Triple play: LSU’s Chris Sciambra shines, but could scrappy UL-Lafayette force a Game 3? _lowres

Associated Press photo by GERALD HERBERT -- Louisiana-Lafayette catcher Nick Thurman tags out LSU's Mark Laird at home plate during the fifth inning Saturday at Alex Box Stadium.

1. What we learned

Despite Chris Sciambra’s dramatic solo home run in the bottom of the ninth inning, LSU’s offense clearly isn’t running as smoothly as American Pharoah lately. The Tigers have scored 18 runs in the NCAA tournament, just eight in their past three games. LSU was outhit 10-5 by UL-Lafayette, and before Sciambra’s blast the Tigers had gone 17 straight at-bats without a hit. Survive and advance is the mantra, but LSU won’t survive without more hitting at some point.

2. Trending now

Chris Sciambra. What a thrill for the LSU senior and Baton Rouge native to bring the Tigers within one victory of a return to the College World Series. There was a time when Sciambra’s career was nearly over before it began, after he broke his neck crashing into the outfield wall in 2012. Saturday night, Sciambra knew his shot was over the outfield wall as soon as he left the batter’s box, lifting his arm in triumph. It was just his third home run this season.

3. Final thoughts

Despite the win, LSU has a fight on its hands. The Ragin’ Cajuns are one scrappy, confident bunch. Seemingly on their way to defeat down 3-0 after three innings against LSU ace Alex Lange, they chipped away until they chased him in the ninth with a pinch-hit home run by Brenn Conrad. After fighting out of the Sun Belt tourney loser’s bracket just to earn an NCAA berth, the Cajuns aren’t dead yet.