'Beach Ball Rally' Gives LSU CWS Opening Win, 5-4

June 17, 2017

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OMAHA, Neb. — Trailing throughout its College World Series opener, the No. 4-seed LSU Baseball team put together a two-run eighth-inning and battled past Florida State, 5-4, on Saturday night in TD Ameritrade Park Omaha.

LSU (49-17) faced a 4-3 deficit with one out and Cole Freeman on first base after single in the eighth inning when a beach ball came into play in right field to halt the game momentarily.

Facing a 2-2 count, LSU’s Antoine Duplantis hit the next pitch for a single through the right side. The ball was over-ran by Seminole right fielder Steven Wells, allowing both Freeman and Duplantis to advance to second and third. When Wells’ throw to second wasn’t able to be handled, Freeman broke for home and slid in safely to tie the game at 4-4 when the catcher couldn’t handle the throw to the plate.

The play chased Florida State starter Tyler Holton (10-3), and reliever Alec Byrd allowed a go-ahead single to LSU’s Greg Deichmann, who squeezed a ground ball just to the right of a leaning second baseman for a 5-4 lead.

In the top of the ninth, Florida State led off the inning with a single by Matt Henderson off LSU senior Jared Poche’ (11-3), but Poche’ earned two strikeouts before leaving the mound after 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief of starter Alex Lange (6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 BB, 8 K).

Freshman Zack Hess finished off the victory with a nasty strikeout, and LSU advanced to the winners’ bracket. Poche’ earned the victory, the LSU-record-tying 38th of his remarkable career.

The Tigers will face No. 1-seed Oregon State (55-4) on Monday at 6 p.m. CT. The game will be televised by ESPN and broadcast on the LSU Sports Radio Network ( 

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