
Teams in the "driver's seat" by region (undefeated and have to be beaten twice in the finals):
Austin: 1 Texas
Fort Worth: 1 TCU
Atlanta: 3 Southern Miss
Gainesville: 1 Florida
Tempe: 1 Arizona St.
Clemson: 3 Oklahoma St.
Greenville: 2 South Carolina
Chapel Hill: 1 North Carolina
Fullerton: 1 CS-Fullerton
Louisville: 1 Louisville
Tallahassee: 1 Florida St.
Norman: 2 Arkansas
Irvine: 2 Virginia
Oxford: 1 Ole Miss
Houston: 2 Kansas St.
Baton Rouge: 1 LSU
Ringenberg strikes out the first two, but a single and a bloop double gave Minnesota runners on second and third. Matt Nohelty's double landed between three players in shallow left field. However, McCallum grounded back to the mound to end the inning without a run.
Baylor answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning to tie the game at 2-2. Bears left fielder Ben Booker hit a two-out, bases-loaded single to right field that scored Dustin Dickerson and Shaver Hansen.
Minnesota takes the lead in the top of the first against Baylor starter Jon Ringenberg, as No. 3 hitter Derek McCallum banged a two-run homer to right field. Michael Kvasnicka followed with a triple that went under the glove of diving right fielder Aaron Miller. But, Ringenberg settled down to get the final two outs, including a strikeout looking on a 3-2 pitch to Eric Decker.
Minnesota leads 2-0 in the top of the first.
It's another beautiful day at the ballpark, but it's going to be HOT. The flags are barely blowing right now, and temps will be in the low 90's shortly.
Video highlights from the first four games are now available. Watch them now!
In case you missed it, No. 1 national seed Texas needed 25 innings to beat Boston College, 3-2. It was the longest game in NCAA history. At one point in the game, Texas "reliever" Austin Wood threw 12.1 consecutive no-hit innings. He left the game in the 20th inning. Game time was 7:03.
Saturday, May 30
Ott is magnificent in the bottom of the 10th, as an amazing regional game comes to an end.
Check back for complete video recaps, postgame interviews, stats, quotes and more. It'll all be right here.
Mitchell and LeMahieu earned one-out walks and pinch hitter Sean Ochinko got an infield single to load the bases. Nola then drove in Mitchell with a line-drive single back up the middle, giving LSU a 3-2 lead. Landry popped out to the catcher and Schimpf struck out for the fourth time tonight to end the threat.
All-American Matty Ott enters in relief of Ranaudo to start the bottom of the 10th.
Ranaudo's amazing show continues in the ninth -- even as murmurs of "is he really coming out for another inning" go through the press box. The righty strikes out the side, and runs off the field after his 14th K of the night. He's allowed only three hits in nine innings.
Game Note: The last Tiger to pitch more than nine innings was Lane Mestepey in game 1 of the 2001 NCAA Super Regional against Tulane at Zephyr Field. He tossed 10 innings of a 14-inning win (4-3) with six strikeouts.
Volz retired the first two Tigers before walking Schimpf and pitching around Dean in the top of the ninth. But, switch-hitting Gibbs grounded out to second to end the threat.
Ranaudo comes back out to start the ninth, and LSU will need an empty frame to play extra innings.
In the bottom of the eighth, Ranaudo throws a breaking ball over the plate that even the umpire was fooled by. Instead of a strikeout, he walks pinch hitter Brooks Prickard on a 3-2 pitch in the dirt. Prickard advanced on a sacrifice bunt, then a groundout. With two outs, Dustin Dickerson walked and stole second without a throw.
Hainsfurther hit a high chopper to third, but the Hanover lost the ball trying to take it out of his glove. The error allowed the tying run to score. Hansen hit a hard grounder up the middle, but Nola tracked it down behind the bag and ran to second for the final out of the eighth.
LSU gets a rally going in the top of the eighth with a walk to Gibbs and an infield single by Mahtook.
Another strange occurance: during a trip to the mound, Baylor brings out a can of bug spray and passes it among the infielders. After Mahtook's walk, Smith pulled Miller and replaced him with Kendal Volz (3-6, 4.54 ERA, 2 SV). During that stoppage, the umpire took a hit of the spray.
Back to the action. Mitchell pops up on the first pitch from Volz. LeMahieu then jams a ball to second baseman Joey Hainsfurther, who can't handle the ball and is charged with an error. With the bases loaded and two outs, Hanover struckout swinging on a ball in the dirt. Still 2-1, LSU.
