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Super Regional Scores, Recaps and Capsules
Six-Run Fifth Inning Leads LSU
By Robert Stewart
Special to CollegeBaseballInsider.com
Robert Stewart is a Baton Rouge native and
rising junior at LSU, where he just finished his third semester
in The Daily Reveille’s sports department and is going into his
second summer term at the paper as a contributing writer. He has
worked in the past as a sports contributor, sports staff writer
and deputy sports editor. He will move up to sports editor in
the fall. Robert has covered a variety of sports at LSU. Besides
baseball, he has covered football, basketball, softball, track
and field, soccer, tennis and volleyball. He has no allegiances
to any professional baseball team but is a fan of North Carolina
Tar Heels basketball, the New Orleans Saints, the New Orleans
Hornets and the Indianapolis Colts. He is still waiting for a
Saints berth in the Super Bowl...and will be waiting for a long
BATON ROUGE, La. –
The bottom of the fifth inning was not kind to Rice against LSU
Rice led 4-1 going into the bottom of the fifth
after center fielder Steven Sultzbaugh knocked a solo home run
to left field, his eighth of the year. But the Owls gave up six
runs on six hits in the frame in a 12-9 loss to the Tigers in
the first game of the Baton Rouge Super Regional at Alex Box
“LSU outhit us; they did a great job of hitting
so you have to give them credit for that,” Rice coach Wayne
Graham said. “I thought we competed well, but we had too many
After LSU third baseman Tyler Hanover led off the
fifth with a double to left, and Austin Nola was hit by a pitch,
DJ LeMahieu ripped a RBI single to left to bring the score to
4-2. LeMahieu and Nola advanced to second and third on a wild
pitch, and Rice starter Mike Ojala was pulled after the pitch
for freshman left-hander Taylor Wall (7-6).
Schimpf (left) then blasted a three-run home run to right field,
his 19th of the season, on the second pitch Wall threw for a 5-4
“I wasn’t looking for a home run, I was just
trying to drive something up the middle and stay through it,”
Wall lasted only a third of an inning, giving up
three hits and three runs, all earned. He was replaced by
freshman right-hander Matthew Reckling, who gave up a two-run
double to Sean Ochinko to the left-field corner to make it 7-4.
“I knew when they brought the right-hander in
they were going to throw me sliders,” Ochinko said. “Coach [Paul
Mainieri] told me they would throw [a slider], and I think it
was a 1-0 pitch that I was able to hit down the line.”
Ojala, the Owls’ starter, didn’t fare much better
than Wall. He lasted four innings, giving up four earned runs on
four hits with two walks and six strikeouts. In all Rice (43-17)
used five pitchers: Relievers combined to give up eight runs on
eight hits in five innings.
“I thought I should have got myself out of many
of the situations out there tonight,” Ojala said. “I couldn’t.
There isn’t much to say about it.”
The LSU bats picked up a defense that almost let
the game get away from the Tigers in the early goings. LSU
(50-16) made four errors in the game, its most since a 2001
Regional game against Virginia Commonwealth (a 13-9 Tigers win).
The Tigers were 18th in the nation in
fielding percentage (.974) entering the game.
“I don’t think our game tape would be taken and
put in an instructional video library,” Mainieri said. “We made
several mistakes early in the game. As this team has done
repeatedly, they played very courageously. They didn’t give up
when things weren’t going well.”
Rice freshman sensation Anthony Rendon smacked a
double to right-center to lead off the second inning and later
scored on an error by Nola. Rendon got caught in a pickle
between second and third base after Owls right fielder Chad
Mozingo grounded the ball right back to LSU pitcher Anthony
Ranaudo. Ranaudo tossed the ball to Nola to try to get Rendon
out, but Nola’s throw toward third base sailed over Hanover’s
head and into the Rice dugout. Mozingo eventually scored on a
sacrifice fly by Rice left fielder Michael Fuda for a 2-0 Owls
lead after two innings.
“You don’t expect that from two strong teams.
Things happen,” Graham said of the mistakes. “We got an early
break when they threw the run down away, a big break. I thought
things looked good because of that. I didn’t think we swung the
bat badly at all.”
Rice had another threat on Ranaudo (10-3) in the
top of the third after Rick Hague dropped a single into right.
But Hague was caught trying to steal second base by LSU catcher
LSU brought the score to 3-1 in the bottom of the
fourth on a RBI fielder’s choice by Ochinko with the bases
loaded and one out – Rendon fielded the ball and stepped on
third base but couldn’t make a throw to first or second base.
Rice scored again in the top of the fourth inning
thanks to a pair of LSU errors. Rendon reached on an error by
Hanover then advanced to second when Ranaudo’s pickoff attempt
went past Ochinko at first. Fuda drove Rendon in again, this
time on an RBI single.
(left) gave up four runs on four hits in the first four innings
but shook off the slow start to pitch 7.2 innings, giving up
five runs on five hits with nine strikeouts. He was replaced in
the top of the eighth by junior right-hander Paul Bertuccini,
leaving to a standing ovation from the LSU crowd.
“I don’t know what it is, but the deeper the game
goes, the more comfortable I get,” Ranaudo said. “I don’t know
if it’s just that I’m up there in my pitch count and I feel
comfortable in my delivery and my release point or what it is.
As the game goes on, I try to get a lot more focused and
hopefully it’s been helping me out.”
Schimpf struck again in the bottom of the sixth
with a RBI double to right that scored LeMahieu. He advanced to
third on an error by Sultzbaugh. Designated hitter Blake Dean
followed Schimpf with a sacrifice fly to center field for a 9-4
Schimpf finished 2 for 4 with four RBI after
striking out in his first two at-bats.
“I had two terrible at-bats previously in the
game and I just tried to … get it out of my mind,” Schimpf said.
Rice scored again in the top of the eighth on a
towering home run to the scoreboard in left-center field by
Rendon, his 20th home run of the season, to cut the deficit to
But LSU struck back in the bottom of the eighth.
LeMahieu singled and stole second to start the inning and later
scored on an error by Rice first baseman Jimmy Comerota. Rice
then brought in right-hander Jordan Rogers, who surrendered a
bases-loaded walk after hitting LSU center fielder Mikie Mahtook.
Tigers right fielder Jared Mitchell brought in another run on a
RBI fielder’s choice.
Rice wasn’t done until the final out. The Owls
scored three runs in the top of the ninth on an RBI single by
pinch-hitter Jess Buenger and a two-run home run by Brock Holt,
Paid attendance for the game was 9,923, actual
attendance was 9,375 (LSU record) … Game time was 3 hours, 27
minutes … LSU will start senior right-hander Louis Coleman
(12-2, 2.72 ERA) tomorrow, while Rice will counter with junior
right-hander Ryan Berry (7-1, 2.00)
(photos by Jimmy Jones)