Jared Poche became LSU’s all-time pitching victories leader and Jake Slaughter hit a three-run homer as the Tigers reached the Final Four of the College World Series by defeating Florida State 7-4 at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha on Wednesday night.
AP Photo/Nati Harnik
HOW THEY SCORED
LSU second inning – Greg Deichmann doubled and advanced to third on a single by Zach Watson. After Watson stole second, Deichmann scored on a single by Josh Smith. Watson, who went to third on Smith’s single, scored on a safety squeeze bunt by Beau Jordan. Michael Papierski reached safely on an error by second baseman Matt Henderson. Slaughter hit a three-run homer over the leftfield fence. LSU 5, FLORIDA STATE 0
Florida State second inning – With two out, Drew Mendoza hit a solo home run over the leftfield fence. LSU 5, FLORIDA STATE 1
Florida State sixth inning – With one out, Dylan Busby reached safely on a throwing error by second baseman Cole Freeman. Busby moved to third on a double by Jackson Lucek and scored on a sacrifice fly to the leftfielder by Quincy Nieporte. LSU 5, FLORIDA STATE 2
LSU ninth inning – Kramer Robertson singled and stole second base. Robertson went to third on a sacrifice bunt by Freeman. Robertson scored when he beat the throw to the plate on Antoine Duplantis’ ground ball to the first baseman. Duplantis advanced to second base on a ground out to the first baseman by Deichmann and scored on a double by Watson. LSU 7, FLORIDA STATE 2
Florida State ninth inning – Nieporte hit a leadoff home run over the leftfield fence. Cal Raleigh hit a solo home run over the leftfield fence. LSU 7, FLORIDA STATE 4
KEY STRETCH OF GAME
Trailing by four runs, Florida State had an opportunity to get back into the game in the fifth inning when Mendoza and Matt Henderson led off with back-to-back singles. Steven Wells then hit a ground ball to Smith at third base. Smith stepped on the bag at third for one out and threw the ball to Freeman at second base for a second out. Poche then ended the inning by getting Tyler Holton to fly out to deep rightfield.
KEY TEAM STATISTICS
LSU outhit Florida State 10-7. The Tigers had four extra-base hits – three doubles and a home run. Three of the Seminoles’ hits were home runs. . .LSU stranded eight runners – six in scoring position. The Tigers were 4-for-14 with runners in scoring position. . .Florida State only had three runners get past first base – Mendoza in the fifth, Lucek in the sixth and pinch-runner J.C. Flowers in the ninth. None of those three runners scored. . .There were three errors in the game – two committed by Florida State. There were three double plays in the game – two by LSU.
INDIVIDUAL STAT LEADERS
Zach Watson: 3-for-5, 1 RBI, 1 run scored, 1 double
Antoine Duplantis: 2-for-5, 1 RBI
Jake Slaughter: 1-for-3, 3 RBIs, 1 run scored, 1 home run
Jared Poche: 8 innings, 7 hits, 4 runs, 4 earned runs, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts
Drew Mendoza: 2-for-4, 1 RBI, 1 run scored, 1 home run
Quincy Nieporte: 1-for-2, 2 RBIs, 1 run scored, 1 home run
Cole Sands: 1.1 innings, 4 hits, 5 runs, 4 earned runs
LSU’S PLAYER OF THE GAME
Poche came up with a big-time performance just when needed by the Tigers. He pitched into the ninth inning when he was replaced after allowing back-to-back homers by Nieporte and Raleigh. In the first eight innings, Poche was in complete command. He gave up a solo homer to Mendoza in the second and an unearned run in the sixth. Florida State only had two runners get past first base against Poche. The victory was the 39th of Poche’s career – one more than the previous high held by Scott Schultz. The victory was also the 12th of the season for Poche. No LSU pitcher has won more than 12 games in a year since Louis Coleman had 14 victories in 2009. Poche made the 69th start of his career to set a school record. Lane Mestepey made 68 starts in his career.Poche’s comments: “If you told me four years ago before I started my career that I was going to be in Omaha and set the all-time wins record, no way I would have believed that. This is not an individual record. I had guys behind me like Kramer and Alex Bregman. All of those guys behind me were picking me up with their defense and by scoring runs.”
Slaughter returned to the starting lineup at first base. Slaughter batted ninth in the lineup. His home run in the second inning was his third of the season. . .Each of the top four batters in the LSU lineup had a hit. Robertson snapped a 0-for-12 slump in the CWS with a ninth-inning single. Both Freeman and Deichmann had doubles in the Tigers’ five-run second. Duplantis had two singles and drove in a run with a ground ball in the ninth. . .Watson has five hits in LSU’s last two games. . .Jordan and Papierski were the only starters without a hit. Jordan drew two walks and drove in a run with a safety squeeze bunt. . .Three Tigers had sacrifice bunts – Jordan, Smith and Freeman. . .Florida State reliever Andrew Karp did not allow a run in 5.1 innings. He gave up three hits with one walk and seven strikeouts. . .LSU scored its two ninth-inning runs off Seminoles closer Drew Carlton. . .Poche is the first LSU pitcher to win two CWS games in eight years. Anthony Ranaudo won two games in 2009. Five other Tigers pitchers won two games in the College World Series – Trey Hodges in 2000, Ed Yarnall in 1996, Mike Sirotka in 1993, Chad Ogea in 1991 and Gregg Patterson in 1987. . .Hess picked up his third save of the season – two coming against Florida State in the CWS. Hess walked one and struck out three. . .It had been seven years since back-to-back home runs were hit in a CWS game. In 2010, Florida State’s Sherman Johnson and Mike McGee hit consecutive homers against TCU. . .LSU is 50-18. The Tigers reached the CWS Final Four for just the third time in their last eight appearances. LSU won the national championship in 2000 and 2009. . .Florida State finished with a 46-23 record. . .The paid attendance was 22,133. . .Alex Lange will be the starting pitcher against Oregon State on Friday.
FROM THE LOCKER ROOM
Coach Paul Mainieri’s comments: “It’s exciting to know that we get to stay in Omaha for a couple of more days. We love to play here. Jared was the key to the game. Florida State leads the country with base on balls and Jared walked two in eight innings. Jared coming out and showing great command set the tone for the game. Then, we had the big inning. I am so happy for Jake Slaughter. Zach Watson had a big game for us.”
LSU will play Oregon State in the championship round of Bracket 1 in the College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha on Friday. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. Central. The Beavers (56-4) have won 23 games in a row. The Tigers must defeat Oregon State twice to reach the CWS championship series. If LSU wins Friday, a deciding game will be played Saturday. Friday’s LSU-Oregon Florida State game will be available on ESPN.