June 8, 2008
UC Irvine Sneaks Past LSU
Hidden ball trick stops Tiger rally in
The Daily Reveille
Robert Stewart is a freshman sports writer for the Daily
Reveille at LSU. He has worked for the Daily Reveille since
January 2008 and has covered baseball, softball and track and
field. A native of Baton Rouge, Robert is currently majoring in
journalism at LSU.
BATON ROUGE, La. - UC Irvine came into Baton Rouge
knowing it would face a raucous LSU crowd recently revitalized
by LSU’s 23-game winning streak.
The crowd did not faze the Anteaters, who picked up an 11-5
against the Tigers on Saturday at Alex Box Stadium in front of
knew this atmosphere was a good atmosphere, with a lot of people
and a lot of noise,” said UCI starter Scott Gorgen of the crowd,
most of which was dressed in gold.
But a controversial call in the top of the sixth inning
the top of the sixth, LSU loaded the bases with two outs after
Gorgen surrendered three straight walks and an RBI single to
pull the Tigers to within four at 6-2.
UC Irvine then took a big risk that paid off.
After the RBI single by Tiger sophomore center fielder Leon
Landry, UC Irvine called an infield meeting to discuss the
Anteaters second baseman Casey Stevenson secretly took the ball
from Gorgen and moved back toward second base, where LSU
freshman shortstop DJ LeMahieu was off the bag.
LeMahieu rushed back to second base, where Stevenson tagged him.
LeMahieu was ruled out, which sent the LSU coaching staff and
fans into a frenzy.
“From my vantage point, the second baseman broke toward [LeMahieu],
took his left foot and stepped back on the base,” LSU coach Paul
Mainieri said. “I thought he was clearly safe. I didn’t think
the umpire was watching.”
LSU assistant coach Javi Sanchez was ejected for arguing with
umpire David Rogers.
The Tigers (46-17-1) lost for the first time since April 19
against Georgia, snapping their Southeastern Conference record
23-game win streak.
UC Irvine (42-16) is now one win away from going to its second
straight College World Series after restarting its baseball
program in 2002.
Gorgen (12-3) picked up the victory for the Anteaters, allowing
only two runs on six hits in 6.2 innings.
“I was able to locate my pitches early and get ahead of the
said Gorgen, a fourth-round selection (125 overall) of the St.
Louis Cardinals. “At that point I was just mixing all three of
my pitches and locating my fastball in and out.”
LSU starter Ryan Verdugo (9-3) took the loss in five innings of
walking the first two batters of the game. UC Irvine quickly
capitalized with a two-RBI single by junior designated hitter
LSU sophomore Paul Bertuccini relieved Verdugo in the sixth
inning. Bertuccini followed Verdugo’s path and walked the first
two batters he faced.
Bertuccini surrendered a three-run home run to Anteaters
Madigan two at-bats later.
Bertuccini lasted 1/3 of an inning.
“[Bertuccini] threw me two straight curveballs and then threw
for a strike,” Madigan said. “I was just sitting on another
curveball and he threw it to me, and I just connected.”
Irvine capitalized on several LSU mistakes. LSU pitchers gave up
five walks, all of which resulted in runs for UC Irvine.
“A lot of different guys took part in this thing,” Gillispie
felt like we had a lot of heroes in this one.”