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February 21, 2013Christian Ibarra hit a game-tying home run and Raph Rhymes singled in the winning run as LSU rallied in the ninth inning for a 6-5 victory against Brigham Young at The Box on Thursday night.
HOW THEY SCORED
LSU second inning - Mason Katz hit a leadoff home run over the leftfield fence. LSU 1, BYU 0
BYU third inning - With one out, Jacob Hannemann walked and went around to third on a single by Hayden Nielsen. Adam Law singled to drive in Hannemann. Jaycob Brugman hit a three-run homer just to the right of straightaway centerfield. BYU 4, LSU 1
LSU third inning - Mark Laird got a double when Hannemann misjudged his fly ball down the leftfield line. After Alex Bregman flied out, Rhymes walked. Katz popped out for the second out. JaCoby Jones doubled in both Laird and Rhymes. BYU 4, LSU 3
LSU seventh inning - Laird singled with two out. Running on the pitch, Laird scored from first base on a pop-fly double just inside the rightfield line by Bregman. BYU 4, LSU 4
BYU eighth inning - Nielsen had a leadoff infield hit against Will LaMarche. After Law lined out to leftfield, lefty Hunter Devall was called on to pitch to the lefthanded-hitting Brugman. The strategy failed as Brugman doubled home Nielsen. BYU 5, LSU 4
LSU ninth inning - With one out, Ibarra hit a home run over the leftfield fence. A walk to Chris Sciambra and singles by Laird and Bregman loaded the bases. Rhymes singled over the head of the leftfielder to bring in Sciambra. LSU 6, BYU 5
LSU WASTED SCORING CHANCES
Fourth inning - With one out, Ibarra walked and Sciambra singled. Laird flied out with Ibarra going to third. Ibarra tried to score on a wild pitch, but was tagged out by catcher Dakota Hernandez.
Sixth inning - Jones got hit by a pitch and stole second. Tyler Moore grounded out to shortstop with Jones staying at second. Jones was called out trying to steal third base. Ty Ross struck out to end the inning.
LSU HITTING STAR
Mark Laird had four hits and scored two runs. Laird singled in the first, doubled and scored in the third, singled and scored in the seventh and singled in the Tigers' ninth-inning rally. Laird had just two hits in LSU's first four games.
LSU STARTING PITCHER
Aaron Nola had one rough inning when BYU scored four runs in the third. The big hit was the three-run homer by Brugman. Nola allowed just one hit outside of the third in his six innings. He walked a career-high three batters and struck out six. Nola pitched out of a two-on, one-out jam in the first by striking out Brugman and getting Brock Whitney to ground out to shortstop.
Relievers gave up a run after the Tigers tied the score at 4-4 in the seventh. LaMarche, who had a one-two-three seventh, gave up a leadoff single in the eighth. Devall was brought in to face Brugman, who hit a changeup for a RBI double. Joey Bourgeois relieved Devall and struck out four of the six batters he faced. The only base runner against Bourgeois came on an intentional walk. Bourgeois got Hernandez to fly out with two runners in scoring position and two out in the eighth.
Katz' home run was his first of the season and the 18th of his career. . .The home run by Brugman was the first off LSU pitching this season. . .Sciambra and Jones have a hit in four of the Tigers' first five games. . .Three of Jones' five hits this season are for extra bases - two homers and one double. . .Bregman ended an 0-for-7 slump with his pop-fly RBI double in the seventh. . .Both Bregman and Ibarra had their second multiple-hit games of the season. . .Moore and Ross were the only two starters not to get a hit. . .BYU finished with just six hits, including two each by Nielsen and Brugman. . .LSU returned to its regular lineup Thursday. The outfield from left to right was Rhymes, Sciambra and Laird. With a righthanded starting pitcher for BYU, Moore was the designated hitter. . .LSU is 5-0 for the fourth consecutive season. . .The actual crowd was 1,833.
FROM THE CLUBHOUSE
Coach Paul Mainieri: "This was one of those games which was a grind for us. We did some good things early. JaCoby had the big hit and Katz hit the home run. There were some things which were not so good. We had a runner on second (Jones) and with no out and we didn't get him over. Ibarra could have gotten a little better break and scored on the wild pitch. But, we fought through the game and found a way to win. Christian Ibarra gets a big home run. That home run didn't surprise anyone on our team. He's got some juice. That won't be the last home run he'll hit. Then, we had some great at-bats after the home run by Ibarra. Aaron Nola didn't have his best stuff. He didn't have great command and he fell behind a lot of hitters. But, he pitched courageously. He gave up four runs in an inning, but he just kept hanging in there battling. LaMarche did a good job. He had a bad break on the ball chopped over his head (for an infield hit in the eighth). I gave Devall a chance and he gave up a hit to a real good hitter."
Raph Rhymes: "I didn't think the ball (game-winning hit) was going out of the park because I hit it off the end of the bat. I was just trying to hit the ball hard since I had struggled in my previous at-bats. I had sacrifice fly in the back of my mind, but I really just wanted to hit a ball hard. This type of win was good for the team. We have a lot of young guys who hadn't experienced that yet."
Aaron Nola: "I got the ball up tonight. I was drifting forward on my motion. That left my arm trying to catch up with my body and I was leaving the ball up. I left the ball up in crucial situations. I gave up one run and I wanted to keep it at one. I didn't want to give up three more runs. After I made the mistake on the home run, I tried to keep it at four. We battled all the way through and got the walk-off hit."
Mark Laird: "I have just been trying to get settled in after the first couple of games. I have been trying to build my confidence up and relax. I had to go at it like it was BP (batting practice). I went up there trying to find a ball in the zone and get a quality pitch I could put in play."
Christian Ibarra: "I was looking for a good fast ball (ninth-inning at-bat). It was a 1-0 count. I figured (Matt Milke) would try to get one over. The pitch was up and in. I didn't think about it being a ball. I just swung as hard as I could. I thought it was a pop fly at first. Then, I remembered the wind when I started running."
LSU will play host to Southeastern Louisiana on Friday at 7 p.m. SLU (3-1) will play BYU on Friday at 1 p.m. at The Box. Ryan Eades will be the starting pitcher for the Tigers.