New Orleans 18, Texas Southern 5
Johnny Giavotella was 3-for-3 with a home run and four runs scored, helping New Orleans eliminate Texas Southern from the NCAA tournament with an 18-5 victory Saturday in the Baton Rouge regional.
New Orleans (43-20) blew the game open in the bottom of the fifth, sending 11 batters to the plate and scoring six runs to take a 13-2 lead.
Aggressive base running made the difference. Jay Morris started the rally with a sharp liner to left-center that he stretched into a double by beating a high throw. Ryan Eden singled Morris home, then took third on Joey Butler’s single, narrowly beating a wide throw while Butler took second.
Texas Southern reliever Charles Derkoski then began to lose control, walking two straight to force in another run. Josh Vander Hey ripped an RBI single to left, then T.J. Baxter scored on a high fastball that went to the backstop before Nick Schwaner’s single to right-center drove in the final two runs of the frame.
Schwaner finished with four runs batted in.
It was the second lopsided loss in as many days for Texas Southern (16-34), which lost 12-1 to LSU on Friday. TSU reached the NCAA regional round as an upset winner of the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
LSU 13, Southern Miss 4
Three Southern Miss errors in the eighth inning allowed LSU to pull away from the Golden Eagles on its way to a 13-4 decision that gave the Tigers, seeded seventh nationally in the NCAA Tournament, its 22nd consecutive victory. LSU remains undefeated in the regional and awaits the winner of the Southern Miss-New Orleans elimination matchup set for 1 p.m. Sunday.
The Tigers held a 1-0 lead after three complete before Blake Dean and Matt Clark each homered to push the LSU lead to 5-0. Southern Miss cracked the scoreboard when Drew Carson knocked in James Ewing in the bottom of the frame.
The Golden Eagle bats awoke in the bottom of the fifth, cutting the lead to 6-4 before LSU pulled away and claimed the victory.
Southern Miss faces New Orleans in an elimination game at 1 p.m. Sunday. LSU awaits the winner in the day’s second game.