The LSU Tigers outlasted Wake Forest in what will go down as one of the great baseball games in the sport’s history, 2-0. Tommy White’s walk off home run in the bottom of the eleventh inning sent the Tigers back to the Championship Series to face the Florida Gators.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
In what was built up as the pitching matchup of the year in college baseball, this game did not disappoint. Paul Skenes took the mound for LSU and went up against Rhett Lowder of Wake Forest. Both pitchers were dominant and matched each other throughout the contest.
Paul Skenes entered this one just two strikeouts short of Ben McDonald’s single-season record at LSU. In just the top of the second inning, Skenes got his second and third strikeouts of the contest to surpass the record and claim it for himself.
Calling this matchup a pitcher’s duel would simply not do it justice. This became a heavyweight fight, with both pitchers matching each other with zeroes. Additionally, each defense made several outstanding plays to preserve the tie. There were none better than the play Tre Morgan made in the top of the eighth. An attempted squeeze bunt was put down, but Morgan charged in and flipped to catcher Alex Milazzo who put the tag on the runner to preserve the tie.
In the bottom of the eighth, Lowder gave way to reliever Cole Roland issued a leadoff walk, and then Milazzo put down a sacrifice bunt. Wake Forest then opted to bring in Michael Massey on the mound. Massey got Dylan Crews swinging, intentionally walked Tommy White, and then got Tre Morgan to fly put to end the threat.
This game worked well into extra innings. Thatcher Hurd came on to relieve Skenes and worked three scoreless innings himself. Wake Forest threatened a couple of times but could not score. In the bottom of the eleventh, Crews worked a leadoff walk. The Demon Deacons then brought in closer Cam Minacci. On his first pitch, Tommy White delivered the epic walk-off, no-doubt home run to left to send the Tigers to the Championship Series.
BIG NUMBER: 21
There were 21 individual scoreless half innings in this game. That was, of course, until the bottom of the eleventh.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Tommy White
This award could have easily gone to Paul Skenes and Thatcher Hurd for their work on the mound. However, Tommy White delivered a swing that will be remembered in college baseball history forever.
UP NEXT: LSU will Florida in the Men’s College World Series Championship Best-of-Three beginning on Saturday at 6:00 P.M. and running through Monday, if necessary.