LSU baseball: Tigers eliminated from Super Regionals


In what was a very tightly contested ball game all the way through, the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers completed their 2-0 sweep of the LSU baseball team to advance to their first ever College World Series, winning 4-3 in walk off fashion at Alex Box Stadium Sunday night.

Coastal Carolina came out to play in the first inning as lead off man Anthony Marks made his way around the bases to score the first run of the ball game off of a wild pitch from LSU starting pitcher Jared Poche’.

The Chanticleers tacked on one more run in the inning after designated hitter G.K Young connected on a single to score Connor Owings from second base to take a 2-0 lead in the first inning

After giving up two runs in the first inning Poche’ settled down and held Coastal Carolina in check for most of the game, as he finished with five and a third innings pitched, giving up five hits, three runs, three walks, and striking out six batters.

“I just had to stick to the game plan,” Poche’ said. “That first inning they got two, but after that my goal was to go out there and just throw as many zeros as possible up and gave it all I had.”

Sunday’s start was Poche’s second appearance in six days after pitching in relief in LSU’s contest against Rice in the regional round of play on Tuesday.

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“My body felt great,” Poche’ said. “ We had a good work week, and I was well prepared for tonight.”

Finally getting something going offensively, freshman third baseman Chris Reid came around to score for LSU after a double from second baseman Cole Freeman was hit down the left field line to make the score 2-1 at the top of the third.

Even though the Tigers were able to pound 10 hits on the night, they struggled to get runners home as they left 12 men on base which included leaving the bases loaded in the eighth and ninth innings.

“Clutch hitting is a big part of the game,” LSU coach Paul Mainieri said. “We’ve gotten so many clutch hits, and that’s why we were in the position we were in. But hitting is the hardest thing to do in baseball. We had the right guys up there many times and it just didn’t happen for us.”

Coastal Carolina’s starting pitcher Alex Cunningham was a big plus for his team on Sunday night, as he dealt out seven and a third innings of work, giving up 10 hits, one walk, and only surrendering two earned runs.

“You feel like you’re going to win right until the very end and then all of a sudden it’s over. It’s like a punch in the gut.” – Paul Mainieri

“Just tip your cap to him,” LSU center fielder Jake Fraley said. “He made some good pitches, but at the same time, we didn’t put the greatest swings on some balls in certain situations.”

On the night LSU also combined for a total of 14 fly-ball outs that kept the Tiger bats in check most of the night.

The Chanticleers added another run to their lead in the sixth when first baseman Kevin Woodall Jr. singled to center field to score Young from second base and make it a 3-1 ball game.

One bright spot in the Tigers’ lineup on Sunday night was freshman right fielder Antoine Duplantis, who went 2-for-4 with an RBI, which came off of a double down the left field line in the seventh inning to make the score 3-2 and pull the Tigers within a run of the lead.

Chris Reid, another freshman, made the most of his night going 1-for-2, which included drawing two walks and scoring two of the Tigers’ three runs.

In the ninth inning the Tigers thought the game was shifting their way when Jake Fraley laid down a sacrifice bunt scoring Cole Freeman from third with the bases load as the game was all tied up at 3-3.

Unable to make anymore of the ninth inning, the story changed for LSU at the bottom of the inning when Anthony Marks started off the inning on a walk issued by junior right-handed pitcher Hunter Newman.

On the final play of the night shortstop Michael Paez was able to knock a bouncing ball over third baseman Chris Reid’s head to score Marks from second and punch Coastal Carolina’s ticket to its first ever appearance in the College World Series in walk off fashion.

“We’re just really disappointed,” Mainieri said. “You feel like you’re going to win right until the very end and then all of a sudden it’s over. It’s like a punch in the gut.”

With the loss LSU ends its season with a 45-21 record, as the Tigers fall short for only the second time in nine appearances in the Super Regional Round of play.