Houston scored seven runs in the third inning and coasted to a 12-2 victory against LSU in the championship game of the Baton Rouge Regional on Monday night at The Box.
HOW THEY SCORED
LSU first inning - With one out, Alex Bregman singled. Bregman moved to second on a single by Jake Fraley. Bregman and Fraley executed a double steal. Bregman and Fraley scored on a single by Sean McMullen. LSU 2, HOUSTON 0
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Houston first inning - Kyle Survance was hit by a pitch. Michael Pyeatt walked. Survance stole third base. A walk to Casey Grayson loaded the bases. Survance scored on a sacrifice fly to centerfielder Andrew Stevenson by Frankie Ratcliff. Pyeatt, who went to third on the sacrifice fly, scored on a safety squeeze bunt by Caleb Barker. LSU 2, HOUSTON 2
Houston third inning - Grayson walked and Ratcliff singled. Barker was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Grayson was forced out at the plate on a ground ball to pitcher Parker Bugg by Josh Vidales. Ratcliff scored when Landon Appling was hit by a pitch. Barker and Vidales scored on a double by Connor Hollis. Appling scored on a single by Ashford Fulmer. After Fulmer stole second, Survance was intentionally walked. Hollis and Fulmer scored on a single by Pyeatt. A single by Grayson loaded the bases. Survance scored on a sacrifice fly to rightfielder Mark Laird by Ratcliff. HOUSTON 9, LSU 2
Houston eighth inning - Grayson walked and Ratcliff singled. After Barker flied out to Stevenson, Vidales walked. Grayson scored on a passed ball by Chris Chinea. Ratcliff scored on a single by Appling. After Hollis was hit by a pitch, Vidales scored on a sacrifice fly to the rightfielder Laird by Fulmer. HOUSTON 12, LSU 2
LSU WASTED SCORING OPPORTUNITIES
Third inning - With one out, Bregman walked. After Fraley flied out to the leftfielder, McMullen walked. Kade Scivicque struck out.
Eighth inning - Bregman singled. After Fraley struck out, Bregman moved to second on a single by McMullen. Bregman was ruled out after he was hit by Chinea's ground ball. After a wild pitch by Jared Robinson, Tyler Moore grounded out to the first baseman.
Ninth inning - With one out, pinch-hitter Jared Foster struck out and reached safely on a wild pitch by Robinson. Christian Ibarra singled. Laird forced pinch-runner Kramer Robertson at second on ground ball to the second baseman. Bregman flied out to the centerfielder.
TOP OFFENSIVE PLAYER
In the final game of his career, McMullen drove in both of LSU's runs with a two-out single in the first. McMullen reached base on two other occasions - a walk in the third and a single in the eighth. He grounded out to the first baseman in his other at-bat.
On Sunday night, Alden Cartwright promised a victory in his start in the regional title game. Cartwright did not retire a batter before being replaced. He hit Survance on a two-strike pitch. Then, Cartwright walked both Pyeatt and Grayson to load the bases. He was lifted at this point. Two of the runners eventually scored. In his two previous starts at home against Tennessee and Alabama, Cartwright gave up four runs and eight hits in 3.1 innings.
LSU's first two relievers did not do the job. Bugg entered the game with the bases loaded and no outs in the first. He limited the damage to two runs which scored on a sacrifice fly and a safety squeeze. Bugg threw a scoreless second, but ran into trouble in the third. A walk and a hit batter sandwiched around a single loaded the bases. After Bugg got a force out at the plate, he hit Appling to force in the go-ahead run. Brady Domangue, who had not pitched since May 4, then got the call from the bullpen. He retired none of the next five hitters. Domangue allowed a two-run double by Hollis and a RBI single by Fulmer. Following an intentional walk, Domangue yielded singles by Pyeatt and Grayson. The hit by Pyeatt brought in two more runs. At this point, Nate Fury relieved Domangue. He gave up a sacrifice fly by Ratcliff. Fury then shut Houston out over the next three innings. He was taken out of the game after allowing a two-out single in the seventh. Hunter Devall got the third out in the seventh after giving up a single. Devall walked a batter and allowed a single in the eighth. He was relieved by Kurt McCune. The Cougars would add on three runs as McCune walked a batter, allowed a single and hit a batter.
