Alex Bregman showed up to Alex Box Stadium on Sunday with a new look — a shaved head.
He did it to honor a friend’s mother that had undergone a battle with cancer. He also wore her initials “JK” written on his cap. That turned into his lucky charm as Bregman broke one of the worst slumps of his career in one of the biggest games he’s played for the Tigers.
Bregman entered Sunday’s game against Louisiana-Lafayette without a hit in the NCAA Tournament. He was 0-for-12 through LSU’s first four tournament games and was retired in each of his first three at-bats Saturday.
He came to the plate in the eighth in a pivotal spot.
LSU had just taken a 1-0 lead in the previous inning on a solo home run by Kade Scivcique. That hardly felt like enough against a team that had won three of its last four games before the Super Regional on its final at-bat.
Bregman stepped to the dish with a pair of runners in scoring position and one out in the eight. He took a first-pitch ball and sent the next one back from where it came.
He hit a two-run single straight up the middle to hand LSU a 3-0 lead.
“I was just happy to get a hit,” Bregman said. “It was unbelievable. The Box was rocking after that.”
That hit was nearly identical to the first of his career.
Against Maryland on Feb. 15, 2013, Bregman came to bat for the second time in an LSU uniform. Sciambra, like he was Sunday, was on third and Bregman singled up the middle for his first career hit and RBI.
Now two years later, he’s done it again — and he did it in his final at-bat in Alex Box Stadium.
“I ended it the same way I came in, a base hit up the middle,” Bregman said. “I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.”
Bregman will be a first-round pick in the MLB Draft on Monday. He’ll make it four times in the last five years that LSU will have a first-round pick, and Bregman also has a real chance to go No. 1 overall.
But he wasn’t thinking about any of that Sunday. All he cared about was returning to Omaha.
He came to LSU with only one goal, to win the Tigers a national championship. He came up short when LSU went in 2013, his error in the eighth inning against UCLA leading to the decisive run.
He doesn’t plan to let that happen again. While he’s played for the last time in The Box, his collegiate career isn’t finished and he expects it to end holding a national championship trophy.
“We deserve to be there,” Bregman said. “We’ve worked at it since we lost, and we’re going there on a mission.”
Alex Bregman caps his career in Alex Box
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