The final game of day 3 in the College World Series sees SEC rivals Arkansas and LSU facing off. Arkansas had a 40-22 record while LSU had a 52-16 record. The Razorbacks sent Brett Eibner to the hill as he is 5-4 with a 4.61 ERA while LSU countered with Louis Coleman who is 13-2 with a 2.74 ERA in 22 appearances (14 starts). Both teams won their opening games of the College World Series with Arkansas beating Cal-State Fullerton 10-6 while LSU beat Virginia 9-5.
LSU would get right after Arkansas starter Brett Eibner in the first inning. D.J. LeMaheiu led off the game with a single to right center. Ryan Schimpf would follow with a 13 pitch at bat by walking. Blake Dean would follow with a flyout to left field, then Micah Gibbs would strikeout. Mikie Mahtook would follow with a long fly ball to left field that would get into the second row of seats to give the Tigers the 3-0 lead. Mahtook said this about his homer “He tried to sneak a fastball by me and I fouled it off, then I was looking for the slider because he’d thrown it in a couple of times in the at-bat. He threw the slider and left it up a little bit. I put a good swing on it and got enough of it.” LSU would get another hit in the inning but would not be able to scratch across anymore runs.
Arkansas would get a one out double by Ben Tschepikow. He would move over to third on a single by Scott Lyons. Andy Wilkins would bring him in with a deep flyball to left fielder Ryan Schimpf to cut the LSU lead to 3-1. The Tigers would be able to get out of the inning without suffering anymore damage.
LSU would come right back with some two out action. DJ LeMahieu would get a single that was followed by a Ryan Schimpf’s double to the left-center field gap which scored LeMahieu from first. Blake Dean would get a walk from Eibner which would end Eibner’s night. He ended up pitching 1.2 inning giving up five hits, four runs, 2 walks, and one strike out. TJ Forrest would relieve him and get out of the inning.
The score would stay 4-1 until the sixth inning when Austin Nola took a TJ Forrest pitch over the left field wall with one out in the inning. Ryan Schimpf would follow two batters later with a walk. He would get driven in by a Blake Dean home run over the right field wall to give the Tigers the 7-1 lead and knock Forrest out of the game. Micah Gibbs would welcome new Arkansas pitcher Sam Murphy with a single. Mikie Mahtook would get a walk to put runners on first and second with two outs. Jared Mitchell would follow with a single to right field which would score Mahtook from second and Mikie Mahtook would go to third on the play but leftfielder Jacob House’s throw would go over Zack Cox’s head allowing Mahtook to score and get Mitchell over to third. Sean Ochinko would finish the inning by fouling out to Andy Wilkins. The Tigers finished the inning with five runs on four hits, three walks, and one error while leaving a runner stranded. The LSU Tigers led 9-1 after the scoring was done.
LSU would lift Louis Coleman after the bottom of the 6th. He went six strong innings while allowing six hits, one run, three walks, and seven strikeouts. He was replaced by Daniel Bradshaw who worked a scoreless seventh and eighth inning. Nolan Cain worked the ninth for the Tigers as they picked up a 9-1 victory over the Razorbacks.
Paul Maineri said after the game about his team’s performance “I thought it was a really outstanding effort in a lot of ways… I had a feeling [we’d come out and play well today]. These kids are focused, they’re balancing focus and energy. It’s a coaches’ dream right now the way these guys are conducting themselves… They’re a very confident group right now.”
Dave Van Horn said this about the game “You just have to give credit to (starting pitcher) Louis Coleman. He was outstanding. They had a three-run home run with two outs. They scored another run in the second inning with two outs. We felt we were still in the game. We were getting runners on, just not driving them in. The good thing is we get another chance to redeem ourselves on Wednesday. We were down 4-1 with the bases loaded, and we didn’t get the hit. We didn’t even hit the ball hard. If we get the hit, we’re right in there. We have been getting that hit. You just have to give credit to Coleman.”
*-LSU (7-0) and Arizona State (6-0) are the only two unbeaten teams in NCAA Tournament play. No team has gone undefeated in the NCAA Tournament since the MCWS Championship Series was established in 2003. The last team to go undefeated in the NCAA Tournament was Miami in 2001.
