June 9, 2008
LSU Lives Another Day
Tigers rally for five in ninth to top
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.
ROUGE, La. - Facing
yet another late-inning deficit, LSU scored five runs in the top
of the ninth inning Sunday to beat UC Irvine 9-7 at Alex Box
LSU has tied the Baton Rouge Super Regional, 1-1. The Anteaters
and Tigers square off Monday at 6 p.m.
LSU sophomore center fielder Leon Landry started the rally in
the ninth with a leadoff walk. Sophomore second baseman Ryan
Schimpf hit a double to right field to advance Landry to third.
LSU senior third baseman Michael Hollander beat out a throw by
UC Irvine junior shortstop Ben Orloff to load the bases. LSU
sophomore Jared Mitchell followed with a walk, cutting UC
Irvine’s lead to 7-5.
After a pinch-hit RBI single by Tigers junior Nicholas Pontiff,
sophomore designated hitter Blake Dean followed with another RBI
single to tie the game. LSU sophomore catcher Sean Ochinko hit
an RBI double, and freshman shortstop DJ LeMahieu drove in the
final two runs in the inning to make it 9-7.
“I don’t really think anybody in college baseball thinks it’s
over when there are still six outs left,” UC Irvine coach Mike
In the bottom of the ninth inning, Mitchell made a diving catch
into the left-field wall to rob UC Irvine freshman Tyler
Hoechlin of an extra-base hit.
Mitchell matched the efforts of Landry, who made a diving catch
in the bottom of the sixth inning.
“They [Landry and Mitchell] ought to be making those catches,”
LSU coach Paul Mainieri said. “They’re probably the two best
athletes playing in the outfield in college baseball.”
Mitchell also sparked the Tigers with a solo home run in the top
of the eighth inning to bring the score to 7-3.
“I got down to two strikes, and I told myself to try and stay
inside the baseball and go the other way,” Mitchell said. “I hit
the ball hard and luckily it carried out of the ballpark.”
UC Irvine exploded for six runs in the bottom of the fourth
inning, grabbing a 7-2 lead.
Anteaters junior designated hitter Brock Bardeen hit a solo home
run to left to start the inning.
After a bunt by UC Irvine junior third baseman Eric Deragisch
scored junior left fielder Tony Asaro, senior catcher Aaron
Lowenstein followed with a two-run single to take a 5-2 lead.
Junior center fielder Ollie Linton and Orloff followed with
back-to-back RBI hits, giving the Anteaters a five-run cushion.
LSU junior pitcher Louis Coleman picked up the win, relieving
senior Jared Bradford in the seventh inning.
Coleman (7-0) threw three scoreless innings of work,
surrendering only one hit.
UC Irvine sophomore reliever Eric Pettis (4-3) took the loss,
giving up all five of LSU’s runs in the ninth.
“He [Pettis] just didn’t have his stuff,” Lowenstein said. “He’s
been unreal for us all year [LSU] punished the mistakes that he
Anteaters starter Daniel Bibona took a no-decision after
scattering nine hits in 7.1 innings.
Tomorrow’s pitching matchup is expected to be LSU junior
left-hander Blake Martin (5-3, 4.88 ERA) versus UC Irvine
sophomore right-hander Bryce Stowell (8-2, 2.77 ERA).