Heading in to the ninth inning with
an 8-5 lead, LSU self destructed, giving up four runs in the inning to hand the
Tigers their first blown save since the 2003 College World Series against
The loss was the first for Smoke
Laval in his career as a Tiger when leading after eight innings. In the five years
Despite this smear on his record,
"Dardar gave us three ground balls.
He kicked one and the other two found holes,"
As they did in the previous two games, the Hatters jumped on the board first. With one out and a man on third in the second inning, Braedyn Pruitt hit a chopper to LSU first baseman J.T. Wise. Wise stepped on first but could not make the throw home, allowing the advancing runner to give the Hatters a 1-0 lead.
Pruitt added to the lead again in the fourth inning. Pruitt delivered a single to center field with men on first and second for his second RBI of the game and a 2-0 Stetson lead.
LSU finally scored runs in the fourth inning. With men on second and third Nick Pontiff's single to center field tied the game at 2-2. Pontiff later scored on a triple by Bruce Sprowl to give the Tigers a one run lead.
Stetson would answer in the fifth inning. Shane Jordan scored when Sprowl mishandled a Brandon Paritz hit to center field. Paritz would later come home on a hit to right field by Brian Pruitt to give Stetson the 4-3 lead.
The Tigers came back in the bottom of the inning. After his breakout game on Saturday, Stewart hit his fourth home run of the series to left field, scoring two and putting LSU ahead 5-4.
The Tigers added to their lead in the seventh. Following a walk by Stetson reliever Will Romanowicz, Chris McGee, pinch running for designated hitter Jordan Mayer, moved to second on a Liuzza ground ball. McGee then proceeded to steal third, and score on a throwing error by catcher David Golliner.
After giving up back to back singles in the eighth inning, Farrer was replaced by Michael Bonura and was greeted by a standing ovation for his performance.
A wild pitch by Bonura and a walk to Nick Palmisano loaded the bases. Pruitt recorded his third RBI of the day after his ground ball brought the score to 6-5.
Bonura avoided more damage by getting outfielder Ryan Tindle to pop up to Stewart in right field.
LSU increased its lead in the eighth inning when a single by short stop Michael Hollander to left field scored Sprowl from second.
Stewart was given the ultimate sign of respect by a pitcher by receiving the intentional walk from Romanowicz.
The Tigers put up another run in the inning as Liuzza was walked with bases loaded to increase the lead to 8-5.
As many of the 2,979 fans at Alex Box Stadium made their way to the exits believing the victory was in hand, Stetson turned up the heat.
Bonura was replaced by Chase Dardar after Olsen was hit by a Bonura pitch. A walk, two singles and a double tied the game and eight and ended Bonura's game.
"[Dardar] got us ground balls and that's all you can ask of him," Liuzza said.
Ramirez gave up a single to give the Hatters a 9-8 lead.
Despite Pontiff's lead off walk, LSU was not able to move him past second base.
Dardar (2-1) was charged with the loss after giving up three runs, two earned, in the ninth. Jake Hitchcock (1-0), who entered the game in the eighth inning, earned the win while Brett Murphy's ninth inning earned him his first save of the year.
Pontiff said following the game
"We've got to keep going. We've got to learn to focus on Sundays," Pontiff said.