Power bats and arms lift LSU to 6-5 win over Oregon State in regional
All season, LSU has lived by the long ball, banging out 117 home runs to just 56 for its opponents.
For the last two games, the long ball has been missing from the attack.
The long ball returned in spades Sunday and it was needed.
Former Northshore High and Delgado star Brayden Jobert homered to center field in the bottom of the eighth inning to lift LSU to a 6-5 victory Sunday over Oregon State in the Baton Rouge Regional at Alex Box Stadium.
The teams and sellout crowd endured a rain delay of three hours.
The long wait was worth it as the two traditional powers staged an epic battle in quest for the driver’s seat position of the regional. LSU is now driving the car, thanks to Jobert and four other home runs, including a two-run homer by Dylan Crews and solo shots by Cade Beloso, Hayden Travinski and Josh Pearson.
Having called Delgado games for the last six years, seeing Jobert blast his 11th home run to the deepest part of Alex Box Stadium was no surprise. Jobert narrowly missed a home run earlier in the game, flying out to the warning track in right field.
Ty Floyd started for LSU and pitched three innings, allowing one run on five hits before the lengthy rain delay arrived and he was unable to continue. The Beavers took a 1-0 lead on a solo home run by Travis Bazzana before the rain delay arrived.
Thatcher Hurd came on and had a solid, though strange outing. Hurd allowed four runs on seven hits in five innings but struck out 12 to get the win. Hurd was likely ticketed to start the third game of the regional but with the long rain delay, Jay Johnson rolled the dice and came up a winner, just as he did in starting Paul Skenes in the regional opener against Tulane.
While LSU will have to mix and match on Monday, winning the driver’s seat game was enormously important and Johnson, realizing the magnitude of the situation, went for it and won.
Many had questioned, even criticized Johnson for using Skenes against a 19-40 Tulane team, the thinking being that LSU could beat the Green Wave with Floyd or even Hurd.
Had Skenes been held back for Oregon State, it would have put LSU in a very precarious position heading into the Super Regional round after the rainout Saturday. Skenes would have pitched today and would have been done after three innings. Again, Johnson rolled the dice and won.
Freshman Gavin Guidry came on in the ninth inning to pick up the save, striking out pinch-hitter Tyce Peterson with a runner at second base to secure the win. Tiger pitchers struck out 19 Beavers.
The real concern for LSU is how the Tigers are hitting in clutch situations.
LSU overcame stranding the bases loaded three times. LSU is just 4 for its last 38 with runners in scoring position, a source of frustration and concern.
The Tigers will face the winner of Oregon State and Sam Houston Monday at a time to be determined. LSU needs just one win to capture the regional while the Beavers or Bearkats will have to beat the Tigers twice to advance.
Johnson, who has been questioned at times about how he has used hit pitching this season, has used his staff in perfect fashion with winning results to this point of the regional. There is still one more game to be won with numerous decisions to be made about how to piece together nine meaningful innings to win the regional.
Oregon State bounced back later Sunday night for a 3-1 win to eliminate Sam Houston Stateand reach the regional final.
LSU-Oregon State has been scheduled to start at 1 p.m. Monday with a second game if necessary slated to follow at 5 p.m.
LSU Postgame Press Conference
- < PREV Tigers go back in time to deliver key regional win
- NEXT > Refuel to host K’s for Kids live Tuesday on Crescent City Sports
Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…