No. 5 overall seed LSU unleashes thunder and lightning in Baton Rouge Regional win over Oregon State to advance to championship game

Brayden Jobert
Game winning home run in bottom of the eighth from Brayden Jobert packed the thunder while Thatcher Hurd brought the lightning in LSU's 6-5 win over Oregon State on Sunday.

If there are such a thing as baseball gods, they smiled on LSU on Sunday – blessing the Tigers with a 3-hour, 3-minute weather delay that allowed for a regrouping, of sorts.

It might not have looked like a blessing at first, but it turned out to be one.

LSU right fielder Brayden Jobert launched a solo homer in the bottom of the eighth inning, one of five home run blasts for the Tigers, to lift the No. 5 national seed to a 6-5 victory over Oregon State Sunday night at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.

LSU (45-15) trailed 1-0 following 2.5 innings to Oregon State (40-19) when the weather delay occurred.

Then, the No. 1 seeded Tigers fell behind 3-0 rather quickly when play resumed and Thatcher Hurd, who replaced starter Ty Floyd, gave up a solo home run to the first batter he faced, Oregon State right fielder Brady Kasper, followed in short order by a single, a double from catcher Tanner Smith, a sacrifice bunt to move Smith to third base, and then a throwing error from LSU that allowed Smith to score from third.

But then two things happened.

First, Hurd’s pitching became electric – as in a lightening fastball hovering around 96 miles per hour consistently – with a breaking ball that started bending like it hasn’t all season. The Tigers also discovered some latent thunder in its bats.

LSU moved into the regional championship and will face Oregon State, a 3-1 winner over Sam Houston State in Sunday’s elimination game.

The NCAA regional will continue Monday at 1 p.m. with Game 7, if necessary, set for 5 p.m.

“Great college baseball game,” LSU coach Jay Johnson said. “Two great teams. Highly competitive. Great start by Ty. Did a great job for the three innings he was out there. I thought the team did a good job being poised and focused during the rain delay.”

Hurd (6-2) relieved Floyd after the weather delay and picked up the win after pitching 5.0 innings and allowing four runs on seven hits, while striking out a career-high 12 batters. Freshman right hander Gavin Guidry relieved Hurd in the ninth and closed out the game, picking up his second save of the season. He gave up one hit and struck out two.

“Great poise by Gavin at the end,” Johnson added.

Oregon State opened the scoring in the top of the third with a solo shot from second baseman Travis Bazzana, his 11th home run of the season.

Floyd escaped an ensuing jam, and the game entered a weather delay at 3:12 p.m. Play resumed with LSU batting in the bottom of the third at 6:15 p.m.

LSU sent four batters to the plate in the bottom of the third when play resumed. The Tigers had left the bases loaded in both the first and second innings.

In the top of the fourth, Kasper’s home run and Smith’s run on the throwing error from Jordan Thompson put the Beavers up, 3-0.

Dylan Crews, however, crushed a two-run home run to left-centerfield in the bottom of the fourth to cut Oregon State’s lead to 3-2.

Crews drove in left fielder Josh Pearson who drove a ball to right-center field that nearly went out itself, but Kasper banged into the wall trying to make the catch. He dropped the ball when he hit the wall, resulting in an easy triple for Pearson.

Crews then demolished a 0-1 pitch, a no-doubt home run to left-center field for his 16th home run of the season.

LSU took its first lead of the game, 4-3, in the bottom of the fifth on back-to-back home runs from catcher Hayden Travinski, who hit his ninth homer into the left field bleachers just inside the foul pole, and designated hitter Cade Belosoto, who blasted his 12th home run of the season on the very next pitch over the right-field wall.

Pearson then hit his second home run of the season to lead off the bottom of the sixth inning and put LSU up, 5-3.

“Proud of the hitters,” Johnson said. “The first couple of innings we really did exactly what we wanted to do, other than finish the inning off with one more quality at-bat. Stayed with it.”

Oregon State tied it up at five with a two-run home run by left fielder Gavin Turley.

Jobert then led off the bottom of the eighth winning with a towering moonshot to straight-away center field to put LSU up, 6-5.

“I was the lead-off for the inning,” Jobert said. “I was just trying to put up a good at-bat and get on base. It was a 2-0 count. He grooved me a fastball and I put a good swing on it.”

How It Happened

T1 – Bazanna struck out, 2-3 throw out; Forrester single to short left center field; McDowell strikes out swinging on a 95 mph fastball; Guerra strikes out swinging on a 95.73 mph fastball.

B1 – Crews strikes out swinging on an 80 mph slider; White line singles through second base to right center field; Morgan walked on a 3-1 count, White advanced to second base; Travinski strikes out swinging on a 2-2 pitch; Beloso, pitcher called on a clock violation with count full, walked and loaded the bases; Dugas grounded out to shortstop on an unassisted fielder’s choice.

LSU leaves three on base.

LSU 0, Oregon State 0

T2 – Turley standup double down the left field line; Kane struck out swinging; Kasper walked on a full count; Smith pops out to center field on a full count; Dernedde full count grounds out to shortstop, 6-3. (Floyd is at 48 pitches through two innings).

B2 – Jobert flew out to the warning track in right field; Thompson hit by pitch; Pearson walked on four pitches, Thompson advanced to second base; Crews walked on a full count; White (time out OSU, sending pitchers to the bullpen during the walk to the mound) struck out with a half swing with a 2-2 count on a high (87 mph) fast ball; Morgan 71 mph change up induces Morgan to ground out to second base for the final out.

