BATON ROUGE — The LSU Tigers are headed back to Omaha.
LSU held off Kentucky 8-3 at Alex Box Stadium on Sunday to win the NCAA Baton Rouge Super Regional. LSU will now head to the College World Series for the first time since 2017, when the Tigers finished as national runner-up.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
LSU threatened right off the bat.
Both leadoff hitter Dylan Crews and Tre’ Morgan drew walks but Kentucky’s Austin Strickland was able to get out of the jam by getting back-to-back fly outs.
The Wildcats then took the lead in the bottom frame as Jackson Gray hit a leadoff home run. Kentucky would get two more base runners on but LSU’s Ty Floyd battled and got Hunter Gilliam to fly out and then Ryan Waldschmidt to strike out swinging.
LSU tied the game in the top of the second.
Gavin Dugas led off by being hit by a pitch and advanced to second on a single by Josh Pearson. A fielder’s choice by Crews scored Dugas.
LSU jumped out to its first lead in the top of the third inning.
Morgan led off with a double to left field and then advanced to third on a single through the left side by Hayden Travinski.
Cade Beloso then stepped to the plate and took an 0-2 pitch from Strickland and lifted over the wall in right centerfield.
LSU added to its lead as Tommy White beat out the throw at first with a bases-loaded infield single.
Kentucky cut into the lead in the bottom frame as Devin Burkes hit a solo home run over the centerfield wall with one out.
The Wildcats then made it even closer in the bottom of the fourth as Nolan McCarthy lifted a pitch from Floyd over the left field bleachers.
Kentucky threatened again in the bottom of the seventh inning. Emilien Pitre got on with a one-out single which forced LSU’s Jay Johnson to pull Riley Cooper and put in freshamn Gavin Guidry.
After giving up a single and Pitre stealing third to put runners on second and third, Guidry delivered as he struck out the next two Wildcats to end the threat.
LSU picked up an insurance run in the top of the ninth inning.
Dugas was hit by a pitch and then was joined on the base paths as Brayden Jobert got on with a hard hit single that hit the pitcher. After a strike out, LSU then put runners in scoring position with a wild pitch and Pearson then drew a walk which loaded the bases for Crews.
Another wild pitch scored Dugas but the Tigers were not done. Crews — who drew four walks on the night — laced a pitch into left field for a two-run double.
BIG NUMBER: 19
With Sunday’s Super Regional victory, LSU clinched a spot in the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska for a 19th time. That is the seventh most in NCAA history and breaks a three-way tie with Cal-State Fullerton and Arizona.
BIG NUMBER II: 11
Kentucky managed to put plenty of runners on the base paths but left the majority on there. The Wildcats recorded 10 hits, drew two walks and had two hitters hit by a pitch. Yet, LSU’s defense and pitching got out of the majority of jams.
PLAYERS OF THE GAME: CADE BELOSO & GAVIN GUIDRY
LSU’s designated hitter came up with a big his three-run home run in the third inning which gave the Tigers the cushion they needed. Guidry meanwhile came in to the game in the seventh with a runner on first and one out. After giving up a single, the freshman got back-to-back strikeouts to end the threat. Guidry would go on to pitch 2 2/3 scoreless innings while giving up one hit and striking out four and earning the save.
UP NEXT: LSU (48-15) will play the winner of the Hattiesburg Super Regional between Tennessee and Southern Miss at College World Series. Day and first pitch still to be determined.