OMAHA, NEB. — LSU’s shuffled lineup didn’t have the same impact as it did a few days ago.
The Tigers stuck with the same order that brought them 13 hits and a win Tuesday against Cal State Fullerton. Alex Bregman led off, Kade Scivicque batted in the No. 3 hole, Chris Sciambra hit fifth and Mark Laird dropped to the No. 8 spot.
LSU’s offense mustered just seven hits in the 8-4 season-ending loss to TCU on Thursday night in a College World Series elimination game.
The four aforementioned players had hits in 5 of their 17 at-bats. They went 11-for-16 in that 5-3 win Tuesday.
Conner Hale, in the cleanup spot, continued to struggle. The senior went 0-for-3 Thursday, pushing his recent hitting skid to 1-for-22. He’s 0-for-12 in the CWS.
He’s far from the only one who ended the season struggling at the plate. Chinea went 2-for-20, and Stevenson finished 2-for-21.
Bregman’s last hurrah
Bregman made sure he shined in his last game as a Tiger.
The junior shortstop made a spinning, mouth-gaping play behind second place of a sharply hit groundball. Bregman grabbed Derek Odell’s fourth-inning shot and then made a 360-degree spin move, tossing the ball to first in time as he came out of the turn.
It was the second time Bregman made such a play this season. Bregman finished this College World Series 7-for-11, rebounding from his skid in the 2013 CWS. He made a crucial error and went 0-for-8 in 2013.
LSU and TCU’s game Thursday drew a sellout crowd of 26,803. That was the third-largest crowd in TD Ameritrade history and the 13th-largest for any CWS game. Thursday’s attendance brought the six-day total attendance at this year’s tournament to 228,806.
Though there were a few empty seats scattered through the grandstand, NCAA officials said all the reserved seats for Thursday night’s game were sold out.
Did they wash?
The Tigers remained in their gold jerseys for the second straight game as well after wearing all white uniforms in the TCU game Sunday. It was also the second straight game in a gold jersey for LSU coach Paul Mainieri, who typically wears a purple pullover.
Mainieri said the players came to him before the Cal State Fullerton game and asked him to make the change.
Guillory allows first run
Preston Guillory, one of TCU’s top relievers and a native of Denham Springs, allowed the first run of his season this year in the bottom of the ninth inning.
He entered having pitched 25 innings this season without an earned run. That was before back-to-back one-out doubles from Sciambra and Stevenson. Sciambra’s shot was a pop fly that dropped in short left field.
Stevenson then drove him home with a blast down the left field line, and Laird followed with a hit to put runners on second and third. Jared Foster struck out to end the game.
Both LSU and TCU had eight players selected in the major league draft last week. Bregman was the highest-drafted player on either team, going with the No. 2 overall selection to the Houston Astros. TCU had two pitchers taken in the second round: Alex Young by the Arizona Diamondbacks and Tyler Alexander by the Detroit Tigers. Both starting pitchers Thursday were also drafted. LSU’s Zac Person went in the ninth round to the Astros, while TCU’s Mitchell Traver went in the 28th round to the St. Louis Cardinals. ... Former LSU pitching great Paul Byrd, father of LSU infielder Grayson Byrd, was interviewed during the fourth inning in the stadium. ... Despite being the No. 2 national seed, LSU was the visiting team.