CWS Game 11 Recap: LSU 14 Arkansas 5

AnthonyRanaudoLSU

Anthony Ranaudo (Courtesy of LSU Media Relations)

FROM NCAA RELEASE
OMAHA, Neb. – LSU used eight extra-base hits and six scoreless innings from right-hander Anthony Ranaudo to post a 14-5 victory over Arkansas before a crowd of 19,734 Friday afternoon at Rosenblatt Stadium.

The Tigers, making their 15th College World Series appearance in school history, improve to 8-0 in the NCAA Tournament and 54-16 on the season with their 13th consecutive win. The tournament’s No. 3 seed will face top-seeded Texas in the Championship Finals, which begin Monday at 6 p.m. CT.

The Razorbacks, who were playing in their sixth CWS, finish the campaign 41-24.

LSU opened up an 11-0 advantage with one run in the first, three in the third, one in the fifth, one in the sixth and five more in the seventh. The Tigers, who cracked the scoreboard in seven different frames, then added three runs in the ninth.

Eight of nine LSU starters recorded at least one hit and the Tigers had baserunners in every inning but the fourth. LSU’s biggest rally came in the seventh when eight consecutive batters reached safely. The stretch included one fielding error, one single, one homer, two doubles and three walks.

Designated hitter Blake Dean, right fielder Jared Mitchell and left fielder Ryan Schimpf all blasted solo home runs in the contest for LSU, while third baseman Tyler Hanover crushed a two-run shot for the Tigers.

Schimpf (3-for-5, 2 R, 1 RBI) managed LSU’s only three-hit performance, while Hanover (2-for-2, 1 R, 3 RBI) and Dean (2-for-4, 3 R, 2 RBI) also posted multi-hit efforts for the Tigers.

Ranaudo (6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 SO), who improved to 11-3 with the win, scattered four singles and didn’t allow a runner past second base. He is now 3-0 with a 1.38 ERA in four NCAA Tournament starts this season. The line also includes 31 strikeouts and just seven walks in 26 postseason innings.

Razorbacks left-hander Stephen Richards (2.0 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO) fell to 6-2 with the loss in his first start after 30 relief appearances this season. Arkansas used a CWS-record eight hurlers on the afternoon.

Arkansas’s offensive highlights came late as center fielder Brett Eibner (2-for-4, 1 R, 2 RBI) launched a two-run homer in the seventh and left fielder Chase Leavitt (3-for-5, 1 R, 3 RBI) whacked a three-run shot in the ninth.

The result was LSU’s second win over Arkansas in the 2009 College World Series and fourth over the Razorbacks this season. The Tigers also posted a 9-1 victory over the Razorbacks in the second round on Monday.

LSU, which won national championships in 1991, 1993, 1996, 1997 and 2000, improves to an all-time best 120-44 (.732) in the NCAA Tournament.

LSU was ranked No. 1 in the latest Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association polls, while Arkansas was ranked No. 7 in the Collegiate Baseball and NCBWA polls.

Texas (48-14-1) and Arizona State (51-13) square off on Friday at 7:43 p.m. CT. A Texas win would set up the Longhorns and Tigers in the Championship Finals. An Arizona State victory would force the “if necessary” game for Bracket Two on Saturday at 6 p.m. CT.

Friday afternoon’s crowd pushes the 2009 CWS attendance total to 247,943 in just 11 games (average of 22,540). The game was delayed two hours and 30 minutes from the outset due to rain.

MCWS GAME 11 NOTES

*-With LSU’s win today, it guarantees the first top-eight National Seed to win an NCAA title since Rice in 2003 (No. 1 Texas and No. 5 Arizona State are in the Bracket 2 Championship). LSU was the No. 3 National Seed.
*-LSU will bid to become the first Bracket One winner to win a MCWS since Miami (Fla.) in 1999. The last team from the SEC to win a national title was LSU’s 2000 team. It is also the third time in five years that a Southeastern Conference team has advanced to the MCWS Championship Finals.
*-The 13 pitchers used (8 by Arkansas, 5 by LSU) ties the MCWS single game record. Nebraska (7) and Clemson (6) also combined to throw 13 pitchers on June 14, 2002.
*-The start of today’s game was delayed two hours and 30 minutes because of inclement weather.

