LSU rallies past Mississippi State, returns to CWS for 18th time

Toni Houston
June 13, 2017

And it's the same energy that's led this resilient Mississippi State team to Alex Box for a super regional.

Jake Mangum and Elijah MacNamee followed with back-to-back run-scoring singles for a 4-3 lead. With one out in the top of the fifth, it was the last hit recorded until LSU scored five runs the ninth inning. In the three games of those five with titles on the line (SEC West, SEC and NCAA Super Regional), Cannizaro watched his old team outscore his new one, 36-16, and outhit it, 32-24.

LSU (48-17), the No. 4 national seed, will open play in the CWS against another frequent Omaha visitor, Florida State, on either Saturday or Sunday. Poche walked four batters, and gave up a two-run home run in the inning.

LSU immediately put two runs up right off the bat, jump-started by a Kramer Robertson single up the middle and a Cole Freeman walk, chased by back to back RBI singles from Antoine Duplantis and Greg Deichmann.

Greg Deichmann got a walk from State's No. 4 pitcher, Denver McQuary, and soon the Box crowd - hushed since State scored four in the third - was a mile high.

LSU proved to be too strong and scored 11 unanswered runs to claim the victory. With the bases loaded, Mike Papierski brought in two runs with a double.

Gilbert gave up a pair of RBI singles to cap the Bulldogs' four-run third inning, which began on four walks by Poché.

After a lineout, Poche walks loaded the bases and was lifted for Caleb Gilbert. "There's no excuses. I don't want to say we ran out of arms". He pitched five and two-thirds shutout innings, allowing no runs on two hits, striking out six. He is a very good young coach who will only get better with more experience and more experienced players.

NOTE: Lightning forced the game to be delayed 31 minutes prior to its scheduled 8:04 p.m. start. No. 9 hitter Jake Slaughter singled in a run for a 6-4 lead, and another run scored on a wild pitch for a 7-4 advantage. The Tigers tack on 5 more runs in the 9th to sweep the Bulldogs 14-4. He lasted 10 minutes - which was about 20 minutes shorter than either rain delay.

When he walked to the plate, the thousands of LSU fans in attendance rose to their feet to cheer on Papierski who said afterwards that he didn't hear the fans until he was standing on second base following his clutch hit.

Enter four freshmen: Pitchers Eric Walker and Zack Hess, as well as centerfielder Zach Watson and third baseman Josh Smith. Trey Jolly entered for State and got two strikeouts to end the frame.

Hunter Stovall then hit a screaming liner that Robertson timed his leap ideal for and snared to rob Stovall of a hit. Poche failed for a second straight time to tie the career win record of 38 set by Scott Schultz from 1992-95.

Gordon, Peyton Plumlee, Spencer Price and Parker Ford combined to pitch the ninth inning for the Bulldogs.

And then disaster struck for LSU.

He got the win while allowing just the two hits in 5.2 innings with six strike outs and only one walk.

"I mean honestly, we've been there before and you've watched the games in the past and LSU always seems to pull it out", Lance Gauloa, an LSU fan, said. "The majority of the guys that threw tonight will be back next year and we will be a better team next year having come to LSU and played in this environment".

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