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Coleman, LSU Headed Back to
By Robert Stewart
Special to CollegeBaseballInsider.com
BATON ROUGE, La. –
The rout was on early and often for LSU against Minnesota Sunday
The Tigers rode the power of a 17-hit performance
to a 10-3 victory against the Gophers to advance to the Super
Regional round next weekend. LSU will host a Super Regional as
the No. 3 national seed in the NCAA tournament.
“Just because we didn’t dogpile doesn’t mean
we’re not excited about this victory,” LSU coach Paul Mainieri
said. “It was a great championship for us to win, and now we get
to move on and take on either Rice or Kansas State next weekend
with a chance to go to Omaha.”
10 runs were more than enough for Tigers starter Louis Coleman
(left). The senior right-hander went 7.2 innings, giving up one
run on five hits with eight strikeouts and no walks. Coleman
received a standing ovation from the LSU home crowd after being
relieved by senior Nolan Cain in the eighth inning.
“They came out and gave me a lot of runs early,”
Coleman said. “It made it a lot easier for me to throw the ball
over the middle of the plate and try to force some action.”
Coleman got into a jam in the first inning with
runners on the corners and one out – designated hitter Matt
Nohelty reached on an error by LSU third baseman Derek Helenihi,
and second baseman Derek McCallum hit a single to right field.
But Coleman struck out Michael Kvasnicka and catcher Kyle
Knudson to end the inning.
Coleman then retired the next 12 batters he
“I just tried to hit my spots and let the eight
guys behind me do their work,” Coleman said.
LSU’s offense exploded one night after putting up
only three runs on nine hits against Baylor on Saturday night.
DJ LeMahieu put up LSU’s first run on a RBI
double to deep right-center field. Helenihi followed with a
two-run single for a 3-0 lead. Jared Mitchell walked two batters
later, and Schimpf gave the Tigers another RBI on a double to
the right-field corner. Schimpf got to third base, but Mitchell
was thrown out trying to run home to end the inning.
Coleman responded to the run support with a
three-up, three-down inning in the bottom of the second.
The Tigers wasted no time in the third inning.
Blake Dean sent the third pitch of the inning just past the
left-field foul pole for a solo home run and a 5-0 LSU
advantage. Sean Ochinko then ripped a RBI single to right field
after Micah Gibbs singled and Mikie Mahtook was hit by a pitch.
LeMahieu struck again with a sacrifice fly to right field to
score Gibbs from third to put LSU up 7-0.
“We hit and we pitch. That’s been obvious the
whole year,” Dean said. “It’s just a matter of time before our
hitting catches on, no matter if it’s the eighth inning or the
first or third.”
Gophers starter Allen Bechstein lasted only four
innings, giving up seven runs on nine hits with one strikeout.
Reliever Tim Ryan didn’t fare much better, giving up three runs
on seven hits in 3.2 innings of work.
“It was pretty apparent to me that Minnesota was
running pretty low on their pitchers, and that’s where we had
the advantage that we had by staying undefeated through two
games,” Mainieri said.
The Minnesota offense couldn’t muster much of a
result after a 16-hit parade in a 15-12 win against Baylor
earlier in the day. The Gophers finished with only three runs on
seven hits against the Tigers.
They did threaten in the bottom of the fifth
inning after putting runners on the corners with one out. But
Coleman got Kyle Geason to strike out looking, and LSU shortstop
Austin Nola charged a slow roller from and threw in time to
“We looked at [Coleman’s] stats before the game
and he had pitched like a million innings with only 11 walks,”
McCallum said. “That was extremely impressive.”
Dean plated another run for LSU in the sixth
inning after Mitchell knocked a base hit and stole his 33rd
base of the season. Gibbs then ripped a RBI double off the wall
in left-center field for a 9-0 advantage.
A controversial call got Minnesota pitcher Tyler
Oakes ejected in the bottom of the sixth inning.
After McCallum singled to open the inning,
Minnesota right fielder Michael Kvasnicka ripped a hit to right
field. Mitchell appeared to have caught the ball after diving
for it, but replays on a screen in the press box showed Mitchell
didn’t make the catch – he simply picked the ball up with his
bare hand while rolling on the ground.
Umpires ruled in favor of Mitchell, which led to
Oakes’ father, Minnesota pitching coach Todd
Oakes, was also ejected in the top of the eighth inning after
getting into an argument with an umpire.
“They said that Tyler gestured at one of the
umpires after the umpire had given the bench a warning. I did
not see him gesture nor did I hear the umpire warn the bench,”
Gophers coach John Anderson said. “It was a great and emotional
moment. The difficult part for what happened out there was that
Tyler is the pitching coach’s son and is a senior, making this
his last game.”
Kyle Knudson broke the Gophers’ scoreless streak
in the bottom of the seventh with a solo home run to left-center
field, his fourth of the season.
But Schimpf responded with a solo shot of his own
to right field, his 18th on the season.
Minnesota first baseman Nick O’Shea hit his 11th
home run of the season in the bottom of the ninth, a three-run
shot just past the left-field foul pole, for the final scoring
of the game.
Minnesota’s season is done after a second-place
finish in the Big Ten and a runner-up spot in the Big Ten
“I take my hat off to these players. They have
busted their tails since we have been together since the fall,”
Anderson said. “I will always remember them for their effort
Baton Rouge Regional All-Tournament Team
Pitchers: Anthony Ranaudo, LSU*; Louis Coleman,
Catcher: Micah Gibbs, LSU
First Base: Sean Ochinko, LSU
Second Base: Derek McCallum, Minnesota*
Shortstop: Austin Nola, LSU
Third Base: Kyle Geason, Minnesota
Outfielders: Jared Mitchell, LSU; Ben Booker,
Baylor; Justin Gominsky, Minnesota
DH: Matt Nohelty, Minnesota
Most Outstanding Player: Anthony Ranaudo, P, LSU*
(photo courtesy of LSU Media