Houston rallies to beat LSU; forces deciding game
Houston right fielder Kyle Survance drove in the go-ahead run with two outs in the top of the 11th inning as the Cougars rallied from a 4-0 deficit to force a deciding game in the NCAA Regional, 5-4, late Sunday.
LSU (46-15-1) had its 10-game winning streak snapped, as Houston (47-16) scored four runs in the top of the eighth to force extra innings.
Behind a solo home run by LSU catcher Kade Scivique to leadoff the second inning, LSU took a 1-0 lead to the bottom of the seventh when the game intensified.
In the inning, Tyler Moore lined a 3-1 pitch just inside first base, past the tarp in foul territory and up against a padded gate in the corner of the field. Rather than attempting to dislodge the ball, Survance raised his hands to indicate the ball was stuck. Meanwhile, Connor Hale came around to score, and Moore never stopped, completing an inside-the-park home run.
Houston protested the ruling, thus sending the umpires off the field to review the play. The play was upheld by the established ground rules, and the two-run home run gave LSU a 3-0 lead.
Other than the delay, the ruling had little effect on the Tigers’ score Alex Bregman drove in another run on a double to right field.
The Tigers led 4-0 entering the top of the eighth inning when Houston came to life against the LSU bullpen. After facing the minimum in the seventh by virtue of a double play, LSU reliever Kurt McCune allowed the first four Cougars to reach base, including an interference call against the right hander and three singles — the last of which drove in two runs and cut the lead to 4-2.
LSU’s Zac Person entered to get a groundout that moved runners to second and third with one out.
Nate Fury then gave up another two-RBI single to Caleb Barker, which tied the score at 4.
In the top of the 11th, LSU closer Joe Broussard (3-2) got the first two batters out before Josh Vidales singled off Ibarra’s glove and into left field. Michael Pyeatt followed with a double that put runners at second and third and set the plate for Survance’s game-winning hit.
LSU was retired on three fly balls in the bottom of the 11th by Chase Wellbrock (5-0)
LSU starter Kyle Bouman, who didn’t figure into the decision after leaving with a 1-0 lead, pitched six scoreless innings and gave up only two hits with two walks.
Likewise, Houston starter David Longville went five innings, allowing one run on five hits with a walk and two strikeouts.
The teams will square off at 7 p.m. today Monday at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field. The game will be streamed live on ESPN3 and broadcast on the LSU Sports Radio Network starting at 6:30, including local affiliate KBZE 105.9 FM and KFRA 1390 AM.
Houston 9, SLU 5
Despite a valiant comeback effort, Southeastern Louisiana dropped its first-ever meeting with the University of Houston, 9-5, Sunday at Alex Box Stadium, bringing the Lions season to an end.
Southeastern (38-25), down 9-2 entering the eighth, rallied for three runs in its final two at bats but came up short in the end against the Cougars (46-16).
Houston scored seven runs in the first two innings, all unearned, as the Lions committed five errors. The big inning for the Cougars was a 10-batter second inning that led to six, two-out runs.
Southeastern scored in the eighth inning via a two-out, two-run single by Kennon Menard.
Pinch-hitter Gabe Woods appeared to hit the ball out of the ballpark leading off the ninth, but the umpires ruled the ball hit off the wall for a double.
Two batters later, Jameson Fisher drove in Woods with a double to left-center field.
The Lions pounded out 16 hits in the game with six players recording multi-hit performances. Kyle Cedotal, Fisher, Brett Hoffman, Sam Roberson and Seward each picked up multiple hits in the game.
Houston starter Aaron Garza (9-4) earned the win while Sean Kennel (5-4) was the hard-luck loser for the Lions.
LSU 5, Houston 1
All-America pitcher Aaron Nola retired 17 of the final 18 batters he faced Saturday night to lead the LSU baseball team past second-seed Houston, 5-1, and into the NCAA Regional final at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
Nola (11-1) threw 7.1 innings, allowing one run on four hits with a walk and seven strikeouts.
Houston’s only run came on three of its hits in the bottom of the second.
LSU (46-14-1) broke a 1-1 tie with a pair of runs off Houston starter Jake Lemoine (6-7) in the top of the third inning. The Tigers added two more runs in the seventh, which was more than enough for Nola and the stingy Tigers staff.
