2009 CWS: Five Solo Home Runs Not Enough For Texas in Game One

via Big 12 Hardball

2009 Men's College World Series, Championship Series, Game One

Final Score: LSU 7, Texas 6

It didn't last twenty-five innings, but the opening game of the 2009 Men's College World Series Championship Series between Texas and LSU was a thriller that included seven home runs and ended with LSU prevailing in eleven innings of baseball played in 100-plus degree heat. 

The LSU Tigers struck first when two-hitter Ryan Schimpf homered to right center. The LSU offense would then remain stagnant for four innings. 

Texas took advantage with three solo home runs in the fourth inning. First it was Travis Tucker, who hit his third home run of the season. Then, it was Russell Moldenhauer, who hit his second homer of the year, and Kevin Keyes put the Longhorns up 3-1 with his eighth longball of the year. 

In this sixth, LSU would even the score when Jared Mitchell tripled to left center, driving in Micah Gibbs and Blake Dean. In the bottom of the sixth, Texas took the lead with the second home run of the game by Russell Moldenhauer, who hit his third homer of they year-- all three of them coming in the College World Series. Texas would then push their lead their two when Kevin Keyes scored on a wild pitch. 

LSU's D.J. LeMahieu and Texas' Connor Rowe both hit solo home runs in the seventh inning to push the score to 6-4 in favor of Texas. 

Three outs away from defeat, LSU rallied in the top of the ninth. Seaon Ochinko singled through the left side to get thins going for the Tigers, then Derek Helenihi walked to put two on. With the runners on first and second and two outs in the inning, DJ LeMahieu doubled deep down the left field line to drive in both Ochinko and Helenihi and tie the game at six. It would be LSU's first lead since the first inning, and the Tigers would force extra innings by retiring the Longhorns in the bottom of the ninth. 

The Tigers finally broke the game open with a run in the top of the eleventh. DJ LeMahieu, who reached on a walk, scored when Mikie Mahtook singled to center field. The Tigers would retire the Longhorns in the bottom of the eleventh to complete their comeback and give themselves a 1-0 series lead. 

For LSU, the win was their fourteenth consecutive, dating back to a loss to Vanderbilt in the opening game of the SEC tournament. The Tigers would eventually come all the way back to win the tournament by beating Vanderbilt in the tournament championship-- their second tournament championship in as many years. LSU would then win their regional in three games, and defeated Rice in the Super Regionals to advance to Omaha. Once they got to Omaha, the Tigers had no problems advancing to the championship series with wins over Virginia and Arkansas twice. 

The Longhorns defeated Army and Boston College (in 25 innings) to win their regional, then defeated TCU in Super Regionals to advance to Omaha. The Longhorns also made it to the Championship series unscathed, defeating the likes of Southern Mississippi and Arizona State (twice) to advance to play LSU. 

The two teams will play again tomorrow night, with Texas needing to win two consecutive games to clinch a title. LSU can do it with just one more win. 

--Jake (jake.buildingthedam@gmail.com)

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