*-This is the first time since the 2005 MCWS (Florida/Tennessee) that two SEC teams have met in the MCWS and the ninth straight season of at least one matchup between schools from the same conference.
*-17 of the last 19 champions have opened MCWS play with a 2-0 record.
*-The Tigers have now won a season-high 12 consecutive games following tonight’s win and have not lost since a 4-1 loss to Vanderbilt in the opening round of the SEC Tournament on May 21.
*-LSU is now 48-22 all-time against Arkansas. In the regular-season series in Fayetteville, LSU was held to five runs or less in all three games.
*-With tonight’s win, LSU now has a national-best 53 wins on the season (Arizona State is 2nd with 50 wins).
*-With the win, the Tigers are now 32-19 (.627) in 15 MCWS appearances and is 2-0 in the MCWS for the first time since 2000.
*-LSU is now 2-0 in the MCWS for the seventh time in program history (2009, 2000, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1993 and 1991). In all five previous national title seasons, the Tigers have started the MCWS 2-0.
*-The Tigers are now 7-0 in the NCAA Tournament, hitting .348 as a team and averaging 8.3 runs per game in that stretch. LSU has nine or more runs five times in the NCAAs.
*-With three homers tonight, LSU upped its season total to 99, the most among the MCWS teams, and are now 23-3 when hitting at least two homers in a game.
*-Eight of LSU’s nine runs on Monday have come in two-out situations, as LSU was 9-for-18 with two down on Monday.
*-With tonight’s win, Louis Coleman now has 29 career wins, moving into a tie with Ben McDonald (1987-89) for eighth place on LSU’s career wins list. Coleman is now 2-0 with a 0.60 ERA in two starts against Arkansas, allowing eight hits and striking out 13 over 15 innings.
*- Coleman improved to 14-2 on the season and is tied second nationally in wins with Kansas State’s AJ Morris. Coleman’s 14 wins ranks fourth on LSU’s single-season list and are the most wins by a Tiger pitcher since Brian Tallet had 15 wins in 2000. Only three LSU pitchers (Paul Byrd, Curtis Lesanic and Tallet) have won more games in a season than Coleman in 2009.
*-Coleman’s 121 innings pitched is the most by a Tiger pitcher since 2002 (Lane Mestepey, 142.1 IP).
*-Coleman has thrown in all five of the Tigers’ games at the College World Series over the past two seasons.
*-Coleman is now 3-0 with a 1.98 ERA in four NCAA Tournament appearances this season, fanning 21 and walking three over 22.2 innings.
*-With his two RBIs tonight, Blake Dean moved into sole possession of sixth place on LSU’s career RBI chart with 187, passing Clay Harris, who had 185 RBIs between 2002 and 2005. Dean also belted his 43rd career homer and is in sixth place on LSU’s career list in that category.
*-Ryan Schimpf is now hitting .462 (12-for-26) with three homers and 10 RBIs in LSU’s seven NCAA Tournament games.
*-LSU is now 26-1 this season when scoring at least nine runs in a game.
*-LSU is now 26-3 when scoring in the first inning, outscoring its opponents 63-31 in the opening frame.
*-With today’s loss, Arkansas falls to 7-11 all-time in its six Men’s College World Series appearances.
*-Arkansas saw its six-game win streak snapped and suffered its first loss of the postseason.
*-Arkansas starter Brett Eibner threw 39 pitches during the first inning and went just 1.2 innings against LSU. It was his shortest outing since lasting 1.1 innings at Centenary on March 10.
*-Andy Wilkins extended his hit streak to eight games and is hitting .586 (17-for-29) with four homers and 18 RBIs in the NCAA Tournament.
*-Jacob House went 2-for-3 on Monday and is hitting .667 (4-for-6) in limited duty in the NCAA Tournament.
*-Arkansas falls to 18-14 against ranked opponents this season.
*-All 11 runs in Arkansas’ two games have been driven in by three players (Scott Lyons, Andy Wilkins and Zack Cox).
*-Arkansas is now 16-15 when a starter goes less than five innings.
*-Arkansas is now 2-8 when scoring two runs or less this season.