June 22, 2009

Championship Series Game 1 Recap

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College World Series - Championship Series Game 1 Notes

By Phil Stanton

CollegeBaseballInsider.com Co-Founder

The team that has won the first game of the CWS championship series had won four of the six previous titles. The two times it did not happen were Oregon State in 2006 and Fresno State in 2008.


The Longhorns had three solo homers in the fourth against the Tigers. The last time three teammates homered in the same inning in the College World Series was on June 1, 1998, when Brad Cresse. Clint Earnhart and Wes Davis hit consecutive long balls for LSU against Mississippi State in the second inning.


Texas has hit 11 homers in four CWS games after belting 39 in its previous 61 contests.


“How do I explain it?” Russell Moldenhauer of Texas asked. “We’re not playing as Disch-Falk. That field just swallows balls. We’ve hit the ball well all year, even at Disch-Falk. It’s a monster park. We’re in a little bit smaller ballpark now. That’s helped out the offense a little bit.”


Moldenhauer started for two years before being relegated to the bench most of this season. The junior from Boerne, Texas, was a Big 12 Honorable Mention two straight years and led the Longhorns in hitting a year ago with a .355 average, including hitting .400 in Big 12 play. He was slow to recover from offseason knee surgery and has spent most of this season tinkering with his swing. Persistence has paid off. Moldenhauer entered Omaha with a .236 average and has responded with his first three homers of the season.

Chance Ruffin (left) of Texas had 10 strikeouts, matching his total against Oklahoma in 6.1 innings on April 18. Were cramps the reason he was taken out of the game?


“My calf was cramping when Mikie Mahtook came up,” Ruffin said. “That’s not what took me out of the game. I was feeling fine and I was going to fight through it. I never got asked how I was feeling. The decision was made.”


DJ LeMahieu is batting .474 with eight runs and four RBI at the CWS. His seventh-inning homer was just his fifth of the year and brought the Tigers within a run. He was a two-time Gatorade Player of the Year during his high school years in Michigan. The sophomore was born in California, lived in Las Vegas for a year, moved to Madison, Wis., for five years and settled in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., for five years before arriving in Baton Rouge.


LSU starter Louis Coleman served up a home run to Connor Rowe to start the seventh, giving Texas a 6-4 lead. It was the final batter Coleman would face and the final hit for the Longhorns. Chad Jones retired three in the seventh with one strikeout. Paul Bertuccini gave up a walk in the eighth, but no runs. Matty Ott worked the final three innings with one walk and three strikeouts.


“They were all great,” LSU head coach Paul Mainieri said. “Chad Jones came in and did a tremendous job. Bertuccini gave up the leadoff walk and then made some big pitches right after that. And Matty with the other three innings.”


Ott (left) matched his season-long outing. He went three innings against Mississippi Valley State on March 4 and at South Carolina on March 22.


“I was feeling good the whole time,” Ott said. “We work hard in practice and do our weight-lifting, keep our arms in condition. Most of the time I only throw one or two innings. I need to make sure that I’m in condition to throw three or four or whatever we need.”


Texas had been 39-0 this season when leading after eight innings.


LSU is 2-0 this season in extra inning games. Texas is 3-2-1 in extra innings.


The Tigers remain undefeated in the NCAA Tournament at 9-0. The last team to go undefeated in the NCAA tourney was Miami (Fla.) in 2001 at 9-0. LSU can become the first team to go 10-0.

LSU is now 81-19 since April 22, 2008.


Orel Hershiser was one of the analysts on ESPN, joining Mike Patrick and Robin Ventura in the booth. But that was not the only television appearance for Hershiser on Monday. He also appeared on Poker After Dark on NBC. He was playing with poker pros Barry Greenstein, Phil Gordon and Gavin Smith, along with actors Don Cheadle and Jason Alexander.


(photos courtesy of Texas & LSU Media Relations Offices)