June 15, 2009

Game 6 Notes

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Schimpf Sparks Tigers Past Razorbacks

By Phil Stanton

CollegeBaseballInsider.com Co-Founder

OMAHA, Neb. – Ryan Schimpf (left) was the sparkplug for the Tigers tonight.


The No. 2 hitter in the LSU line-up reached base four times and was in the middle of each Tiger scoring rally as third-seeded LSU stayed undefeated in the College World Series with its 9-1 win over Arkansas in front of 23,417 fans at Rosenblatt Stadium.


The Razorbacks (40-23) will face Virginia in an elimination game on Wednesday at 6 p.m. CT. The winner of that game will have to defeat the Tigers (53-16) on both Friday and Saturday to advance to the CWS Championship Series.


Schimpf set the tone in the top of the first. After DJ LeMahieu had a leadoff single and stole second, Schimpf had an amazing 13-pitch at-bat on which he drew a walk.


“I thought Ryan Schimpf’s at-bat was really one of the better at-bats of the year,” LSU head coach Paul Mainieri said. “That was amazing. He just kept battling that kid and he ended up getting the walk. I think that really set the tone for the game.”


Two outs later, Mikie Mahtook ripped a homer to left, his seventh, to put LSU on top 3-0. Arkansas starter Brett Eibner (5-5) threw 39 pitches in the first.


 “He threw me a slider on the first pitch and I chased it in the dirt,” Mahtook said. “After that, I saw every pitch. He was throwing pretty well. He tried to sneak a fastball by me and I fouled it off. I was sitting on a slider because he had thrown me three before. He left it up and I put a good swing on it and got enough of it for it to get out.”


The Razorbacks got one back in the bottom of the frame as Ben Tschepikow doubled to left with one out, moved to third on a base hit by Scott Lyons and scored on a sacrifice fly by Andy Wilkins to make it 3-1.


Schimpf helped the Tigers answer in the second with a two-out RBI double that plated LeMahieu, who had singled, to stretch the advantage to 4-1.


LSU used its power to put the game away in the sixth. Austin Nola hit his third homer with one out and, after Schimpf drew his second walk, Blake Dean pounded his 16th dinger with two outs. Two more came in on a Jared Mitchell single and an error as the Tigers pushed the lead to 9-1.


Louis Coleman (14-2) (left) was the benefactor of the offense, going six innings with six hits, one earned run, three walks and seven strikeouts.


“I thought Louis was outstanding,” Mainieri said, “a little bit rocky at the beginning, just missing on some of his pitches. He got very aggressive and as he does all the time, he got stronger as the game went on. His stuff got better as the game went on. His command was better, his movement was better, his [velocity] was better.”


Coleman threw 106 pitches, 70 for strikes.


“He can locate his fastball really well,” Razorback first baseman Andy Wilkins said, “throwing it to both sides of the plate really well. I thought his slider was lights out tonight. He gave us problems up and down the lineup.”


Daniel Bradshaw tossed two scoreless innings with one punchout and Nolan Cain had two strikeouts in the ninth as the Tigers secured their 12th consecutive win.


Schimpf was officially 1 for 2 with two walks, was hit once, scored twice and drove in one. LeMahieu finished with three hits and two runs. Mitchell had three hits, including two doubles, and one RBI.


Tschepikow, Lyons and Jacob House each had two hits for the Razorbacks. 


(Schimpf photo by Jimmy Jones, Coleman photo courtesy of LSU Media Relations Office)