After a long weather delay that stalled Sunday for over three hours, LSU would win a grueling, heart-wrenching winner’s bracket game over Oregon State, 6-5.
LSU improves its record to 45-15 and will advance to the regional final versus the winner of the elimination game between Oregon State and Sam Houston. Oregon State drops to 40-19 on the year and will hope to avoid elimination as it will be in a do-or-die game from here on out. Both teams hit eight home runs, with LSU hitting five and Oregon State hitting three.
In the eighth inning, LSU right fielder Brayden Jobert hit the game-winning home run with a solo shot over the centerfield wall for his 11th homer of the season and arguably the biggest of his career.
LSU’s pitching staff was the big difference in today’s game as the staff hurled 19 strikeouts, its highest strikeout total this season.
LSU pitcher Thatcher Hurd (6-2) was rewarded with the victory. Hurd came in relief for starting pitcher Ty Floyd after the long weather delay to deliver an absolute masterclass for LSU against a very potent Oregon State batting lineup. While he did allow four runs on seven hits, he struck out 12 Oregon State batters.
“Thatcher came out and gave us a brilliant performance with 12 strikeouts,” said LSU head coach Jay Johnson. “He was the best pitcher in the country tonight.”
Floyd pitched for three innings and allowed one run on five hits with two walks and five strikeouts. He hurled 71 pitches from the mound before Mother Nature shut him down.
LSU reliever Gavin Guidry would come in relief and have probably the best outing so far in his young career. The true freshman came in and showed the maturity of a veteran college pitcher as he struck out two Oregon State batters in one of the biggest games of the season.
Coach Johnson praised Guidry’s maturity level as a true freshman playing in high-pressure moments of a game.
“His maturity is elite,” Johnson said. “He has serious confidence and makeup. I think you have to have that. If you have that X-factor piece to be a closer and to finish games at that magnitude and he’s got that.
“Before anything, I just want to say shout-out to our pitching staff,” said Jobert. “They were unbelievable tonight. During the rain delay, we were just focused on staying into the game, not getting too far away from it. And we came out and we did our job.”
Oregon State reliever Ben Ferrer (2-2) was charged with the loss. He went 3.2 innings on the mound, allowing four runs on five hits with five strikeouts.
At the top of the third, Oregon State struck first after second baseman Travis Bazzana blasted a solo dinger to give the Beavers an early 1-0 lead.
In the fourth inning, Oregon State right fielder Brady Kasper would hit a solo home run. The Beavers would score again after an RBI infield single by Bazzana. On that play, LSU shortstop Jordan Thompson attempted to throw out Oregon State catcher Tanner Smith at home but it failed.
However, later in the inning, LSU would awaken. After LSU right fielder Josh Pearson tripled, LSU centerfielder Dylan Crews would record his 16th home run of the year after he blasted a two-run dinger to make the game 3-2.
LSU would gain the lead for the first time after back-to-back solo homers from LSU catcher Hayden Travinski and designated hitter Cade Beloso to make it 4-3. Travinski’s homer was his ninth of the year while Beloso would record his 12th.
LSU would score its fifth run of the game when left fielder Josh Pearson would smash a solo homer with two strikes to give LSU a two-run cushion over Oregon State.
However, no lead is safe when Oregon State is hot at the plate. At the top of the seventh, the Beavers would tie the game by hitting their third home run of the game. After Oregon State centerfielder Micah McDowell would get on base with a single, left fielder Gavin Turley would torpedo a two-run homer over the centerfield wall to tie the game at 5-5.
But LSU and Jobert had other plans. In the eighth inning of play, Jobert would blast a solo home run to give the Tigers the eventual game-winning home run.
Guidry came in to close the game at the top of the ninth and retired the side and has two strikeouts.