Once down 0-4, the Houston Cougars battled back to score the final five runs of the game to force a winner-take-all Regional title game tomorrow night in Baton Rouge. The Cougars rallied for a 5-4 win over LSU, snapping the Tigers 10-game win streak.
Extra innings would be needed to decide this regional contest between the Tigers and Cougars. In fact, this game would be the third extra inning game of the Baton Rouge Regional. In a tight game, the Tigers got their first score in the bottom of the second inning. Kade Scivicque hit a home run over the left field fence to give Tigers a 1-0 lead. With no outs and up 1-0, the Tigers looked as if they would do more damage at the plate, but credit the Cougars as they were able to get out of the inning, allowing just one run.
LSU would once again get another outstanding performance from a starting pitcher. Kyle Bowman cruised right along as 40 of his first 64 pitches went for strikes. Through the first six innings of the game, Bowman allowed just two hits and no runs.
In the bottom half of the sixth inning, the Tigers led off with Alex Bregman hitting a single to reach first base. Bregman’s single prompted the Cougars to make a pitching change in the inning. Houston sent leftie Jared West to the hill. West got the Cougars out of a tight spot, as the left hander was able to get out of the inning and keep the Tigers' lead to a slim 1-0 as the clubs entered the seventh inning. LSU then went to their bullpen calling on Kurt McCune to come in the game.
McCune would walk the Cougars' first batter before getting three outs, sending LSU to the bottom of the seventh to bat leading 1-0. Connor Hale got things cooking for the Tigers with a single hit to left centerfield.
Then Tyler Moore came up to bat, and he would help extend the Tigers lead. Moore was credited with an inside the park home run, increasing the Tigers lead to 3-0 in the bottom of the seventh. Houston right fielder Kyle Survance was looking for a ground rule double call, but the 1st base umpire ruled the ball in play. Cougars Coach Todd Whitting would argue the call with no success, and the call stood. Two umpires then left the field to examine the play using video replay. Again the call stood, and the Tigers remained with a 3-0 lead. The Cougars would then make another pitching change as Chase Wellbrock would enter the game for Houston.
Chrisitan Ibarra would then hit a single and eventually advance to third base. Alex Bregman would cash in for the Tigers by nailing a double to right field. Ibarra scored and the Tigers upped their lead to 4-0. The inning would come to an end with Jake Fraley grounding out, but the Tigers did major damage, padding their lead to 4-0.
Things got more intense in the top of the eighth inning as the Cougars loaded the bases, putting LSU in a major jam with no outs and the bags juiced. The Cougars would come up big as Landon Appling would hit a double, scoring two runs and cutting the LSU lead to 4-2 with no outs.
Tigers Pitching Coach Allan Dunn took a chance as Zac Person would come in the game, replacing Kurt McCune. Person would come in and get one out before Coach Allan Dunn came back to the mound and called on Nate Fury to come in the game.
Houston would advance their runners to second and third base, and Tigers right hander Nate Fury was in charge of trying to get the Tigers out of the inning with the 4-2 lead. But the Cougars roared back, tying the game on Caleb Barker’s single that scored two runs and the game was tied 4-4 in the top of the eighth inning.
Nate Fury struck out the next batter and then forced a fly ball for an out to get out of the inning. The Tigers went into the bottom half of the eighth inning in a tied game 4-4. LSU was unable to get any runs in the eighth, and the Cougars and Tigers found themselves going into the ninth inning deadlocked at 4-4.
Joe Broussard would come in and pitch in the ninth inning for LSU, and he did his job keeping the game tied at 4-4, with the Tigers getting a chance to win the game in the bottom of the inning. The Tigers would get a runner on base, but Mark Laird would fly out to end the inning, leaving the score tied at 4-4.
Joe Broussard would continue to pitch for the Tigers in the tenth inning and had an excellent showing as he retired the Cougars in order, sending the Tigers to bat with a chance to win the game. But the Tigers could not manage any runs, and the game would head to the 11th inning. Houston would get one run in the top of the 11th, and then the Tigers were in a must-score position. The scrappy Cougars would get Tyler Moore to fly out and beat LSU 5-4.
Now it’s down to one game. The winner moves on to the NCAA Super Regional round, and the losers season will come to an end.