Do or die for LSU

LSU's on the brink of elimination after a heartbreaking loss to Houston on Sunday. But the Tigers won't let that affect their confidence.

One game remains to determine the legacy of LSU's 2014 season.

After the Tigers suffered a heartbreaking defeat Sunday night against Houston, the Tigers are either one win away from a Super Regional — or one win away from elimination.

It's do or die, win or go home.

A loss means the end to a season that seemed so promising 24 hours ago. The Tigers had rattled off 10 consecutive wins, including an SEC Tournament title. They'd opened the Baton Rouge regional a perfect 2-0, and all they needed to advance was another win against a Houston team they'd beaten 5-1 on Saturday.

But things rarely go according to script at this time of year, and LSU learned that the hard way, as Houston rallied for a 5-4 victory Sunday, forcing a game Monday to decide who advances and who doesn't.

But instead of personifying loss after the defeat, LSU presented confidence. Alex Bregman put it into words.

"I know we will leave every ounce of energy we have on that field tomorrow," he said, staring directly at the cameras documenting the postgame press conference. "We will do everything possible to win that game."

They don't really have a choice.

The last time LSU faced a situation like this was in Omaha for the College World Series. That didn't exactly go according to plan either, as the Tigers fell to North Carolina, 4-2, and saw their season come to an abrupt end.

Even look back two years and that infamous Super Regional against Cinderella Stony Brook. LSU lost 7-2 in that decisive Game 3, going down with barely a whimper.

The harsh reality of the postseason is that every team loses its last game — every team but one.

That team gets to dogpile, gets to hoist the national championship trophy.

That goal's still very much attainable for LSU, but the Tigers must first take care of business Monday night.

"Our confidence has been tested a lot this year," Bregman said. "We overcame it and we are just going to leave everything out there tomorrow. That is all we can do."

The circumstances are as dire as they get in college baseball. But LSU won't show up to Alex Box Stadium tomorrow with the weight of Sunday's defeat crushing their shoulders.

Less than 20 minutes after Houston recorded that final out, the players had flushed the loss from memory. The only reminder that it happened is the fact they have another game to play.

So LSU will take the field at least one more time, and they won't leave anything in the tank, because the only thing worse than losing is the feeling of regret.

"We are coming out tomorrow," Bregman said, "like it's the last day we will ever get to the play the game of baseball."



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