LSU leaves three on base.

LSU 0, Oregon State 0

T3 – Bazzana homers to right on a 1-0 fastball, his 11th home run of the season; Forrester stand-up double to left field wall; McDowell bunts (ruled a base hit) White could not handle the ball to attempt the throw, Forrester advanced to third base; Guerra struck out swinging, then Travinski catches McDowell trying to steal second base; Turley walked; Kane drills a line shot to left field caught by Pearson.

Oregon State left two runners on base.

Lightening delay at 3:12 PM

Oregon State 1, LSU 0

Play resumes after three hour and three minute weather delay

B3- Keljo into pitch for Oregon State; Travinski flew out to warning track in left center; Beloso hit by pitch on first pitch; Dugas struck out swinging; Jobert grounds into a fielder’s choice at second, Beloso forced out at second base.

Oregon State 1, LSU 0

T4 – Hurd to pitch for Floyd; Kasper homers, his 11th of the season, on a 2-2 pitch; Smith doubles off of the top of the left field wall; Dernedde lays down sacrifice bunt, 2-3, called out on field after scoop by Morgan (under review) (ruled out after review), Smith advanced to third base; Bazzana to second base where Thompson was playing in the shift, fields the ball, no one covering first yet, Thompson fires home, errant throw, Smith scores and Bazzana goes to second on the throwing error, ruled a single and throwing error on Thompson; (Dugas is playing shortstop and Thompson is playing second base) Forrester struck out swinging on a 79 mph changeup; McDowell struck out swinging.

Oregon State 3, LSU 0

B4 – Hutchinson in to pitch for Keljo; Thompson struck out swinging on three pitches; Pearson crushed a ball to right center and Kasper banged into wall trying to make the catch, dropped it when he hit the wall, triple for Pearson; Crews demolished a 0-1 pitch, a no-doubt home run to left center field for his 16th home run of the season; (Ferrar in to pitch for Hutchinson) White grounds out to shortstop, 6-3; Morgan struck out swinging.

LSU get two runs on two hits, a massive two-run home run by Crews.

Oregon State 3, LSU 2

T5 – Guerra slaps a hard grounder down third base line for a single; Turley two strong curves from Hurd in pitch sequence, struck out swinging; Kane struck out looking on a 77 mph curve ball; Kasper struck out looking on a 78 mph bender.

B5 – Travinski hammers an 0-2 pitch out to deep left inside the foul pole, ninth home run of the season; Beloso crushes first pitch to deep right field for his 12th home run of the season (LSU takes first lead, 4-3); Dugas grounds out to shortstop, 6-3; Jobert struck out swinging; Thompson pops out along first base foul line.

LSU two runs on two hits.

LSU 4, Oregon State 3

T6 – Smith struck out looking on another bender from Hurd (has struck out six of the last seven batters he’s faced); Dernedde walked on a full count; (Dugas and Thompson switch positions in infield again) Bazzana sacrifice bunt, 5-3, Dernedde advanced to second base; (Dugas and Thompson switch back) Forrester struck out swing on a 94.28 mph fastball.

B6 – Pearson homers to right center field (where he almost homered before on his triple), hitting 1-2 pitch nearly to the light pole, his second home run of the season; Crews flied out to deep, straightaway center field; White grounds out to shortstop; Morgan gets underneath one and pops out to shallow right center, caught by second baseman.

LSU scores one run on one hit, Pearson’s home run.

LSU 5, Oregon State 3

T7 – McDowell hits first-pitch opposite field single to left field; Guerra flied out to right field; Turley spanks a 1-0 fastball to straight-away centerfield for his 12th homerun of the season; Kane singles to shortstop; Kasper (Dugas and Thompson switch position again), passed ball advanced Kane to second base and then Kasper walked on a full count; Smith struck out looking on a 1-2 pitch; Dernedde struck out looking and protesteth much.

Oregon State scores two runs on three hits with no errors and left two runner on base.

LSU 5, Oregon State 5

B7 – Travinski struck out swinging; Beloso struck out looking; Dugas struck out swinging.

LSU 5, Oregon State 5

T8 – (Nippolt in at second base for Dugas) Bazzana struck out looking (10 strikeouts for Hurd in 85 pitches); Forrester walked on a 3-1 pitch; McDowell struck out looking on a full count; Guerra struck out swinging (12 strikeouts for Hurd).

B8 – Jobert homered to center field to put LSU up 6-5; Thompson singled through shorts(top; (Brown in to pitch for Ferrer) Pearson flied out to left center field; Crews singles to deep center field, turned around McDowell, who drops the ball: the call on the field, after an umpire meeting, is a base hit with Thompson safe at second base and Crews at first (under review and confirmed); White struck out swinging on a high fastball; Morgan singles to 56 hole and Kane is unable to handle, all runners advanced; Travinski checked swing on a full count, struck out swinging.

LSU scored one run on four hits and left three runners on base.

LSU 6, Oregon State 5

T9 – (Guidry in to pitch for Hurd) Turley struck out swinging (tagged out by Travinski); Kane singles over Nippolt’s outstretched glove into right; Kasper hits into a fielder’s choice, 4-6, Kane out at second base (play reviewed – confirmed); Tyce Peterson to pinch hit, passed ball, Kasper advanced to second base, check swing strike out. Game over. (3 hours, 28 minutes)

FINAL SCORE: LSU 6, Oregon State 5

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Todd Horne

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