BATON ROUGE, La. - Baton Rouge native Jordan Romero dropped a walk-off single into right field to score freshman O'Neal Lochridge from third as the Tigers defeated Cincinnati 6-5 in 12 innings Friday night at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field to extend their season-opener win streak to 15 consecutive games.
The Tigers improved to 1-0 on the season and 10-0 in season openers under head coach Paul Mainieri, and Cincinnati fell to 0-1 on the year.
The teams will meet in Game 2 of the series Saturday at 2:00 p.m. CT. The game will be available online only via SEC Network+ and can be accessed at WatchESPN.com and the WatchESPN app. It will also be broadcast live in Baton Rouge on 100.7 FM only. Fans can also go to LSUsports.net for live stats and audio through the GeauxZone.
Sophomore right-hander Alex Lange will get the start on the mound Saturday for LSU.
"I really thought tonight was a very competitive, great college baseball game," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "Cincinnati played their hearts out, and they've got a veteran club that made some tremendous plays all night. Our team showed a lot of poise and composure in fighting back twice to tie the game late and then finally win in the 12th inning."
Lochridge led off the bottom of the 12th with a single, and he moved to second on a balk by Bearcats reliever David Orndorff. A groundout by rightfielder Antoine Duplantis moved Lochridge to third before Orndorff struck out shortstop Cole Freeman. Romero, however, flared the game-hitting hit into right field to give the Tigers the victory.
Junior right-hander Alden Cartwright (1-0) earned the win after entering the game in the 11th inning in relief. He tossed two innings, struck out two and walked one.
Orndorff (0-1) suffered the loss after entering the game in the 11th, throwing two innings, surrendering one run on two hits, striking out one and walking one.
LSU starter Jared Poche' worked 6.2 innings, surrendering three runs-two earned-on four hits, striking out five and walking three.
In the top of the second, Cincinnati first baseman Connor McVey reached on an error by first baseman Greg Deichmann, moved to third on a base hit by right fielder Ryan Noda and scored on a sacrifice bunt to give the Bearcats a 1-0 lead.
The Tigers tied it at 1-1 in the bottom of the fourth after Duplantis singled up the middle, which scored left fielder Beau Jordan, who had reached on an error by Cincinnati third baseman Devin Wenzel.
Cincinnati took the 3-1 lead in the top of the seventh after a double to left-centerfield by Treg Haberkorn scored two runs for the Bearcats.
Junior second baseman Kramer Robertson lead off the bottom of the eighth with a double to right-centerfield and scored after advancing to third on a Jake Fraley groundout, cutting the Bearcats' lead to 3-2.
In the bottom of the ninth with two outs, and runners on first and second, Romero has his first hit of the night as he singled up the middle to score pinch runner Brennan Breaux and tie the game at 3-3, sending the game into extra innings.
The Bearcats scored two runs in the top of the 10th inning after shortstop Manny Rodriguez singled in Haberkorn and second baseman Kyle Mottice took a bases loaded walk to score catcher Woody Wallace.
Sophomore designated hitter Bryce Jordan lead off the ninth inning as he was hit by a Jarod Yoakam pitch. With two outs and Br. Jordan on third, freshman first baseman Brody Wofford singled to right field, to cut Cincinnati's lead to 5-4. Left-hander Dalton Lehnen entered the game for Yoakam with runners on first and second and walked his first batter. With the bases loaded and two outs, Freeman was hit by a Lehnen pitch to drive in Wofford and tie the game at 5-5.
Junior right-hander Hunter Newman entered in relief of Poche' and surrendered two earned runs on one hit, struck out two and walked two in 2.1 innings pitched. Right-hander Parker Bugg threw one inning and gave up one walk and one hit in his first appearance of the year.
The game marked the second time since 1972 that the Tigers played extra innings in a season opener. The Tigers won at Central Florida, 4-3, in 10 innings in the 2004 season opener.