Christian Ibarra's sacrifice fly with one out in the bottom of the ninth drove in JaCoby Jones with the winning run as LSU rallied for a 4-3 victory against Brown on Friday night at The Box.
HOW THEY SCORED
Brown first inning - Matt DeRenzi singled with one out and stole second. After Wes Van Boom struck out, Will Marcal was hit by a pitch. Cody Slaughter singled to deep third base with DeRenzi scoring when the ball got by Christian Ibarra. BROWN 1, LSU 0
LSU first inning - With one out, Mark Laird singled. Laird beat the throw to second on Alex Bregman's ground ball to third base. A walk to Raph Rhymes loaded the bases. Mason Katz doubled home Laird and Bregman. LSU 2, BROWN 1
Brown eighth inning - With one out, J.J. Franco doubled. Pinch-hitter Daniel Massey singled home Franco. DeRenzi was hit by a pitch. After Van Boom struck out, Marcal singled to score Massey. BROWN 3, LSU 2
LSU eighth inning - Ty Ross drew a leadoff walk. Pinch-runner Andrew Stevenson moved to second on Ibarra's sacrifice bunt. After Chris Sciambra struck out, Laird walked. Bregman singled home Stevenson. BROWN 3, LSU 3
LSU ninth inning - Jones walked and moved to second on a single by Tyler Moore. Both runners moved up a base as Chris Chinea grounded out to first. Jones scored on Ibarra's sacrifice fly to leftfield. LSU 4, BROWN 3
LSU WASTED SCORING CHANCES
Third inning - Rhymes singled with two out and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Katz grounded out to shortstop to end the inning.
Fourth inning - Moore hit a one-out double. Moore moved to third on Ross' ground out to first base. Ibarra struck out to leave Moore at third base.
Fifth inning - Sciambra walked and moved to second on a single by Laird. Bregman lined out to second base. Rhymes forced Sciambra at third with a ground ball to shortstop. Katz forced Laird at third with a grounder to the third baseman.
Sixth inning - Both Jones and Moore singled. Ross bunted the runners to second and third. Ibarra walked to load the bases. Sciambra struck out and Laird flied out to leftfield.
Seventh inning - With one out, Rhymes reached on an error by shortstop Tim McKeithan. Katz singled with Rhymes stopping at second. Jones struck out and Moore hit into a force play at second base to end the threat.
LSU HITTING STAR
Moore had his second straight three-hit game. He doubled in the fourth, singled in the sixth and had a hit-and-run single to set up the winning run in the ninth. Moore had a single, double and triple in the Tigers' victory at Louisiana-Lafayette on Tuesday. Moore had just two hits before the UL-Lafayette game.
LSU STARTING PITCHER
Aaron Nola struck out a career-high 11 batters while pitching seven innings. Nola had recorded ten strikeouts against Louisiana-Monroe in the Baton Rouge Regional last June. Nola gave up just three hits - one after the first inning. He walked none, but hit two batters. After allowing an unearned run in the first, Nola struck out Jake Levine with two runners on base to end the inning. Nola permitted just two base-runners the rest of the way - Levine on a hit-by-pitch in the fourth and Franco on a single in the fifth.
The Tigers relievers couldn't protect a 2-1 lead as Brown scored two runs in the eighth. Making his second appearance of the season, Nick Rumbelow faced two hitters in the eighth. Rumbleow struck out McKeithan and allowed a double by Franco. Rumbelow was replaced by Brent Bonvillain when Brown sent up Massey, a lefthanded batter, as a pinch-hitter. Bonvillain allowed a single by Massey which tied the score at 2-2. When Bonvillain hit DeRenzi with a pitch, he was relieved by Will LaMarche. It was a successful outing for LaMarche, who struck out Van Boom. Chris Cotton, the fourth reliever in the eighth, was called on to face the lefthanded-hitting Marcal. Like Bonvillain, Cotton failed as Marcal singled home Massey to put Brown ahead. Cotton threw a perfect ninth with two strikeouts as he picked up his first victory of the season.
LSU stranded runners in scoring position in every inning except the second. For the night, the Tigers were 2-for-16 with runners in scoring position. . .Katz and Bregman had the two hits which drove in three of LSU's four runs. . .Ibarra's error which allowed Brown to score its first-inning run was his second of the season. . .Ross picked Franco off first base to end the Brown fifth. . .Rhymes extended his hitting streak to seven games with a single in the third inning. . .Sciambra went hitless in four official at-bats. He is now 0-for-his last 12. Sciambra has reached base six times on four walks and two hit by pitches during this stretch. . .Both Laird and Katz had two hits. . .On three occasions, Katz made an inning-ending out with a runner in scoring position. . .In the ninth, Chinea moved the runners over to second and third after failing to get down a bunt. Chinea was in the game because Stevenson ran for Ross in the eighth. . .Brown starter Anthony Galan had a 1-6 record and a 7.02 earned run average last season. . .Franco is the son of former major league pitcher John Franco. Bears relief pitcher Kevin Guthrie, who gave up the game-winning sacrifice fly by Ibarra, is the son of former LSU and major league pitcher Mark Guthrie. . .The game was the season-opener for Brown. Ivy League rules prevent its teams from playing a game before the first weekend in March. The actual crowd was 4,265. LSU is 8-1.
FROM THE CLUBHOUSE
Coach Paul Mainieri:
"I knew this was going to be a tough night to hit. It was cold and the wind was blowing in. We had good at-bats to get runners on base. But, when we had runners on base, our approach wasn't very good. Katz had a two-run double (in the first) and Bregman had a single (in the eighth). We didn't do much in between. Bregman hit one ball hard at the second baseman and the shortstop made a nice play in the hole on a ball hit by Rhymes. It was not a very good display of clutch hitting. Fortunately, we have Aaron Nola on our team. It was unfortunate that he pitched that good and did not get the win. He pitched his heart out. What was discouraging was the performance out of the bullpen by Nick Rumbelow and Brent Bonvillain. Rumbelow's best pitch is his curve, but he's got to be ahead in the count to use it. Bonvillain made some good pitches, but he hung a breaking ball to the one hitter. Cotton leaves a breaking ball up and gives up a hit. But, he came back and threw good in the ninth. We won, but this is not one we'll archive as a great ball game. But, give some credit to Brown. I hope we play better tomorrow."
Chris Cotton: "I had to put the eighth inning behind me. I hung a curveball with two strikes and that's how they scored the (go-ahead) run. I left it up and (Marcal) made me pay for it. I had the same mentality in the ninth. I was focused on the next inning. I went ahead and got the job done. The hitters did what they needed to do and we got the win."
Alex Bregman: "The guys in front of me got on (in the eighth inning). I saw a curve ball and I was fortunate enough to put a good swing on it. I just hit the ball the other way and tied the game up. Everybody battled tonight. We could have had some better at-bats. I'm happy we came out with a win. We competed and our pitchers did a great job. They kept us in position to win the game."
Christian Ibarra: "I saw a couple of fast balls and the last one was a curve ball. I knew he was going to try to surprise me. So, I wasn't out in front. I waited and stayed back on the ball (game-winning sacrifice fly)."
Aaron Nola: "All of my pitches were working tonight. My curve ball and changeup were very good. I made a couple of mistakes, but I kept our team in it and we found a way to win.
LSU will play host to Brown on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. Brown will also play Nicholls State at 2 p.m. on Saturday. Ryan Eades (1-0, 0.73 ERA) will be the starting pitcher for the Tigers.