June 24, 2009

Championship Series Game 3 Notes

College World Series Capsules

College World Series Game Stories and Notes


Ochinko, Mitchell Lead LSU to National Crown


By Phil Stanton

CollegeBaseballInsider.com Co-Founder

OMAHA, Neb. – Response and redemption.


After being benched in Tuesday’s game, junior Sean Ochinko went 4 for 5 with a key two-run single to cap a five-run sixth after the Longhorns had tied it in the fifth as LSU defeated Texas 11-4 Wednesday in the title game of the College World Series in front of 19,986 fans at Rosenblatt Stadium.


The third-seeded Tigers (56-17) now tie the top-seeded Longhorns (50-15-1) for second on the all-time list with six national championships. It is the first title for LSU since 2000.


“I’ve dreamt my whole life of having this moment after the game to be able to talk about a national championship,” LSU head coach Paul Mainieri said. “Now that it’s here, it’s almost surreal.”


Ochinko, who was hitting .214 in the CWS, had a two-out single in the first after junior Blake Dean was hit on the foot by a pitch and prior to a three-run homer by junior Jared Mitchell, his 11th, to give LSU an early 3-0 lead. The Tigers scored first and scored in the first in each of their five CWS victories.


“Jared’s home run in the first really got the wheels going,” Ochinko said. “We talked about getting an early lead. Dean got on, I got a squirter that got through and Jared got the big three-run homer. That’s what we needed.”


LSU added to its lead in the second. Sophomore Micah Gibbs had a leadoff single, moved to second on a fielder’s choice, went to third on a two-out infield single by sophomore DJ LeMahieu and scored on a base hit by junior Ryan Schimpf to give the Tigers a 4-0 lead.


The Longhorns broke through in the bottom of the third. Senior Travis Tucker had a leadoff double and junior Brandon Belt (right) walked. Junior Russell Moldenhauer lined a ball to left center on which centerfielder Mikie Mahtook made a nice running catch. Sophomore Anthony Ranaudo walked the next three, bringing in Belt to make it 4-2. A fielder’s choice ended the frame as Ranaudo threw 43 pitches in the inning.


Texas tied it in the fifth as sophomore Cameron Rupp rapped a leadoff single and sophomore Kevin Keyes launched a homer to left center, his ninth, to make it 4-4.


LSU responded in the sixth. Mitchell drew a leadoff walk and went to second on a passed ball. Mahtook lined a double to right center to plate Mitchell with the tie-breaking run. Mahtook was sacrificed to third and scored on a sac fly by senior Derek Helenihi to give the Tigers a 6-4 advantage. Dean was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, and cleanup hitter Ochinko added a two-run single against left-hander Austin Wood as LSU took a 9-4 lead.


“One thing about Sean,” Mainieri said, “he’s a clutch hitter, but he also hits left-handers well. I thought at some point today when Wood was in the game that I would like that match-up between Ochinko against him in a critical time.”


Freshman Austin Nola had a leadoff double in the eighth and scored on a sac fly by Schimpf as LSU increased its lead to 10-4.


Ochinko (left) capped his night with his ninth home run in the ninth to make the final 11-4.


“LSU is a very fine college baseball team,” Texas head coach Augie Garrido said. “They have a good combination of talent throughout their team. They also have a great will and great spirit about them. I don’t think we lost this tournament, I think that they won it.”


Ranaudo (12-3) earned the win, going 5.1 innings with eight hits, four earned runs, five walks and four strikeouts. It was his second victory in the CWS.


“I didn’t have my best stuff today,” Ranaudo said, “but what these guys did today was real special. That’s the story of the year, how our team has picked each other up. It was a great team win tonight.”


Senior Louis Coleman worked the final two innings for LSU with one hit, one walk and four strikeouts.


Mitchell (right), the CWS Most Outstanding Player, had two runs and three RBI for the Tigers. Gibbs finished with two hits and two runs.


Tucker and senior Michael Torres both had two hits for the Longhorns.


Joining Mitchell on the CWS All-Tournament Team were teammates LeMahieu, Schimpf and Ranaudo; Rupp, Moldenhauer and Tyler Jungmann of Texas; Dustin Ackley and Kyle Seager of North Carolina; Kole Calhoun of Arizona State; and Tyler Cannon of Virginia.



(photos courtesy of LSU & Texas Media Relations Offices)