OMAHA, Neb. -- After second baseman DJ LeMahieu erased a 6-4 deficit with a two-out RBI double in the ninth, centerfielder Mikie Mahtook laced a two-out RBI single in the 11th to give top-ranked LSU a 7-6 victory over Texas in game 1 of the National Championship series Monday night at Rosenblatt Stadium.
Freshman right-hander Matty Ott (4-2) earned the win for LSU, throwing three shutout innings between the ninth and eleventh, allowing no hits and striking out three.
“That was one of the most courageous, never-say-die, resilient effort out of one of my teams in 27 years of coaching,” LSU head coach Paul Mainieri said. “It was a total team effort tonight...one for the ages.”
The Tigers (55-16) will face Texas (49-15-1) Tuesday night at 6 p.m. CT. An LSU win will clinch a sixth national championship and its first since 2000.
Game 2 will be televised on ESPN-HD and will be aired on the LSU Sports Radio Network (WDGL 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge). Live audio and stats can be accessed in the Geaux Zone at www.lsusports.net.
LSU’s bullpen of Chad Jones, Paul Bertuccini and Ott allowed no hits in the final five innings in relief of starter Louis Coleman.
“Our bullpen has been fantastic the last month of the season,” Mainieri said. “It was great to see the rest of the guys pick up Coleman and rally around him, because he had a pretty tough outing.”
Coleman pitched six innings and allowed six runs on nine hits, including five solo homers, while striking out six.
Offensively, the Tigers were led by a 2-for-4 performance by LeMahieu, who also had three RBI and scored twice. Rightfielder Jared Mitchell also had two hits, including a two-RBI triple.
LSU wasted no time getting on the scoreboard as leftfielder Ryan Schimpf, the second batter of the game, blasted the second pitch from Texas starter Chance Ruffin over the wall in right center to put the Tigers up 1-0. It was Schimpf’s 22nd homer of the season and his third in the College World Series.
After notching only one hit through the first three innings, Texas tied the score in the fourth with a solo home run by second baseman Travis Tucker to tie the score at 1-1.
Two batters later, designated hitter Russell Moldenhauer crushed a ball off one of the flagpoles in centerfield to give the Longhorns a 2-1 advantage. It was only the second homer of the year for Moldenhauer.
Texas right fielder Kevin Keyes belted the Longhorns’ third solo homer in the inning two batters later, giving Texas a 3-1 lead. It was the first time a team has hit three homers in an inning at the College World Series since June 1, 1998, when LSU hit three against Mississippi State.
In the sixth, Ruffin left the game with two outs and Blake Dean on third and Micah Gibbs on first, giving way to left-handed reliever Austin Wood. The next batter, Jared Mitchell, hit a triple to left-center field, scoring Dean and Gibbs, tying the score at 3-3.
Ruffin threw 5.2 innings and allowed three runs on five hits with one walk, while tying a season-high with 10 strikeouts.
The Longhorns responded in the bottom of the frame when Moldenhauer launched his second solo homer of the game off Coleman, putting Texas back on top 4-3.
Texas made the score 5-3 when Keyes crossed the plate on a wild pitch by Coleman. The senior right-hander ended the sixth by striking out leftfielder Preston Clark with a runner on third.
The Tigers pulled the score within one in the seventh when second baseman DJ LeMahieu pounded a solo homer over the wall in center to make the score 5-4.
In the bottom of the frame, Texas blasted their fifth solo homer off the game, this time off the bat of centerfielder Connor Rowe, to put the Longhorns ahead 6-4.
Jones entered the game for Coleman after Rowe’s homer and retired the Longhorns in order, striking out first baseman Brandon Belt to end the inning.
The Tigers erased a 6-4 deficit with two outs in the ninth when LeMahieu laced a double down the left field line scoring Leon Landry and Derek Helenihi, tying the score at 6-6 heading to the bottom of the ninth.
After Ott got out of the ninth unscathed, the Tigers loaded the bases in the tenth, but Texas right-hander Brandon Workman entered the game with one out and struck out Helenihi and Tyler Hanover to end the LSU threat.
In the 11th, Ott struck out shortstop Brandon Loy and Maitland before forcing Rowe to ground out to Hanover at second base to end the game.
Gotta give them Texas boys props for a great game played... we're just lucky all of their homers were solos! In the end, the Tigers persevered and took one more step in proving to the nation why we deserve the title!!!
Everyone's getting in on the action! Gov. Bobby Jindal bet Texas Gov. Rick Perry a tray of Louisiana seafood against a tray of Texas Bar-B-Que that LSU will win!
Mmmmm.... Longhorn Ribeye!!! Geaux Tigers!!!
Also check out Line Drives: LSU Baseball with Randy Rosetta.