Ranaudo betters Miller's performance by striking out the side in the bottom of the seventh -- and the crowd's feeling it now. This is what Regional baseball is all about: winning this game puts one team in the driver's seat and the other short on pitching and facing elimination for the rest of the way.
Ranaudo has 11 K's and has thrown 90 pitches.
Attendance: 9,936 paid; 9,149 actual (an LSU baseball record)
Two more K's for Miller, and LSU's down in order in the seventh. The Tigers' struggles against lefties continue...
In one swing, Baylor cuts the LSU lead to 2-1 with a solo homer by Gregg Glime to leadoff the sixth. Glime's third homer of the season sailed just inside the right field foul pole. None of the umpires made a call initially, until the home plate umpire make the signal when Glime rounded second base.
Shortstop Shaver Hansen -- who hit a homer in last night's game -- nearly gave the Bears a 3-2 lead with a two run homer, but Mitchell tracked down the ball on the warning track for the final out of the sixth.
Ranaudo has thrown 77 pitches, 47 for strikes.
Mitchell steals his 31st base of the season (tied for fourth on LSU's single-season list), but is stranded on second base. Miller ends the inning with another strikeout.
Ranaudo continues to mix his unhittable fastball with an equally unhittable breaking ball, keeping the Bears out of sorts. He's got seven strikeout through four innings while allowing one hit.
Baylor head coach Steve Smith goes to his bullpen to start the fifth. Final line on Tolleson: 4 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 69 pitches
Smith decided to bring in his designated hitter Aaron Miller, the only one lefthanded pitcher on his staff, to face the five lefties in the LSU lineup. It didn't look like a great move when Austin Nola singled and Leon Landry walked to start the inning....but he struck out Blake Dean, Ryan Schimpf and Micah Gibbs in order to end the inning.
LSU loads the bases with no outs when another strange play occurs. DJ LeMahieu hit what looked to be a double-play ground ball to the shortstop. However, instead of running toward third Mikey Mahtook ran back to second, and Baylor shortstop Shaver Hansen threw to third to get the lead runner, while Mahtook nearly ran into Jared Mitchell at second.
It was a good thing Hansen threw to third instead of second, as Mahtook's baserunning mistake could have been the start of a 6-4-3 triple play.
Mitchell was picked off second base and Tyler Hanover grounded out to end the inning.
LSU is only able to manage one run and leads 2-0.
While the Tigers threaten with two baserunners in the top of the third, a debate goes on about how the last play of the previous post should be scored (is it 2U or 2-6? and should it be a caught stealing?). LSU isn't able to capitailize, as Blake Dean strikes out to end the inning.
Baylor leftfielder Ben Booker (who wears No. 0) goes to the opposite field for the first base hit off Ranaudo, a single through the left side. The inning came to a strange end. Hornung swung at strike three for the second out, and Booker was ruled out when Hornung stepped in front of Gibbs' throw to second base. The interference call ended the inning in a strange 2-6 double play.
On a 3-2 count with two outs, LSU rightfielder Jared Mitchell brought the home crowd to its feet with a solo home run to the right field power alley. It was Mitchell's first homer since April 25 against Auburn. The ball just cleared the fence over the outstretched arm of Baylor right fielder Adam Hornung.
LSU leads 1-0 going to the bottom of the second.
Update from SEC teams this afternoon:
Tennessee Tech def. Alabama, 6-2
Vanderbilt def. Indiana, 10-0
Florida St. def. Georgia, 8-2
Ole Miss leads Western Kentucky, 5-0 Top 5
LSU vs. Baylor, 0-0 Top 2
Florida vs. Miami (Fla.), 0-0 Bottom 1
South Carolina vs. East Carolina
Arkansas vs. Oklahoma
Both teams are retired in order in the first inning, as Baylor starter Shawn Tolleson struckout one and LSU starter Anthony Ranaudo fanned two. The shadow of the grandstand has passed the pitcher's mound, but shortly there will be some shade-to-sun issues for batters.
On a perfect evening at the Box, we're underway with game 4 between LSU and Baylor. LSU is the visiting team, wearing gold jerseys again. Baylor's wearing the same black jerseys they won with last night.
There's a nice breeze blowing from left to right, about the same as Friday afternoon's game. If you reading this, feel free to follow along with live video on www.LSUsports.net/live. It's free!
Minnesota holds on for an 11-8 win, eliminating Southern. Read the full story now, get the box score, and watch the postgame press conferences on LSUsports.net.
