Home Runs Put Baseball in Super Regional Deficit
Communications Sr. Associate
BATON ROUGE, La. -- With three home runs Saturday night, Coastal Carolina scored an 11-8 victory over LSU in Game 1 of the NCAA Super Regional in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
LSU (45-20) built a 4-2 lead through five innings before Coastal Carolina (48-16) scored seven straight runs between the sixth and seventh frames.
Game 2 of the best-of-three series is scheduled for Sunday at 8 p.m. CT. It will be televised by ESPNU, streamed on WatchESPN.com, and broadcast on the LSU Sports Radio Network beginning at 7:30 p.m.
The Tigers will need to win twice in as many days to survive and advance to the College World Series. LSU overcame one-game NCAA Super Regional deficits at home in 2003 and 2008. If LSU wins Sunday evening, Game 3 will be played Monday at a time to be announced - either 12, 3 or 6 p.m. CT.
“It’s a tough loss for us, but it’s the best two-out-of-three,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “If we were sitting here tonight and we had won, I would tell you we don’t have anything wrapped up, and neither do they. We’ve lost the first game of the series before and come back and won two in a row, and that’s the mindset we’re going to have. We’re going to go out tomorrow night and leave it all out there on the field, and hopefully we’ll be able to beat these guys.”
Coastal Carolina's G.K. Young hit a solo home run off LSU starter Alex Lange (8-4) in the top of the second to give the Chanticleers a 1-0 lead.
After facing one batter over the minimum through three innings, Coastal Carolina starting pitcher Andrew Beckwith got into trouble against the heart of the LSU lineup. Jake Fraley singled to open the fourth inning and Kramer Robertson was hit by a pitch. With a 1-0 count, Greg Deichmann ignited the Alex Box Stadium crowd with a rocket shot into the right field bleachers that put the Tigers ahead, 3-1.
Both the Tigers and Chanticleers scored single runs in the fifth inning, as a Coastal's Seth Lancaster doubled to leadoff, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a groundout by Billy Cooke. LSU answered the run with a double by Michael Papierski, a single by Cole Freeman and an RBI single by Antoine Duplantis that pushed the Tigers' lead to 4-2.
Lange found trouble in the top of the sixth when the first four batters reached safely with a walk, an RBI single by Michael Paez, a double and a wild pitch on a strikeout that allowed a Coastal Carolina to tie the game at 4-4 with no outs.
With the bases loaded following a full-count walk, Lange's night ended with a go-ahead single to right by Lancaster that put Coastal Carolina ahead, 5-4. LSU's Parker Bugg entered in relief of Lange and allowed a sacrifice fly before getting a pair of strikeouts to end the top of the sixth trailing 6-4.
A pair of home runs off LSU's Jake Latz extended the deficit to 9-4 in the top of the seventh.
The Tigers had a chance to rally in the seventh with no outs, but managed only one run before closer Mike Morrison entered the quell the first-and-second, no-out rally.
Coastal Carolina added its 10th run in the top of the eight following a pair of walks and an RBI single with two outs. The Chanticleers added an 11th run in the top of the ninth with a squeeze bunt.
LSU rallied for three runs in the bottom of the ninth against Morrison, but the inning ended when Jordan Romero was caught between first and second base on a dropped fly ball.