Alex Bregman walked up to the plate in an 0-for-15 slump and dug in for what was likely his final at-bat at Alex Box Stadium.
LSU had runners on second and third with two outs in the eighth inning of a 1-0 game against the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
The timing couldn’t be more perfect for the Albuquerque, New Mexico, native to pick up his first hit of the NCAA tournament. He shot a ball into center field, driving in two insurance runs to give LSU a late 3-0 lead.
With the MLB draft beginning Monday and Bregman projected to be selected early in the first round, Sunday proved to be the perfect ending to a three-year career inside Alex Box Stadium.
“It was unbelievable,” Bregman said. “The Box was rocking, and as soon as I hit it, I knew it was going to be up the middle. I ended it the same way I came in (as a freshman), with a base hit and an RBI single up the middle.”
He stole his 37th base the next at-bat, giving him the second-most steals in a single season in LSU history.
Even after hitting a solo walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth inning Saturday against UL-Lafayette, senior Chris Sciambra didn’t see his name in the starting lineup in Game 2 of the super regional.
LSU coach Paul Mainieri had a good reason. With the Cajuns tossing left-hander Gunner Leger, Mainieri inserted sophomore right-handed designated hitter Danny Zardon into the No. 8 slot in the lineup.
Zardon thrived against southpaws this season, batting .368 (14-for-38) heading into Sunday. Sciambra wasbatting .100 (2-for-20) against left-handed arms.
LSU probably never wants to see UL-Lafayette center fielder Kyle Clement again after his performance Sunday.
In the top of the fourth, LSU left fielder Jake Fraley led off the frame with a line drive to left-center field, but Clement made a diving grab to rob LSU of extra bases.
One batter later, he did the same to Bregman with a diving snag on a sinking liner.
“We were trying to leave it all on the line,” Clement said. “Just doing everything I could. I just wanted to leave it all on the field in case.”
CWS ticket info
The LSU athletic ticket office will accept College World Series ticket requests from LSU baseball season ticket holders only until 5 p.m. Monday.
Season ticket holders may submit their requests by logging onto their online account at LSUTIX.net. Phone requests will be taken beginning Monday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. by calling (225) 578-2184 or toll free at (800) 960-8587.
LSU only receives a small allotment of tickets for the games in which LSU plays. Tickets range from $36-$38 for LSU’s first game, $31-$36 for all remaining bracket play games and $36-$38 for the championship series. Tickets will be allocated in LSU Priority Point order as of April 30. Ticket limitations will be implemented.
Because of high demand, LSU encourages fans to only request tickets for the dates they will be able to attend a game at the College World Series.
Longtime LSU radio play-by-play announcer Jim Hawthorne went into Sunday’s game facing the prospect of it being his final game at Alex Box Stadium.
Considering he’d like to call the Tigers’ play in the College World Series for a 17th time, he wasn’t hoping to drag it out until Monday.
“I hope it is” the last one, he said shortly before the game.
The Tigers granted him his with with a 6-3 win.
Hawthorne announced earlier this year that he will be retiring after the 2015-16 basketball season. This will be his last baseball season, followed by his last football season this fall.
Hawthorne began calling LSU baseball games in 1984. He has called all 57 games the Tigers have played in Omaha.
Bregman and Mainieri both recognized separate individuals Sunday. Bregman said he shaved his head for his friend’s mother, who was diagnosed with cancer. Mainieri wore “LB” on his cap recognizing Lance Bergeron, a Louisiana National Guard staff sergeant who was killed when his Black Hawk helicopter crashed in April. … Of the 20 runs UL-Lafayette scored in five NCAA tournament games, 13 came in the eighth and ninth innings.