BATON ROUGE, La. – Austin Nola scored on a wild pitch in the top of the 10th inning to send LSU to a 6-5 win over the Oregon State baseball team Sunday night at Alex Box Stadium. The victory sends the Tigers to the Baton Rouge Regional championship.
Nola walked to open the 10th and moved to third when JaCoby Jones doubled down the right field line off OSU reliever Dylan Davis. Nola then scored when Davis’ pitch got past OSU catcher Ryan Gorton with Mason Katz at the plate.
LSU closer Nick Goody came in and threw a scoreless 10th to get the save and make the Tigers a Super Regional host next weekend.
The game was a seesaw battle from the very start.
The Beavers battled back from a 3-0 deficit to take a 5-3 lead in the sixth when Tyler Smith singled up the middle. But LSU managed to score an unearned run in the seventh and tied the game on Alex Edward’s one-out double to the gap in left in the ninth.
Michael Conforto doubled with one out in the ninth but the Beavers could not drive him in. Heading to the 10th inning ended Scott Schultz’s day at 8 2/3 innings. The righty allowed three hits and two runs – one earned – while striking out nine. He did not figure in the decision.
Taylor Starr started for the Beavers and allowed three hits and three runs in 1/3 of an inning. LSU scored its first run on a one-out single by Katz that was followed by a two-run home run off the bat of cleanup hitter Raph Rhymes.
Starr did not figure in the decision after OSU evened the score at three in the fourth.
The loss went to Davis, who dropped to 1-1 on the year.
Conforto, Smith, Ryan Barnes and Ryan Gorton all had two hits for the Beavers (40-20 overall) in the loss.
Jones and Rhymes had two apiece to lead LSU (46-16).
Ryan Eades started for LSU and went 5 2/3 innings, being replaced by Nick Rumbelow after giving up Smith’s two-out single in the sixth inning. Eades was touched for nine hits and five runs and struck out five with one walk. He did not figure in the decision.
Chris Cotton threw an inning of relief to get the win for LSU. He improved to 7-0 this season.
Rhymes’ home run highlighted LSU’s first inning but the Beavers chipped away at the Tigers’ lead. Smith reached on a single in the bottom half of the first and managed to make it to third on an error by center fielder Arby Fields. Michael Conforto drove home in on a sacrifice fly to center.
Ryan Gorton made it 3-2 in the second with a single through the left side that enabled Ryan Barnes to score from third. Barnes hit his first of two doubles on the night two batters earlier.
That led to John Tommasini’s game-tying single in the fourth that found a whole on the right side and enabled Barnes to score.
The loss ends Oregon State’s season, their second consecutive and fifth all-time with at least 40 wins.
Tommasini (2B), Conforto (OF), Barnes (OF), Joey Matthews (OF) and Danny Hayes were each named to the regional’s all-tournament team. Tommasini ends his OSU career with two after being named to the all-tournament team at the 2009 Fort Worth Regional.