Baylor tames Tigers 4-1 in game one

If the LSU Tigers are to break a two-year College World Series drought, they must pick up back-to-back wins over the weekend as the visiting Baylor Bears two game one of the NCAA Baton Rouge Super Regional 4-1 Friday night. <br><br> Baylor (45-21) broke a 1-1 tie in the top of the eighth frame plating a trio of runs, which was enough to defeat the SEC Champion Tigers before 7,393 fans at Alex Box Stadium.

First pitch for game two is slated for 11:30 a.m. tomorrow. Bo Pettit (9-2) will toe the rubber for LSU (43-20-1)


"It was a good ball game," LSU head coach Smoke Laval said. "They got the timely hits and we didn't."


In what appeared to be a pitcher's duel turned offensive when the Bears roughed up LSU starter Nate Bumstead in the eighth. A leadoff double by Baylor's Kyle Reynolds spark a five-hit, three effort by the Bears propelling the Big 12 tournament runners-up to the game one victory.


Kyle Reynolds led off the Baylor eighth with a base hit to right, and then moved to second on Kevin Sevigny's sacrifice bunt.  Chad Durbin then gave the Bears the lead they would never relinquish when his base hit to left field brought home Reynolds.


The Bears weren't finished, as Durbin easily stole second and then moved to third on an infield single by David Murphy.  Josh Ford then singled home Durbin, and two batters later, Murphy scored on an RBI double by Mark Saccomano.


"It was not a bad outing, but I gave up three runs late and you can't do that and put your team in a good positions to win," Bumstead said.


Bumstead allowed four runs on nine hits with six strikeouts in eight innings of work.


"Nate threw a great game," Laval said. "But they bunched their hits together when they had too. We had men on base but we couldn't get the offensive pressure we needed."


LSU was 1-for-15 with men in scoring position. The Tigers had the leadoff man on base six of the nine innings played, but failed to bag the timely hit. However, one reason why LSU was so baffled at the plate was the performance of Baylor hurler Steven White. White threw eight complete innings, in which he allowed one run on seven hits with nine strikeouts. Seven of those nine K's were recorded without an LSU batter even offering at the called third strike.


"On this stage tonight, that was as good of command of his (White) fastball, especially against the kind of hitters LSU has," Baylor head coach Steve Smith said.


LSU had several chances to get to White, but the crafty senior managed to escape trouble each time.


"I was proud of Steve to keep his composure and keep us in it," Smith said.


After Baylor took a 1-0 lead in the top of the sixth, LSU answered with a run when Aaron Hill led off the bottom of the sixth with a base hits. Clay Harris was then hit by a pitch and Hill scored on an RBI double by Ryan Patterson. With the crowd growing restless and rowdy as can be expected, White forced Jon Zeringue to ground out to second ending the threat.


"If you let the crowd get into it here, you can lose control of a game quickly," White said.


White had two other moments of truth in the last two innings, but the Big 12 leader in strikeouts escaped unscathed.


LSU got two runners on in the bottom of the eighth with the help of a pair of Baylor errors, but Zeringue struck out looking to end the inning.


In the ninth, Matt Liuzza led off with a base hit, and then Baylor starter Steven White hit Bruce Sprowl in the leg to bring the tying run to the plate with no out.


Ryan LaMotta relieved White and froze J.C. Holt on a called third strike, then got Aaron Hill to foul out to third base and got Blake Gill to fly out to short center to end the game.


"This is a big win," Baylor centerfielder Chris Durbin said. "This was an awesome atmosphere. I have never played in an atmosphere this intense in my whole career."



LSU finds itself in the same position it found itself in after the first game of last year's super regional at Rice—win the last two games or fall short of the College World Series for the third consecutive year.  The Tigers have now lost five consecutive super regional games, and are 3-7 since the format began in 1999.


"The best part about this game is you get a second chance," LSU second baseman Blake Gill said. "With the pressure on us, we have to come back tomorrow, put some good baseball together and get a couple of wins because we are far from out of this."

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