BATON ROUGE -- Behind eight shutout-innings from Eric Walker, the LSU Baseball team won its 23rd NCAA Regional title Sunday night, 5-0, over Rice at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
LSU (46-17), the SEC regular season and tournament champions, scored three runs in the top of the second inning and rode its freshman right-hander to victory.
Walker (8-1) allowed only six hits and struck out eight to advance the Tigers within two wins of the College World Series. After the first two hitters reached on singles in the ninth, Zack Hess entered and quashed the rally with three strikeouts to secure the victory.
LSU, winners of 14-straight games, advanced to the NCAA Super Regional and will face either Southern Miss or Mississippi State in a best-of-three series starting Friday or Saturday at Alex Box Stadium.
Mississippi State must defeat Southern Miss twice Monday to advance to the Baton Rouge Super Regional.
LSU is in search of its 18th CWS appearance since 1986.
History Book Updates
NCAA Regional Titles (23) 1986, '87, '89, '90, '91, '93, '94, '96, '97, '98, '99, 2000, '01, '02, '03, '04, '08, '09, '12, '13, '15, '16, '17
NCAA Super Regional Appearances (13) 1999, 2000, '01, '02, '03, '04, '08, '09, '12, '13, '15, '16, '17
Offense Provides the Cushion
LSU's Josh Smith was the only Tiger with multiple hits, going 2-for-3 with two runs and an RBI. LSU collected only six hits on the evening, but did enough damage early to give Walker breathing room for most of the game.
Kramer Robertson, Antoine Duplantis, Michael Papierski and Jake Slaughter also had RBIs for the Tigers.