LSU defeated Florida, 18-4, in the deciding best-of-three contest to claim the Men's College World Series crown on Monday at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska.
In doing so, the Tigers avenged the 24-4 beating they absorbed one day earlier by the Gators, who forced the decisive Game 3 with that victory. LSU had won the opening game in the series, 4-3 in 11 innings, on Saturday night.
It is LSU's first national championship since 2009 and its seventh overall, which trails only Southern California for the most in college baseball history. Southern Cal has 12 national titles.
Dylan Crews, Tommy White and Brayden Jobert each had four-hit nights for the Tigers, with White, Jobert and Jordan Thompson each driving in three runs. Tre' Morgan added three hits, while Thompson, Cade Beloso and Josh Pearson, who homered along with Jobert, added two RBI apiece.
The relentless Tigers pounded out 24 hits and scored three runs or more in four different innings.
On a night when LSU also was rewarded for tabbing Thatcher Hurd as its starting pitcher, the Tigers gained command of the game with a six-run second inning in which they sent 11 men to the plate and took advantage of Florida starter Jac Caglianone's control problems.
The biggest blows of the big inning were RBI singles by Thompson, White and Dugas. But Morgan brought in another run with a sacrifice fly while Beloso, who led off the game by getting beaned by an errant Caglianone pitch, brought in another by getting hit again, and Dylan Crews plated still another run when he earned a bases-loaded walk that drove Caglianone from the mound.
LSU added four more runs on in the top of the fourth when they sent nine batters to the plate with a rally that started with the bases empty and two outs.
Jorbert started it with a double to deep right and scored when Thompson, the next batter, added yet another RBI single to his night's tally. Pearson then launched a two-run homer to left, and still the Tigers were not done in the inning, adding another run that proved costly when starting catcher Alex Milazzo, who had singled and advanced to second, injured his leg while scoring on a RBI single by Beloso.
That made it 10-2, and it seemed LSU was en route to turning around the previous night's 24-4 drubbing by the Gators.
Hurd made sure it kept looking that way.
The Gators actually grabbed the early lead, going ahead 2-0 in the bottom of the first on Wyatt Langford's two-run homer. But after that, Hurd was terrific. In fact, he gave up only one more hit over the first six innings he worked while striking out seven and walking just two.
By then the offensive onslaught had begun in earnest for the Tigers, who did not let up for the rest of the night. They scored another single run in the seventh, three in the eighth and tacked on four more in the ninth, with Jobert launching a monster two-run homer to make it 18-4 and finally cap the scoring.
HOW IT HAPPENED
B1 | Kurland singled to left center and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Langford hit a two-run homer to left. Florida 2, LSU 0.
T2 | Dugas walked and advanced to second on a wild pitch by Caglianone. Jobert singled to left, sending Dugas to third. Thompson singled to left, scoring Dugas and advancing Jobert to second. Pearson grounded into fielder's choice to first, with Thompson out at second but Jobert advancing to third. Milazzo walked, loading the bases. Beloso was hit by a pitch, scoring Jobert. Crews walked, scoring Pearson. After Fisher relieved Florida starting pitcher Caglianone White singled to left scoring Milazzo. Morgan hit sacrifice fly to center, scoring Beloso. Dugas singled to left, scoring Crews. LSU 6, Florida 2.
T4 | With two outs, Jobert doubled to deep right and Thompson singled to left, scoring Jobert. Pearson homered to right. Milazzo singled to right and advanced to second on a throw. Tyler Nesbitt replaced Ryan Slater as Florida's pitcher. Beloso singled to right center, scoring Milazzo. LSU 10 Florida 2.
T7 | Morgan singled and Dugas walked, with both runners advancing on a wild pitch. Two outs later, Pearson walked to load the bases. After yet another Florida pitching change, Hayden Travinski walked, scoring Morgan. LSU 11, Florida 2.
B7 | With Riley Cooper on to replace starting LSU pitcher Hurd and one out in the inning, Evans hit a solo homer for the Gators. LSU 11, Florida 3.
T8 | Crews tripled to right center and White singled, scoring Crews. Morgan singled to right, and both he and White moved up a base on a wild pitch to put runners on second and third. Dugas walked, loading the bases. Jobert grounded into fielder's choice to shortstop, scoring White scored with Dugas out at second and Jobert advancing to third. Thompson hit a sacrifice fly to left, scoring Morgan. LSU 14, Florida 3.
B8 | With Gavin Guidry on to pitch for LSU, replacing Cooper, Curland led off the inning with a solo homer to right. LSU 14, Florida 4.
T9 | Crews led off the inning with a single and scored on a double by White, who subsequently scored on a double by Morgan. After another Florida pitching change, Dugas flied out, with Morgan advancing the third. Jobert then cracked a two-run homer. LSU 18, Florida 4.