LSU
*-The Tigers have now won a season-high 13 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.
*-With today’s win, LSU advances to the MCWS Championship Finals for the first time since the MCWS Championship Finals began in 2003. The Tigers are 5-0 when playing for a national title in program history. LSU has never played either Arizona State or Texas for a national title.
*-With today’s win, LSU now has a national-best 54 wins on the season (Arizona State is 2nd with 51 wins).
*-LSU (8-0) remains perfect in this year’s NCAA Tournament. 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.
*- LSU went 3-0 in four of its previous five national title seasons (2000, 1997, 1996, and 1991).
*-With today’s win, LSU improves to 33-19 (.634) in its 15 MCWS appearances, a winning percentage that now ranks fourth in MCWS history. If Arizona State loses tonight, LSU would move into third all-time in winning percentage.
*-LSU has now scored in the first inning of 30 of their 70 contests this season (26-3) and are now (42-6) when scoring first. The Tigers have out-scored foes 64-31.
*-LSU is now 25-0 this season when scoring at least 10 runs.
*-LSU has scored three runs in an inning seven times in its three MCWS games this season.
*-LSU has hit 104 home runs on the season, reaching the 100-homer plateau for the second straight season. LSU’s back-to-back 100-homer seasons are the first time at LSU since a four-year stretch between 1996 and 1999. LSU’s 104 homers are the most of any team in MCWS and the most by an LSU team since also hitting 104 homers in 1999.
*-LSU is now 24-3 when hitting two or more homers in a game this season.
*-LSU is now 49-22 all-time against Arkansas, including four straight wins in 2009 after Arkansas won the series opener, 11-4.
*-Anthony Ranauno now has an SEC-leading 154 strikeouts on the season to rank sixth on LSU’s single-season list. It is the most strikeouts by a Tiger since Kurt Ainsworth fanned 157 hitters in 1999. That also marked the last time a Tiger pitcher led the SEC in strikeouts.
*-Anthony Ranaudo has pitched five or more innings in 17 of his 18 starts, as he went six innings against LSU. With today’s win, Ranaudo has won his last six decisions dating back to May 8.
*-LSU improves to 8-2 all-time against SEC teams in the MCWS.
*-LSU’s five homers against Arkansas marked the third time this year LSU has hit five or more homers in a game this season.
*-With his homer and two RBI, Blake Dean has 44 career homers (8th all-time at LSU) and 189 career RBI (6th all-time at LSU).
*-Ryan Schimpf went 3-for-5 with a homer today and is now hitting .484 (15-for-31) with four homers and 11 RBIs in the NCAA Tournament. In Omaha, he is hitting .545 (6-for-11) with six runs scored in three games.
*-LSU is hitting .351 and averaging nine runs per game in eight NCAA Tournament games and is hitting .368 and averaging 10.7 runs per game in the MCWS.

Arkansas
*-With the loss, Arkansas is now 2-2 in the 2009 MCWS and 9-12 in its six College World Series appearances. The two wins Arkansas had at the 2009 MCWS was the most the Razorbacks have had since 1985.
*-Arkansas will tie for third in the MCWS, the third time in program history Arkansas has finished third or better (1979, second; 1985, third).
*-The start by Arkansas’ Stephen Richards was his first of the season and second of his three-year career. His previous start was on April 3, 2007, against Northern Colorado, when he allowed four runs on four hits over two innings of work.
*-Stephen Richards went 2.0 innings against LSU, which was his longest outing since going 3.0 innings on Feb. 20. He had pitched only 2.2 innings in his three NCAA Tournament appearances – including 0.1 innings against Virginia on June 17 in his only other MCWS appearance.
*-The eight pitchers that Arkansas used against LSU tied the single-game MCWS record for pitchers used in a game, previously held by North Carolina against Rice on June 5, 2007.
*-Arkansas held LSU to just 13 runs in the three-game series in May, but allowed 14 runs today and 23 runs against the Tigers in two contests in Omaha.
*-Jacob House collected his second multi-hit game of the MCWS by going 2-for-3 against LSU. House was 6-for-8 in his five NCAA games, including 4-for-6 in two MCWS appearances.
*-The 14 runs allowed by Arkansas was its second-highest total of the year, as Mississippi scored 16 runs on May 16.
*-Arkansas falls to 19-15 against ranked opponents this season.
*-Arkansas is now 16-16 when a starter foes less than five innings and 18-18 when an opponent scores first.
*-Arkansas is now 2-9 when scoring two runs or less this season and is 0-6 when allowing 10 or more runs in a game.
*-Brett Eibner belted a two-run homer in the seventh inning to account for Arkansas’ first two runs. Eiber drove in five RBI in his last two games and finished the MCWS with a .308 (4-for-13) average with two homers and five RBI.
*-The three-run homer by Chase Leavitt in the ninth inning marked his first RBI in nine NCAA Tournament games. Prior to today, Leavitt’s last RBI was against Florida on May 22. It was also Leavitt’s first homer since April 15.