Deichmann’s blast, Poche’ propel LSU into the Super Regional

Tigers rally past Rice 5-2 to claim Baton Rouge Regional

By JAMES MORAN
Tiger Rag Associate Editor

Greg Deichmann’s flair for the dramatic saved LSU’s season Tuesday, and the latest installment of the white-hot slugger’s tour de force bashed his club within two wins of Omaha.

Rice starter Willy Amador looked like Cy Young for six innings, facing one over the minimum while working on a two-hitter — and then the seventh inning came.

Deichmann’s majestic bomb to the left of dead center flipped a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 lead and electrified an antsy crowd that had been waiting all afternoon for any reason to explode.

“He got a fastball, and he didn’t miss it,” said shortstop Kramer Robertson, who sparked the rally with a hit-and-run single on a pitch up over his head. “He’s probably one of a handful of guys in all of college baseball that can hit a ball like that.”

“He mauled that ball,” LSU coach Paul Mainieri added with a smile.

Jared Poche’ came out of the bullpen and twirled six innings of stellar one-hit relief and LSU roared back after a comatose start with five runs between the seventh and eighth innings to eliminate Rice, 5-2, and claim the Baton Rouge Regional crown on a gorgeous afternoon at Alex Box Stadium.

“The game turned around, not immediately, but when Jared Poche’ came into the game,” Mainieri said. “He’s pitched a lot of great games for us, but I don’t know if he’s ever thrown a more important one or a better one.”

Working on three day’s rest, the veteran southpaw came out of the bullpen trailing 2-0 in the third inning and retired the first 16 men he faced to stabilize the game and allow LSU to — eventually — mount its comeback.

“Coming in, I wasn’t sure how long I was going to go,” Poche’ said. “I knew it was just a matter of time before this offense would start clicking and put up some runs. My job was to go out there and put up as many zeroes as possible.”

And once Deichmann gave him a lead, Poche’ continued dealing. He posted shutdown innings in the seventh and eighth to make the offensive explosion stand up.

His six innings of one-hit relief with six strikeouts felt like atonement for the winner-take-all game he didn’t get to pitch against Houston two years ago. Mainieri said after the plan was for him to go three innings, but he was so efficient (69 pitches through six) that he just let him keep working.

“He changed the game for us,” Robertson said. “It wasn’t my catch. It wasn’t one hit. It was Poche’ going out there. As good as I’ve ever seen him. Greg is the MVP of the regional. Well deserving, but we don’t win this regional without Jared Poche’.”

Lefty Jake Latz started the game for LSU but didn’t last long. Rice got on the board in the first by virtue of a two-out, run-scoring double down the third base line off the bat of Connor Tekyl. Mainieri pulled Latz with one out in the second after he issued a walk and a wild pitch.

One of those runs came home to score as the Owls loaded the bases, and the game could have been broken open right there if it weren’t for Robertson’s diving grab on a blooper that appeared ticketed to fall into shallow left field for a two-run single.

Deichmann garnered Most Outstanding Player honors by finishing regional an unconscious 9-for-16 with three home runs and 10 RBI.

And that’s not counting the mammoth blast — even farther than the 417-footer he launched Tuesday — two weeks ago to save the Tigers in their SEC Tournament opener in Hoover.

“Go back to Media Day and I said Greg had a chance to be awesome,” Mainieri said. “There’s going to be some moments where the game looks new to him as well. The ball he hit against Tennessee, I didn’t think a human being could hit a ball harder or farther than that one until today.”

LSU will now host Costal Carolina, fresh off a dramatic season-saving comeback of its own, in the Baton Rouge Super Regional. It’ll run Saturday-Sunday-Monday with the first two games slated for 8 p.m. first pitches.

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James Moran
James Moran was Editor of Tiger Rag from August 2018 to October 2019. He previously served as the associate editor since 2014. He is a graduate of the LSU Manship School of Journalism.
About James Moran 1377 Articles
James Moran was Editor of Tiger Rag from August 2018 to October 2019. He previously served as the associate editor since 2014. He is a graduate of the LSU Manship School of Journalism.

2 Comments

  1. Jared Poche’and Lutcher High School are a family tradition for me as three of my brothers attended Lutcher High!!! Great game Jared and Congratulations Tigers !! Thanks Again ! Lee

  2. When this season started, I thought Manieri would do well to get this team into the NCAA Tournament, much less host a regional or even less, host a super regional. What I like is the grit of the team, which has allowed them to overcome their inexperience and relative lack of talent compared to other top teams. Robertson’s emergence as team leader has been fun to behold.

    And Dunn worked his magic with the staff again, especially after his top two starters, Lange and Poche, started poorly. I hope we don’t lose him to Alabama. Do you have a read on that or is it on hold until the LSU season ends?

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