BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - LSU took an early lead, let it slip away, and then rallied to win the Baton Rouge Regional against Southern Miss Sunday night.
The Tigers (40-24) pulled off the 6-4 comeback win over the Golden Eagles (40-21).
Antoine Duplantis became LSU’s all-time hits leader in his first at bat of the night. A single to center field in the first inning was hit No. 353 for Duplantis to pass Eddy Furniss’ record. He added to that with a single through the left side in the seventh inning for hit No. 354.
Eric Walker started on the mound for LSU and was in command of the Southern Miss batters early. The first three innings went well. However, the next two didn’t and Walker was pulled after 4.2 innings. He finished with a pair of strikeouts Matthew Beck stepped in to relieve him. He allowed one hit in one-third of an inning.
Trent Vietmeier allowed two hits but no runs in two innings of work. He earned the win to improve to 3-1. Devin Fontenot was then given the nod to close out the Golden Eagles. He shut down USM in the last two innings.
The Tigers came out the gate on fire. Josh Smith crushed the first pitch for a solo bomb into the Diamond Deck in right field for the 1-0 lead.
In the second inning, with two runners on, Smith stepped up and ripped a triple to left center to put the Tigers up 3-0.
“What a great victory for our team,” said head coach Paul Mainieri. “I am just so happy for our team. It was a total team effort. We had some real heroes tonight that stepped up and did some extraordinary stuff. Southern Miss tested us and took us to the limit in both games that we played against them this weekend. We found a way to win both games which we have done in a lot of games this year. Our record in the close games is really outstanding.”
In the fourth inning, the first batter up for the Golden Eagles put one over the right field wall to make it 3-1. Southern Miss rallied in the fifth inning, putting up three runs to take the 4-3 lead.
After a pitching change in the seventh, with two runners on, Zack Watson smacked a bases-clearing single to center field as LSU retook the lead. Next, Saul Garza powered a double to right center that sent the speedy Watson all the way home to put the Tigers up 6-4.
Garza was named Baton Rouge Regional Co-Most Outstanding Player, along with Gabe Montenegro of Southern Miss.
LSU will host Florida State (39-21) in the Super Regional after the Seminoles won the Athens Regional.
NCAA Super Regional Ticket Info Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field (best-of-three series begins either Friday or Saturday, June 7 or 8)
- Season ticket holders have until Monday, June 3, at 5 p.m. CT to reserve seats at www.LSUtix.net or by calling the LSU Athletics Ticket Office at (225) 578-2184 or (800) 960-8587 during normal business hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. starting Monday.
- Public on-sale date/time will be announced early this week. Fans are encouraged to sign up for the ticket office’s Geaux-Mail to receive an information via email when has been announced.