LSU showed some championship mettle in beating ULM 4-to-1 in the opening round of the Baton Rouge regional. The game was tied at one, until the Tigers erupted for three runs in the bottom of the 7th inning.
It would be a great understatement to say the seventh inning decided this game. ULM had a chance to grab the lead in the top of the 7th, as they had the bases loaded and one out. But LSU starting pitcher Aaron Nola induced a 4-6-3 double play to get out of the inning.
That momentum carried over into the bottom of the 7th. Ty Ross led of the inning with a single to left field. Alex Edward followed that up with a seeing eye single past a diving second baseman. Ross went from first to third on the play and an errant throw to third base, allowed Edward to move into second base.
That set up Tyler Hanover's single up the middle, with the infield drawn in to score both Ross and Edward. Hanover would later score when Austin Nola doubled to right-center field. Nola had 2 RBI on the night.
All four of LSU's runs were scored on ULM starting pitcher Randy Zeigler. The former LSU pitcher was fantastic until the seventh. Even in that inning, the Tigers didn't hit any of his pitches hard. The senior left-hander pitched 6.1 innings, allowed five hits, four runs, three of them were earned and three strikeouts.
While Zeigler was excellent, LSU's Aaron Nola was fantastic. The freshman from Baton Rouge pitched eight strong innings, allowed four hits and one run. Nola struck out a career-high 10 batters as he tossed 118 pitches.
Chris Cotton pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning for his first save of the season.
The game was played in front of an Alex Box Stadium record crowd of 9,902.
The Tigers will face Oregon State in a winner's bracket contest. The Beavers beat Belmont 2-1 on Friday afternoon. LSU will send ten-game winner Kevin Gausman to the hill. First pitch is at 7 PM.
The Warhawks will meet Belmont in a loser's bracket game at 2 PM.