While Nola settled down after a shaky second inning, the LSU offense continued to produce. Andrew Stevenson had three of LSU’s 12 hits, while Sean McMullen was 2-for-4 with a pair of runs and Conner Hale collected two hits with two RBIs.
The Tigers got on the board first in the top of the second when McMullen scored on a singled to center by Hale.
Houston (45-16) tied the game in the bottom half of the second when Justin Montemayor scored on a single to center by Michael Pyeatt.
In the next frame, Mark Laird scored on a single by McMullen.
McMullen scored on a single by Hale to extend LSU’s advantage to 3-1.
LSU added two runs in the seventh inning via back-to-back RBI singles by Laird and Alex Bregman.
SLU 2, Bryan, 1
Leading 2-1 in the 10th inning, Southeastern Louisiana right fielder Andrew Godbold threw out Bryant’s Dan Cellucci at the plate to end the game Saturday at Alex Box Stadium and seal the Lions’ first NCAA postseason win since the 1992 season.
Southeastern (38-24) scored the eventual winning run in the top of the 10th on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly by Sam Roberson, but Bryant (42-16) immediately went to work in the bottom of the inning.
Shortstop, and No. 9 hitter, Cellucci led off the inning with a double down the left-field line. Carl Anderson followed with a single up the middle, putting runners on the corners with no outs.
Anderson stole second, erasing the force play, but Mason Klotz buckled down and struck out pinch hitter Tom Gavitt. After intentionally walking right fielder Jourdan Mountford to load the bases and set up a force play at every base, Klotz got cleanup hitter AJ Zarozny to hit a fly ball to right.
Godbold came charging in, made the catch, and unleashed a shoulder-high strike to Jameson Fisher just up the third-base line. The throw was in plenty of time to nail Cellucci at the plate, ending the game.
The Lions scored the first run of the game just three batters in when Bryant starter Craig Schlitter uncorked a wild pitch to score Jacob Seward.
Bryant tied the game in the fifth with a run off Lion starter Tate Scioneaux.
Klotz (2-0) worked four scoreless innings in relief, stranding the potential winning run in scoring position in both the seventh and ninth innings. He earned the win, Southeastern’s first since May 22, 1992, when the Lions shutout Hawaii, 8-0, in the opening game of the Tuscon, Ariz., regional.
Bulldog reliever Trevor Lacosse (4-4) was saddled with the loss.
LSU 8, SLU 4
LSU rallied from a 4-2 deficit with six runs in its last two at bats to defeat Southeastern Louisiana, 8-4, in the opening game of the 2014 NCAA Baseball Regional at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
Southeastern Louisiana (37-24), the Southland Conference Tournament Champions, had its six-game winning streak snapped despite breaking a 2-2 tie in the top of the sixth inning with a two-run home run by first baseman Sam Roberson.
Trailing 4-2 in the bottom half of the seventh, LSU catcher Kade Scivicque poked a single past the shortstop, and Alex Bregman came around to score on a fielding error by the leftfielder.
After the Lions inserted Matt Pittari for starter Andro Cutura, Tyler Moore singled to left field to score Sean McMullen and knot the game at 4.
Nate Fury (3-1) entered in relief of Zac Person to start the eighth inning, and the right hander set the Lions down in order.
In the bottom of the eighth, LSU erupted for four runs on four hit to go along with two SLU errors.
With one out, Christian Ibarra scored when Lions pitcher Dylan Hills’ (6-4) attempted pickoff at first base bounced into right field.
With a 5-4 lead, Mark Laird scored when Bregman grounded out to the shortstop.
LSU added two more runs via a McMullen two-run home run to left-center field.
Southeastern led the game, 1-0, when right fielder Andrew Godbold smashed a solo home run off LSU starter Jared Poche’ with two outs in the first inning.
The Tigers tied the game in the bottom of the second when Tyler Moore scored on a wild pitch by Andro Cutura.
LSU took the lead for the first time, 2-1, when McMullen grounded out with runners on second and third in the bottom of the third inning.
Southeastern Louisiana scored the first of three unanswered runs in the top of the fifth when Kyle Cedotal scored on a double by Jacob Williams to tie the game at 2.
In the sixth, Roberson hit a two-run home run off Poche’ that put the Lions ahead 4-2.