The college baseball season is barely two weeks old and LSU may have already played the game of the year as the Tigers rallied back to beat Oklahoma 5-4 in the Shriners Classic.
LSU’s first four runs all came with two outs. The Tigers got their first run of the game thanks to a Gavin Dugas RBI single in the seventh, and Cade Doughty tied the game in the eighth with a two-run shot to right field.
Doughty would come up clutch again (doing it with two strikes no less), this time tying the game in the bottom of the 10th inning with an RBI double that scored Tre’ Morgan.
C. Doughty— LSU Baseball (@LSUbaseball) March 5, 2022
See a double
See us tie it up
AT&T SportsNet pic.twitter.com/F5vFh74lMT
Jordan Thompson would then end the game in the 11th inning on the fourth pitch he saw from Oklahoma’s Griffin Miller.
Big League Bomb pic.twitter.com/Q9vKg4mgqo— LSU Baseball (@LSUbaseball) March 5, 2022
“I can’t say enough about the toughness of our at-bats and the way our players competed,” Jay Johnson said. “There is plenty of talent in our lineup but tonight I think it was our character makeup and competitive at-bats that did it for us.”
For the third consecutive Friday night, Blake Money pitched effectively. He would go 6.2 innings and surrendered eight hits and three runs but only one was earned. Money threw 106 pitches, by far the most in his LSU career, and struck out seven.
“Blake was outstanding, he gave us a great performance,” Johnson said. “His conditioning was great, his stuff was great. That’s a good Oklahoma lineup he got through, and we can’t win this game in extra innings if he doesn’t pitch as long as he did.”
After Money was pulled, the Tiger bullpen had varying degrees of success. Some relievers, like Eric Reyzleman and Trent Vietmier, looked strong while others were less effective. Riley Cooper gave up a hit to the only batter he faced, while Devin Fontenot surrendered a pair of doubles and was responsible for Oklahoma reclaiming a 4-3 lead in the 10th.
Still, with the bats in this LSU lineup no lead feels so great that the Tigers can’t overcome it. Doughty went 3-5 and all three hits were extra base hits; Tre’ Morgan was 2-5 and both went for doubles; and then of course there’s Thompson all the way in the seven-hole who showed he can end a game with one swing of a bat.
Up next for LSU is a date with No. 1 Texas in what could be a preview of a College World Series championship series.