The LSU Tigers took on the Virginia Cavaliers in the second game of the College World Series. The Tigers entered the game with a 51-16 record while Virginia has a 48-13-1 record. Virginia sent freshman LHP Danny Hultzen to the mound as he sports a 9-1 record with a 2.09 ERA while LSU countered with Sophomore RHP Anthony Ranaudo is 10-3 with a 2.95 ERA.
After a scoreless top of the first, Danny Hultzen got the first two batters in DJ LeMahieu and Ryan Schimpf before allowing a double to Blake Dean. He would come home on a Micah Gibbs single to right field to bring home Dean from second to put the Tigers up 1-0. Danny Hultzen would allow a Mikie Mahtook single to put runners on the corners but would strike out Sean Ochinko to end the inning. The score after 1 inning was 1-0.
Dan Grovatt led off the second inning with a solid single to left field. After a Steven Proscia flyout to left field, Tyler Cannon picked up a walk to put runners on first and second. John Hicks would hit a “tweener” to center field that Mikie Mahotook made a diving catch for the second out of the inning. Franco Valdes ended the inning by striking out.
The Virginia Cavaliers were led off the third inning with a Keith Werman double to left-center field. Jarrett Parker then got a walk to put runners on first and second. Werman moved up to third base on a Phil Gosselin flyout to right field to put runners on the corners with only one out in the inning. Danny Hultzen would follow with a ground ball to second baseman DJ LeMaheiu who made a diving stop to throw out Hultzen but the tying run would score in Keith Werman. Jarrett Parker then took third on a wild pitch. Dan Grovatt would walk to put runners on the corners again but Steven Proscia would line out to shortstop Austin Nola with the final out of the inning.
The score heading into the bottom of the 3rd inning saw Virginia and LSU tied up at 1. DJ LeMahieu would led the inning off with a single. He would move over to third on a double by Ryan Schimpf. Blake Dean would bring LeMaheiu home and Ryan Schimpf over to third with a sacrifice fly to right field to put the Tigers up 2-1. Micah Gibbs would bring Schimpf home from third with a single to left field. Mikie Mahtook would continue the rally with a single to center field. Danny Hultzen would strike out Ochinko, walk DJ Mitchell and then got Derek Helenihi to fly out to center limiting the damage to two runs. LSU led the Tigers 3-1 after three innings.
Tyler Cannon led off the fourth inning with a triple to left-center field gap. After a John Hicks strikeout, Franco Valdes hit a blooped into short right field to score Cannon from third and make it 3-2. Keith Werman would then lay down a perfect bunt for a base hit. Jarrett Parker would follow with a four pitch walk to load up the bases. Paul Bertuccini would relieve Anthony Ranaudo and get a big strikeout of Phil Gosselin to grab the second out of the inning. Danny Hultzen proceeded to hit a ball down the left field line which was caught by a diving Ryan Schimpf for the final out in the top of the fourth inning.
The score would remain 3-2 in favor of LSU until the top of the fifth inning when Steven Proscia hit a home run to left field to tie the score at 3. Tyler Cannon singled which was followed by a John Hicks single to put runners on first and second. Franco Valdes then hit into a fielder’s choice which got Hicks at second for the second out of the inning with runners on the corners. Keith Werman then hit a blooper to right field to bring home Cannon to give the Cavs the 4-3 lead. Jarrett Parker would end the inning by striking out looking on a fastball.
In the bottom of the fifth inning with one out, Micah Gibbs and Mikie Mahtook got back to back singles before Sean Ochinko took a Matt Packer pitch over the left field wall to give the Tigers the 6-4 lead. The Cavaliers would get out of the inning without allowing anymore damage.
Franco Valdes hit a two out solo homer in the top of the seventh inning to bring the Cavaliers to a 6-5 deficit. Virginia would not be able to scratch across anymore runs in the inning.
The score would remain that until the bottom of the eighth when Ryan Schiempf hit his 20th homer of the season over the right field wall.
Virginia would get a Franco Valdes double in the ninth but were not able to get a run across as the LSU Tigers picked up the 9-5 victory. Matt Packer picked up the loss for Virginia to drop his record to 3-5 while Austin Ross picked up the win to put his record at 6-7. Virginia will face off against Cal-State Fullerton at 1 pm on Monday in an elimnation game while LSU will face Arkansas in a SEC matchup in the winner’s bracket game.
- Brian O’Connor stated that the team didn’t perform in the clutch tonight which they have been doing all year long. Virginia ended up leaving 14 runners on base for the entire game.
- Brian O’Connor also stated about Danny Hultzen that “He is a special pitcher.” This has shown to be true but Hultzen wasn’t that strong tonight for the Cavs.
- O’Connor also stated that Keith Werman “works his butt off” and is really a “scrappy ballplayer”
- O’Connor stated that Paul Mainieri is “the best college coach in the country.” This seems to be true with how he has done with the LSU Tigers over the last couple of years.
- Paul Mainieri said that this was one of the few “subpar” pitching performances this season by his LSU Tigers squad.
- LSU reliever Louis Coleman who is the likely starter on Monday and threw 17 pitches tonight in an inning of work stated “I am good to go on Monday.” Mainieri added that the pitching is in great shape with the way the tournament is set up.