Kristian: 3 mistakes have the Tigers facing elimination
Sure, Alex Bregman’s error in the 8th inning led to the go-ahead score for UCLA in a 2-1 win over LSU. Catcher Ty Ross also committed an error as well in the 6th inning that lead to a run. However, those are physical mistakes. The mental mistake of not sacrificing Mason Katz to second base with Raph Rhymes by Coach Paul Mainieri in the bottom of the 9th inning was the real back-breaker.
Rhymes grounded into a double play and crippled a chance at a last at-bat rally for the Tigers.
"I took a gamble and we came up snake eyes," Mainieri said after the game.
That gamble now has LSU facing elimination tomorrow afternoon against North Carolina.
Mainieri said the sacrifice bunt was “on,” and when Rhymes got ahead in the count 2 balls and 0 strikes he decided to employ the hit and run. Mainieri was hoping for a big final inning to win the game instead of playing for the tie. That is the ideal count for a hit and run (2-0 count.) However, at that point against UCLA’s best pitcher (David Berg,) the right choice would have been to sacrifice Katz over to second base.
Looking ahead: LSU will start sophomore left hander Cody Glenn on the mound against North Carolina. Glenn hasn’t pitched since the SEC tournament after being suspended in the Regional round, and did not pitch in the Super Regional. So, Glenn is certainly well rested, but there is a concern about “rust.” No word on who will start for UNC.
The Tigers have 57 wins this season, and many felt this might just be the best team LSU has brought to Omaha. However, that simply won't matter if they go two and out in the CWS. First pitch tomorrow is at 2 o’clock from TD Ameritrade Park here in Omaha.