OMAHA, Neb. - Florida State trotted out freshmen starting pitchers against Arkansas in the Super Regional in Tallahassee. So did Cal-State Fullerton in the first game of the College World Series. The Hogs got to all three.
LSU didn't make that mistake. The Tigers had senior Louis Coleman -- the SEC's best hurler -- ready for the Razorbacks. It was the difference in a 9-1 victory Monday night at Rosenblatt Stadium.
The Hogs did a little better than they did in Fayetteville when Coleman turned their season sour with a two-hit shutout in a 5-0 victory that put the Tigers in first place for good.
The Hogs "got" to Coleman for a run in the first inning, but stranded six base runners in the first three innings when it was still a game.
The Hogs' big chance came in the third when they filled the bases with one out. Coleman struck out Zack Cox in a nine-pitch at bat, then did the same to pinch-hitter Jacob House on three straight pitches.
Coleman, now 14-2, is a 6-4 righthander with the funky, across-the-body delivery. He also may be the best competitor in college baseball.
"We had some shots at him early," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. "I knew we had to get to him before he settled in, that's why we pinch hit so early with House. I knew that was a big at bat.
"Coleman is such a good competitor. He raised his level when we got some runners on early. And, that is what big-time pitchers do, they get better."
LSU coach Paul Mainieri said Coleman didn't have "electric stuff" early, but thought it "got electric as the game went on. He did settle in."
Van Horn said it came down to location. Coleman had it and UA starter Brett Eibner didn't have it.
"You saw Coleman's location," Van Horn said. "Brett didn't have it. He was up, up, up. He was waist high. That's how they fouled off so many pitches and got his count up."
Eibner threw 39 pitches in the first inning when LSU plated three runs in a 20-minute half inning. He left after 59 pitches in the second.
"Eibner might have settled in if we had left him out there, but we didn't have that option with Coleman out there," Van Horn said. "It was going to get too late and we had to go get him.
"Location was everything. You saw T. J. Forrest settle in and get his pitches between the knee and ankle. Brett wasn't doing that."
Andy Wilkins, who plated the only UA run with a sacrifice fly, said he got some good swings at Coleman, unlike the first time he saw Coleman in Fayetteville.
"He had better stuff the first time, but I'm not dogging him," Wilkins said. "It was plenty good this time. He beat us. And, we couldn't do anything with him when we had our chances. He's really good."
Van Horn said Eibner's problems started with too many balls early in the count.
"You get behind 2-0, 3-1, it sets up the hitter," Van Horn said. "That's what Brett was doing. In this setting, you have to come out and go at the hitters. That's what Coleman did."
Arkansas captain Ben Tschepikow said, "I don't know how many pitches Coleman was throwing. Maybe he has three or four, but all of them he was throwing for strikes. He came right at us. He's a little deceptive with his delivery, but what he really does is come right at you with strikes."
Coleman Shuts Down Hogs Again
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