We're going to the bottom of the ninth with Minnesota leading 11-8. The Gophers regained the lead with an RBI single by Kyle Knudson in the top of the eighth, and added two more unearned runs in the ninth. Southern put two on base with one out in the bottom of the eighth, but couldn't get a key base hit to tie it again.
Southern finally chased Rosin in the bottom of the seventh inning when Romey Bracey hit a one-out single to center field.
Luke Rasmussen entered in relief for Minnesota, but didn't last long. A hit batter and a fielding error loaded the bases and sent Rasmussen to the showers.
Gophers righthander Scott Fern entered but fared no better, giving up a two-RBI single to Brad McDavid and an RBI double to Edmond Morton. McDavid scored on a wild pitch, cutting the score to 8-7. Southern catcher Michael Thomas tied the game at 8-8 with an RBI single down the right field line.
Minnesota loads the bases against Garcia with no outs in the seventh, then adds to its lead with an RBI groundout by Eric Decker. The big shot was a two-out, two-RBI double to right-center by Gominsky (now 4-for-4). Minnesota leads 8-3 going to the bottom of the seventh.
The streak of empty frames is up to five, as neither team has scored since the top of the fourth. Minnesota led off the sixth with a triple but couldn't get it home. Still 5-3 Gophers. Maloy (6 IP, 11 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 3 K) exits for Southern to start the seventh inning. Righthander Daniel Garcia (4-0, 2.25 ERA, 24 K, 2 BB) enters for the Jaguars.
Minnesota pushed its lead back to two, 5-3, in the top of the fourth with three-straight singles to open the inning. Then, there were consecutive zeros put on the board for the first time in the bottom of the fourth and the top of the fifth.
As Maloy found his rhythm on the mound for Southern, Minnesota starter Seth Rosin has lost his. In the second and third, Rosin gave up three runs on five hits with two hit batters. However, he was able to get a strikeout-throwout double play to end the second, and then a 6-4-3 GDP with two on base for the first two outs of the third.
Minnesota leads 4-3 going to the top of the fourth.
In the bottom of the second, the Jaguars cut the lead in half with their first runs since yesterday's first inning home run by Victor Franklin. Brad McDavid doubled over the rightfielder's head to open the inning and scored on a single by Gregory Whitfield. An RBI single by Southern shortstop Jesse Olivar brought the Jags within two runs, 4-2.
Southern went down in order in the bottom of the first, and Minnesota added another run in the top of the second. Justin Gominsky singled to leadoff the inning, stole second and advanced to third on a groundout. He made a move toward home when a pitch got away from Southern catcher Michael Thomas, but Thomas quickly found the ball and Gominsky scrambled back toward third. Thomas' throw sailed wide of third base and into left field, allowing Gominsky to score easily.
Minnesota leads 4-0.
After being shutout on Friday, the visiting Gophers score three runs in the top of the first off Southern starter Jarrett Maloy. Four of the first five batters hit singles to get Minnesota on the board.
Day 2 at the NCAA Regional is getting started under the same blue skies we enjoyed throughout Friday's session. To recap, LSU scored 10 runs in its final three at bats to overcome No. 4-seed Southern University, 10-2. In the nightcap, Baylor took a 2-0 lead with a first-inning homer and never looked back. The Bears handed Minnesota its first shutout since April 13, 2008 (10-0 at Northwestern).
Friday, May 29
It's over! Baylor wins, 5-0, and will face LSU at 6 p.m. tomorrow. Minnesota to take on Southern at 1 p.m.
A few SEC scores today:
LSU def. Southern, 10-2
South Carolina def. George Mason, 11-3
Arkansas def. Washington St., 10-3
Georgia def. Ohio St., 24-8
Oklahoma St. def. Alabama, 10-6
Middle Tennessee def. Vanderbilt, 5-4
Ole Miss leads Monmouth, 4-0 B5
Bethune-Cookman leads Florida, 6-3 T9
Minnesota put runners on second and third for the first time tonight, but a popout to the catcher ended the threat. It's not looking good for the Gophers, who would have to play Southern in an elimination game on Saturday at 1 p.m.
FYI, LSU head coach Paul Mainieri announced that Anthony Ranaudo will start on Saturday night for the Tigers.
In the top of the eighth, Baylor's Kenton Gedwed hit a two-RBI double to left-center for his Big 12 conference-leading ninth pinch hit of the season. The Bears lead 5-0.
Baylor extends its lead to 3-0 after back-to-back doubles by Gregg Glime and Raynor Campbell at the bottom of the Bears order. Going to the bottom of the seventh...
