LSU vs. Cal State-Fullerton
Omaha Neb. | TD Ameritrade Park
Tuesday, June 16, 2 p.m. (ESPN2)
RHP Alex Lange (11-0, 1.89 ERA) vs. RHP Connor Seabold (5-3, 2.84 ERA)
HOW THEY GOT HERE
Fullerton lost its opening game of the College World Series in heartbreaking fashion. The Titans had dominated Vanderbilt through six innings until a rain delay postponed the game until the following day. Fullerton entered the ninth inning with a 3-1 lead, undefeated in games this season when leading after eight. Vanderbilt came roaring back in the final inning though, winning the game on a two-run walk-off home run.
WHAT’S ON THE LINE
It’s win or go home for both teams. LSU is trying to avoid its second consecutive CWS appearance that ended two-and-out. Fullerton is in Omaha for the first time since 2009 when they also lost two straight before elimination. Both teams have reached the CWS 17 times. The Titans have four national titles compared to LSU’s six.
LSU and Fullerton have met six times in the NCAA Tournament, including twice in the CWS. LSU has a 3-3 record against the Titans in the postseason, but are winless in the two CWS meetings. Fullerton is responsible for LSU’s worst beating in a CWS game, when the Titans eliminated LSU with a 20-6 victory in 1994. The last time these two played in the CWS came in 2003, when Fullerton won 8-2 in each team’s opening game.
These teams have also met four times in the regular season, including a three-game series at Alex Box in 2011. LSU swept that, getting a pair of 7-6 wins in the first two games before routing Fullerton in the finale 10-2.
It’ll be a battle of true freshmen, as Fullerton will start Connor Seabold against LSU. He entered Fullerton’s rotation in the Sunday slot after an injury to another pitcher. He’s made 10 starts this season, including two in the NCAA Tournament. He picked up the win against Pepperdine in the Regional, tossing 6 scoreless innings with 9 strikeouts. He also started the game that sent Fullerton to the CWS, giving up 2 runs in 5 innings against Louisville.
Seabold’s 2.84 ERA is second best among Fullerton starters, and he has the second most strikeouts on the team with 74. He’s issued 12 walks in 66 2/3 innings with opponents hitting .244 against him.
HITTERS TO WATCH
Josh Vargas, LF | .340 BA, .403 SLG, .448 OBP, 15 RBI, 42 R, 13 SB
Davi Olmedo-Barrera, DH | .328 BA, .571 SLG, .433 OBP, 45 RBI, 44 R, 10 HR, 14 SB
Jerrod Bravo, 3B | .312 BA, .404 SLG, .449 OBP, 24 RBI, 27 R
Tyler Stieb, CF | .303 BA, .371 SLG, .379 OBP, 23 RBI, 27 R, 12 SB**Note: Statistics entering the College World Series