LSU used its normal lineup against righthanders pitchers when Aaron Nola is not on the mound - Moore at first base, Conner Hale at second, Fraley in leftfield, Scivicque the catcher and McMullen the designated hitter. . .The Tigers did nothing after the first inning. Stevenson had a single in the second, but was doubled off on a fly ball to the rightfielder. LSU did not get another hit until a single by Bregman in the eighth. . .Houston starter Andrew Lantrip allowed two runs and four hits in 2.2 innings. Jared Robinson, who threw 6.2 innings in relief Friday, held the Tigers scoreless for 6.1 innings. . .Bregman, who had two hits, hit safely in the last five games of the year. Fraley ended the season on a six-game hitting streak. . .LSU stranded nine runners, four in scoring position. The Tigers were 2-for-6 with runners in scoring position. . .Every Houston starter scored a run. Every Cougars starter except Vidales had a hit. . .Fulmer, the No. 9 hitter, had three hits and two RBIs. Both Ratcliff and Hollis had two hits and two runs batted in. . .LSU pitchers walked six and hit four batters. Seven of the batters who reached by way of a walk or hit by pitch scored. . .For the first time in a regional, the Tigers were beaten twice by the same team in the championship round. That scenario had occurred just three times for LSU in its NCAA tournament history. The Tigers lost twice to Southern California in their bracket in the 1998 College World Series, to Tulane in the 2001 super-regional at Zephyr Field and to Stony Brook in the 2012 super-regional at The Box. . .For the fourth time in Paul Mainieri's eight seasons as coach, LSU failed to win a regional. Smoke Laval won three regionals during his five years as Tigers coach. . .The loss was the worst for LSU in a regional game in 22 years. The Tigers lost 11-0 to Fullerton State in 1992. . .Three LSU players made the all-tournament team - Nola, Bregman and McMullen. Houston's Survance was chosen the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament. . .LSU finished the season with a 46-16-1 record. Houston will take a 48-16 record into its super-regional series against Texas. . .The paid attendance was 11,339. The actual crowd was 9,032. The total actual attendance for the seven games in the regional was 45,015.
FROM THE CLUBHOUSE
"The season coming to an end is the worst day of the year. Winning the (national) championship is our standard at LSU. When we come up short of that goal, it's always disappointing. This game today was not indicative of our season. We were 2-0 in the tournament and, seemingly, in the driver's seat yesterday. Unfortunately, we just didn't get it done when we needed to."
"We got ourselves in a hole in the first inning. We limited the damage, but the third inning was a nightmare. Seven of the men we walked or hit scored runs. You can't win baseball games against good teams when you do stuff like that. I wasn't set on taking out Alden (Cartwright) early. The ball came out of his hand great to start. He then hit the guy on the third pitch. After that, he seemed out of rhythm and he couldn't make an adjustment. I didn't think he could come back from that. Parker (Bugg) gave up the two runs, but he limited the damage. In the third inning, we just unraveled with walks and hitting guys. Brady (Domangue) was throwing balls over the plate, but they were just hitting them. (Pitching coach) Alan Dunn and I talked about just hanging in there. It didn't work out as we planned. It was as poorly of a pitched game as we had all year."
"We came out hot in the first inning. We just did not do anything after that. Houston did a good job. I do not think this game was a reflection of our season. We know that we are a much better team than that. We know that our goal each season is to be holding up a trophy at the end of the year. Our goal is to win a national championship and, obviously, we were not able to do that. It is a disappointing feeling."
"I came in and I was trying to keep us in the game. Houston was up pretty big at that point. I knew if we were going to come back I was going to have to put up zeros. I came to LSU not even knowing if I was going to be on the team. I have had two great years. It is just a shame that it has ended."
"This is a program that I have dreamed to play for my whole life and it is now at an end. I am just really blessed to be a part of this family, this fraternity of LSU baseball. There is really not much more that I can say to explain my time here."