June 10, 2008
Pounds UC Irvine, Heads to
Tigers smack seven homers to eliminate
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. - Using a barrage of home
runs, LSU punched its 14th ticket to the College
World Series with a 21-7 victory over UC Irvine on Monday.
UC Irvine (42-18) was looking to make its second straight trip
“These last three years have been unbelievable, especially these
past two,” UC Irvine shortstop Ben Orloff said of the Anteaters’
surge into the national spotlight. “The thing that we remember
most is the tight groups that we’ve had.””
LSU (48-17-1) pounded out a postseason school-record 24
hits, seven of which were home runs. LSU sophomore second
baseman Ryan Schimpf led the way with two home runs in the fifth
and seventh innings.
LSU roared out to a 6-0 lead in the first inning and never
“Coming out and getting runs on them early like that, it puts
them on their heels,” said LSU freshman catcher Micah Gibbs. “I
know they’re a hit-and-run, bunt steal kind of team, so we took
them out of their game.”
UC Irvine starter Bryce Stowell lasted only two-thirds of
an inning, giving up six runs on five hits and taking the loss
for the Anteaters.
“[The first inning] effectively and literally took our starter
out of the game,” UC
Irvine coach Mike Gillispie said. “If we were going to be able
to contend in this tonight, we were going to need Bryce Stowell
to pitch deep into the game.””
UC Irvine used a total of seven pitchers on the night,
with only sophomore
Christian Bergman lasting more than one inning.
LSU senior third baseman Michael Hollander scored from
third base on Stowell’s
balk to put LSU up 1-0.
The Tigers followed with three straight home runs.
Sophomore designated hitter Blake Dean, Gibbs and junior
first baseman Matt
Clark hit the three homers to push the lead to 5-0.
Clark’s home run ties him with Florida State catcher
Buster Posey for the national lead with 26.
“Back-to-back-to-back home runs - you don’t see that very
often,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “It just sent a message
right away that we meant business.”
Things got a little heated when UC Irvine catcher Aaron
Lowenstein and LSU outfielder Jared Mitchell exchanged a few
words after the home runs.
Home plate umpire David Rogers gave a warning to both dugouts
after the exchange.
“A couple of the guys [from LSU] were saying things to our
pitcher after he was getting hit pretty hard,” Lowenstein said.
“I thought it was unnecessary. But we got it straightened out.”
UC Irvine took back some of the momentum in the top of
the third inning with a
solo home run by junior third baseman Eric Deragisch.
A Dillon Bell double and a Lowenstein sacrifice bunt in the
following at-bats gave UC Irvine a runner on third base with one
But LSU starter Blake Martin retired UC Irvine center fielder
Ollie Linton and Orloff to end the inning.
“In the first game of the series we walked the first two batters
of the game,” Mainieri said. “When Blake Martin went out there
and set the tone [in the first inning], that gave our hitters a
lot of confidence.”
LSU struck again in the fifth inning with a seven-run
outburst, led by Schimpf’s home run and a bases-loaded walk by
freshman outfielder Johnny Dishon.
LSU scored three runs in the seventh inning and two runs
in the eighth inning to
bring the final score to 21-7.
LSU played its final game in the 70-year-old Alex Box
Stadium in front of a stadium-record crowd of 8,173 fans.
“I’ve got a bunch of memories here,” Hollander said. “It’s great
to be a part of it.
It’s something I won’t forget.””