Paul Mainieri’s legendary career at LSU gets at least one more weekend in the sun. The Tigers rallied in the eighth and were able to hold off the Oregon Ducks to win 9-8 and advance to the Knoxville Super Regional.
How It Happened
Tre Morgan got the first hit for LSU in the bottom of the first with a two-out single to left field. Gavin Dugas liked what he saw on the first pitch he saw, lifting it to center field to give the Tigers an early 2-0 lead.
Oregon did respond though in the second inning with a one-out single from Anthony Hall, followed by a well-hit double to right center from Sam Novitske to make it a one-run deficit. Later in the inning, Sam Olsson tied things up with a sacrifice fly to score Novitske.
The Ducks took control of the contest in the top of the third when PAC-12 Player of the Year Aaron Zavala hit a no-doubter to left field, putting Oregon out in front 4-2. Tanner Smith pushed the lead out to three runs in the fourth with an RBI single up the middle that scored Olsson.
LSU responded in kind with Dugas drilling his second home run of the night in the bottom frame to make it 5-3. Drew Bianco took advantage of a pair of wild pitches later in the inning to get within one run after four complete.
Bianco came up clutch once again for the Tigers in the sixth inning when he blasted a two-run bomb to left center, giving them the lead back. However, that didn’t last long with Kenyon Yovan responding in the seventh inning with a two-run shot to center field after Smith led off the inning by reaching on a fielding error, making it a 7-6 lead for Oregon.
The Tigers rallied in the bottom of the eighth after a big double by Cade Doughty gave them runners at second and third with no outs. Cade Beloso was able to get Dugas home safely on a fielder’s choice to tie things up. Kolby Somers allowed another run to come across on a balk, giving LSU the lead. Jordan Thompson then gave them some insurance with an RBI single to center field, scoring Will Safford, who was pinch-running for Beloso.
Things got a little nerve-wracking in the top of the ninth after Oregon connected with a pair of singles and had runners on the corners with one out. Josh Kasevich made it a one-run ballgame after Zavala scored off of a groundout to Doughty. Tristan Hanoian puts runners on the corners once again with a two-out single, but Novitske’s pop fly sealed the victory for LSU.
Big Number: 5
The baseballs on Monday night were flying all over the place, both teams combined for five home runs on the evening.
Player of the Game: Gavin Dugas
Anytime there was a big play that LSU needed to make, the Houma native was always somewhere near it. Dugas went two-for-three with two home runs to help secure a super regional berth.
Next Up: Super Regional vs Tennessee; Game Times TBD