LSU holds on to beat Oregon, advance to Super Regional
EUGENE, Ore. - LSU erased a 7-6 deficit with three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning Monday night, and the Tigers held on for a 9-8 win over Oregon in the championship game of the NCAA Eugene Regional at PK Park.
LSU advances to face Tennessee in the NCAA Super Regional in Knoxville, Tenn. On Tuesday morning, the NCAA announced the best-of-three series will begin Saturday at 6 p.m. CT on ESPN2, followed by game 2 on Sunday at either 11 a.m. CT or 2 p.m. If necessary, game 3 would be held Monday at either 3 or 6 p.m. CT.
The LSU Sports Radio Network broadcast will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday on network affililates including Eagle 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge and streaming live on LSUsports.net/live. All Super Regional games will be televised by the ESPN family of networks and streamed through the ESPN app.
LSU, which won four straight elimination games to capture the regional title, improved to 38-23 on the year. Oregon finished its season with a 39-16 record.
The Tigers' regional title marked the first time since 1989 that LSU won a regional on the road. The '89 Tigers won the NCAA Central Regional at College Station, Texas.
The Eugene Regional title also marked the first time in LSU baseball history that the Tigers won a regional after losing the first game of the tournament.
"Obviously, this was a tremendous accomplishment," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri, who earned his ninth NCAA Regional title as the Tigers' head coach. "To lose the first game of the tournament and to come back and win four straight elimination games is an incredible achievement for our team."
Right-hander Landon Marceaux (7-6), LSU's No. 1 weekend starter, earned the win in relief, as he worked the final 2.1 innings and limited Oregon to one run on four hits with no walks and two strikeouts. Marceaux was the last of six LSU pitchers who contributed to the regional victory.
LSU entered the bottom of the eighth inning facing a 7-6 deficit, but the Tigers scored three runs against Oregon closer Kolby Somers (2-2). Leftfielder Gavin Dugas led off the inning with walk, and he moved to third on a double by third baseman Cade Doughty.
After Somers struck out centerfielder Drew Bianco, Dugas scored on a ground ball to first base by designated hitter Cade Beloso, tying the game at 7-7. A balk by Somers scored Doughty from third with the go-ahead run, and shortstop Jordan Thompson lined an RBI single to give LSU a 9-7 lead.
Oregon pushed across a run in the top of the ninth, but Marceaux retired third baseman Sam Novitske on a fly ball to right field with runners and first and third to end the game.
"I know a lot of people and counted us out after we lost the first game of the regional, but baseball is not an easy game to play," Mainieri said. "Fortunately, we get to keep battling and go to Tennessee this weekend. We're going to give it everything we've got, and hopefully we can be victorious."
LSU opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning when Dugas launched a two-run homer, his 18th dinger of the season. Oregon tied the game with two runs in the second, and took the lead in the third when rightfielder Aaron Zavala unloaded a two-run homer.
The Ducks extended the advantage to 5-2 in the fourth on a run-scoring single by leftfielder Tanner Smith.
The Tigers, however, responded with two runs in the bottom of the fourth, as Dugas smashed a solo homer, and Bianco singled, stole second base, and later scored on a wild pitch by Oregon starter Andrew Mosiello.
LSU grabbed a 6-5 lead in the sixth when Bianco smashed a two-run homer, his seventh dinger of the year.
The Ducks regained the lead in the seventh when designated hitter Kenyon Yovan hit a two-run blast for his 17th homer of the year.
2021 NCAA Eugene Regional - All-Tournament Team
MVP - OF Gavin Dugas, LSU
INF - Zach Arnold, LSU
INF - Sam Novitske, Oregon
INF - Hunter Pasqualini, CCSU
INF - Jordan Thompson, LSU
INF - Ernie Yake, Gonzaga
OF - Dylan Crews, LSU
OF - Anthony Hall, Oregon
OF - Tanner Smith, Oregon
OF - Aaron Zavala, Oregon
DH - Kenyon Yovan, Oregon
P - Robert Ahlstrom, Oregon
P - Javen Coleman, LSU
P - Alek Jacob, Gonzaga
P - AJ Labas, LSU
NCAA Regional Titles (25)
1986, '87, '89, '90, '91, '93, '94, '96, '97, '98, '99, 2000, '01, '02, '03, '04, '08, '09, '12, '13, '15, '16, '17, '19, '21