In a game that's eerily similar to the first of the day (minus about 5,000 fans), the lower-seeded Bears still hold a 2-0 lead over Minnesota going to the top of the seventh inning. Both starters are still in the game, but Baylor has action in the bullpen.
Actual attendance for game 2: 3,247.
Baylor still holds a 2-0 lead over Minnesota, as Bears starter Willie Kempf has allowed only two singles and a walk through four innings. Baylor second baseman Joey Hainsfurther made a spectaular throw across his body from beyond the bag for the final out of the fourth.
Baylor takes a 2-0 lead with a home run to right field by shortstop Shaver Hansen, his team-leading 17th of the season. Both of today's games have included a two-run home run in the top of the first inning.
Game 2 between Minnesota and Baylor is underway, as Bears leadoff hitter Dustin Dickerson started the game by extending his hitting streak to 14 games with a single to center.
Unrelated to the game but close to our hearts here in the press box: LSU senior associate SID Kent Lowe has officially pulled triple duty for this tournament. Not only is he the Media Coordinator for the regional, he's now a stand-in "red hat" for CST's broadcast of the second game. We're hoping to get him back in the climate controlled Hall of Fame room ASAP.
LSU won 10-2 and advanced to the winner's bracket game on Saturday at 6 p.m. | Read More
Just got back from the postgame press conferences. Video of each team's press conference will be available shortly.
The Box will begin to fill shortly, as game 2 begins at 6 p.m. CT.
An update on SEC teams in the tournament: now three of the five playing right now are trailing. However, Alabama has trimmed an eight-run deficit to three, and Vandy has cut Middle Tennessee's four-run lead in half. Keep up with all regional scores here.
LSU has added two more runs in the bottom of the eighth, and the bases are loaded with one out.
After Richard exits -- and gets a standing ovation after a great effort (6 2/3, 7 H, 3R, 2ER, 1 BB, 0 K) -- LeMahieu singles to center to drive in Nola, then Ochinko singles to the same spot to drive in LeMahieu. Suddenly LSU leads 4-2, and the Tigers have runners on second and third after a single by Dean.
An error by Southern's first baseman off Gibbs' bat (sure looked like a hit to me) scored both Ochinko and Dean to give LSU a 6-2 advantage. Mahtook was hit by a pitch and pinch hitter Derek Helenihi hit a two RBI doubled to left for a 8-2 lead. Helenihi ended the inning trying to extend the hit to a triple.
Three of LSU's seven runs in the frame were earned.
For the second-straight inning, LSU gets the leadoff man on base -- this time with an Ochinko single to center field. Chris McGhee pinch runs, and is sacrificed to second. With one out, Southern leftfielder Frazier Hall cramped up and had to be removed from the game. After a short delay, Jared Mitchell popped up to the pitcher before Austin Nola singled past the second baseman to drive in McGhee and tie the game at 2-2.
Southern puts runners on the corners with one out against Ross, but a suicide squeeze was contacted outside the batter's box and called out immediately by the umpire. LSU reliever Paul Bertuccini entered in relief and struckout Franklin with a nasty curveball.
LSU finally gets something started early in an inning, as Schimpf doubles to right, steals third and comes home when the catcher's throw goes into left field. Tigers trail 2-1 when Mikey Mahtook lines into a double play to end the sixth inning.
FYI, five of six SEC teams are trailing right now.
A line drive by Southern's Brad McDavid nearly ripped LeMahieu's glove off his left hand at second base. But it started a three-up, three-down inning that took only THREE pitches from Ross. That's the definition of a quick half inning.
LSU can't get anything going against Southern starter Chase Richard, going down in order in the bottom of the fifth. Richard has kept the Tigers off balance throughout the day, as the lefty has mixed speeds well. LSU still down, 2-0, going to the top of the sixth.
A Tiger fan asked another how he was able to take off work to come to the game today. The fan responded, "I worked 40 hours in three days so I could come out here." That's dedication. Thanks, Tiger fans.
Ross has 10 strikeouts, tying his career high -- and that's through five innings. He's only made one mistake...
In the bottom of the third, LeMahieu sends a drive to the deepest part of the park, but it's knocked down by the wind and tracked down by Southern centerfielder Toddrick Stevenson. A two-out bunt single by Ryan Schimpf couldn't stop a rally, as Blake Dean fouled out on a 3-2 pitch.
Ross records his seventh strikeout of the game to end another Jaguars' two-out threat. His breaking ball is working well, whereas his fastball has given up four hits.
Though LSU strands another runner (Tyler Hanover single), it's been a pleasure to sit with LSU men's basketball head coach Trent Johnson in the press box here in the second/third inning. Coach spent a few days earlier this week in Destin at the SEC Coaches Meetings, but he's back to enjoy a couple regional games at the Box.
LSU got only a hit by LeMahieu in the bottom of the first. In the top of the second, a two-out single and a stole base game Southern a runner in scoring position. But, LSU third baseman Tyler Hanover chased down a popped up bunt in foul territory to end the threat.
Tough top of the first for LSU starter Austin Ross. The first two pitches he threw were hit for a single up the middle and a towering homer to right field by Southern designated hitter Victor Franklin. After a one-out triple, Ross got out of the jam by striking out two. LSU trails 2-0 and is coming to bat.
It's gametime at Alex Box Stadium! The national anthem is done, the infield has been sprayed, and the teams are about to take the field.
Watch live on www.lsusports.net/live.
It's a beautiful morning at Alex Box Stadium! Gates open at 11 a.m. for LSU's opener against Southern. There's a nice breeze out of the northwest (blowing out to right field) and the humidity is low.
The Tigers are in purple warm-ups but will wear gold jerseys as they have worn on Friday throughout the season. The Tigers are on the field now, taking a little BP and getting loose.
The field looks great, too, as it has been accented with two NCAA Baseball logos along each baseline and the team's logos on a blue background behind home plate.
Here's an image from my Verizon Wireless phone's camera (shameless plug for Team LSU partner) for all to see.
Thursday, May 28
This just in: Thanks to CST, Jumbo Sport, the NCAA and LSU Athletics, we will be able to offer live streaming video off all NCAA Regional games on LSUsports.net.
The last of today's four open practices is nearly complete, as Southern wraps up its batting practice and fielding session at 3:45 p.m. at Alex Box Stadium.
Now, the first two episodes of "The Buzz from the Box" are now available. Take a look at this video series throughout the NCAA Baseball Championships -- and hopefully all the way back to Omaha -- exclusively on LSUsports.net.
On Thursday, Buzzy Haydel interviewed game 1 starter Austin Ross and first-time regional participant Grant Dozar. And, The Buzz wants to know why Ross got the ball instead of him! Watch all the episodes here.
The games get started tomorrow at 1 p.m., when LSU faces Southern. At 6 p.m., Minnesota takes on Baylor. See you at The Box!
For those not familiar with the tournament format, here's a brief overview:
- 16 NCAA Regionals including the one at Alex Box Stadium will be played May 29 - June 1. The winners advance to...
- 8 Super Regionals involving the regional winners. Four of these start June 5, while the other four start June 6. Winning 2-of-3 games in the super regional gives eight teams a trip to....
- The College World Series, which is another double-elimination tournament held in Omaha, Neb., from June 13-24. The two teams which survive their four-team bracket will square off in a best-of-three series from June 22-24 to determine the national champion.
- Want more details? Visit LSUsports.net's NCAA Regional Central.
Now that we've got that straight, let's get down to today's events.
First and foremost, everyone wants to know how they can watch the game live. Here's what we know thus far:
As of the time of this post, all ticket books have been sold out including the 500 standing room only books that went on sale at 8 a.m. today. Individual-game tickets for Game 2 (Minnesota vs. Baylor) are now on sale at the LSU Athletics Ticket Office or by calling (225) 578-2184. These will also be available online at www.lsutix.net shortly. Fans are enouraged to use the LSU Ticket Office Marketplace to buy/sell tickets from other fans.
On Tuesday, the NCAA announced that Jumbo Sports won the bid to air all of the regional games on Cox Sports Television's network stations. Click here for the cities where the game can be found on CST.
(SEE 9:15 p.m. UPDATE ABOVE) Because the television rights to the game were bid upon and granted to Jumbo Sports/CST by the NCAA, LSU is not allowed to provide live streaming video of the regional games in the Geaux Zone. Schools such as Ole Miss are allowed to do so because their games will not be televised.
There will be live streaming audio of the LSU Sports Radio Network broadcast as well as live stats of all regional games on LSUsports.net's NCAA Regional Central.
We'll be back with more from the Press Box, including a video recap of LSU's practice and the first edition of this year's "Buzz from the Box" -- LSU infielder/pitcher Buzzy Haydel's exclusive coverage of his team's journey back to Omaha. In the mean time, look back at the 2008 CWS Buzz Homepage and watch his weekly features on Inside LSU Baseball with Paul Mainieri.
Take a look at some photos from LSU's practice session.