Return of the Tigers! LSU Takes CWS Finale, 11-4
OMAHA, Neb. — The Team of the 90s has returned to the top of 21st-century college baseball. The LSU Tigers brought home a sixth national championship to decorate its new Alex Box Stadium by besting top-seeded Texas, 11-4, in the third and deciding game of the 2009 College World Series on Wednesday.
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LSU (56-17) won its first national championship since 2000 after former head coach and athletics director Skip Bertman put the “football school” on baseball map with five titles in 10 seasons.
Third-year coach Paul Mainieri — who wasn’t hired to bring the Tigers back to Omaha, but to win championships — fulfilled his destiny. When he hired the 25th baseball coach in school history on June 28, 2006, Bertman said, “It would take someone special to lead this program … someone who would thrive in the high expectations of a championship program. I believe LSU has found that man.”
One last time, Bertman’s move paid off in Omaha.
Sophomore starter Anthony Ranaudo (12-3) earned his second CWS win after throwing 119 pitches. The 6-foot-7 righthander from New Jersey gutted through 5.1 innings without his best stuff. Ranaudo stranded nine Longhorns, twice with the bases loaded, allowing four runs on eight hits with five walks and four strikeouts.
Mainieri also called on lefthander Chad Jones to replace Ranaudo. The two-sport star added a baseball ring to go with his 2007 BCS National Championship by holding down the Longhorns for 1.2 hitless innings.
Taking his rightful place in LSU history, senior Louis Coleman took the mound for the final two innings and earned the dogpile he richly deserved. Disappointed with the CWS ending in 2008, Coleman returned for his senior season to win a championship.
The Tigers, who started four freshmen for most of the season, took the lead for good in the top of the sixth when freshman centerfielder Mikie Mahtook doubled to right field to chase Texas reliever Brandon Workman (3-5) and ignight a five-run sixth inning.
LSU manufactured two more runs before senior first baseman Sean Ochinko slashed a two-RBI single through the left side to give LSU a 9-4 lead.
Not only was Ochinko re-inserted into the LSU lineup for game 3, but Mainieri asked him to bat clean-up so that Dean could see better pitches. Ochinko responded with a 4-for-5 performance with three RBI in his final game wearing purple and gold.
Just like the old Skipper, all of the new skipper’s moves paid off in the postseason just as they did in his regular-season lineup flip.
Seven of LSU’s runs came with two outs.
The Tigers added single runs in the eighth and ninth innings on a sacrifice fly by Ryan Schimpf and a solo homer by Ochinko.
Texas (50-16-1) bounced back from a 7-6, 11-inning loss on Monday to force the rubber match with a strong 5-1 victory on Tuesday. The Longhorns were denied their seventh national championship.
2009 College World Series All-Tournament Team
C Cameron Rupp, Texas
1B Dustin Ackley, North Carolina
2B DJ LeMahieu, LSU
3B Kyle Seager, North Carolina
SS Tyler Cannon, Virginia
OF Kole Calhoun, Arizona St.
OF Jared Mitchell, LSU
OF Ryan Schimpf, LSU
DH Russell Moldenhauer, Texas
P Anthony Ranaudo, LSU
P Taylor Jungmann, Texas
Most Outstanding Player: Jared Mitchell, LSU
Men’s College World Series Notes ? MCWS Championship Finals Game 3 – June 24, 2009
LSU 11 , Texas 4
Attendance: 19,986 (2009 Series Total-336,076; Avg.-22,405)
- The 2009 MCWS broke the all-time attendance record for the second straight season with a mark of 336,076, breaking the previous mark of 330,099 set in 2008.
- The 27 homers by the two teams playing for the championship are the most ever. The previous high was in 1998 when USC (17) and Arizona State (9) combined for 26 homers. This year is only the third time (also 1995) when the two finalists combined for 25 homers.
- The 12 combined homers (Texas 8, LSU 4) breaks the MCWS Championship Finals record of nine set in 2008.
- Texas’ 14 homers ties for third all-time in a MCWS series, while LSU’s 13 homers ties for sixth all-time (complete list on page 103 of MCWS Guide). The two teams combined for 27 for the 45 homers in the 15 games at the MCWS.
- LSU’s 56 wins is the most by a national champion since Texas in 2005.
- The one save (by Arkansas in the opening game) is the lowest save total in a MCWS since 1993, when no saves were recorded.
- LSU’s .991 fielding percentage is the second-best total by a MCWS national champion, trailing LSU’s .993 fielding percentage in 1991, while the Tigers’ 4.18 ERA during the MCWS is the highest by a champion since 2002 (Texas, 4.25).
- LSU has now won six national titles (1991, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000 and 2009), tying Texas for second place among all Division I baseball programs. The Tigers improve to 35-20 (.636) all-time in the MCWS.
- The Tigers closed out the season by winning 15 of their final 16 games dating back to the SEC Tournament.
- With LSU’s title tonight, Southeastern Conference schools have won seven national titles (six by LSU and also Georgia in 1990) and the league’s first baseball title since LSU won in 2000.
- The Tigers finished the year with a national-best 56 wins, the most by a Tiger squad since winning a school-record 57 games in 1997.
- LSU is the first national seed to win a national title since Rice in 2003 and the first national champion to come out of Bracket One since Miami (Fla.) in 1999.
- The Tigers hit .313 during the MCWS, averaging 8.5 runs per game en route to going 5-1.
- LSU scored seven of its 11 runs tonight in two-out situations and plated 26 of their 51 runs during the MCWS in two-out situations.
- LSU has scored in the first inning of five of its MCWS contest. The only time they did not score was in the opening frame was Tuesday’s 5-1 loss to the Longhorns. The Tigers have outscored foes, 9-2 in their six games in Omaha.
- LSU’s Anthony Ranaudo fanned four Texas hitters on Wednesday, raising his season total to 158, which leads the SEC. The 158 strikeouts is second on LSU’s single-season list, matching Doug Thompson in 1997. Only Ben McDonald, who fanned a school-record 202 hitters in 1989, has fanned more hitters in a season. Ranaudo is the first Tiger to lead the SEC in strikeouts since Kurt Ainsworth in 1999. Ranaudo finishes the year third nationally in strikeouts, trailing only San Diego State’s Stephen Strasburg and Arizona State’s Mike Leake.
- Anthony Ranaudo has pitched five or more innings in 18 of his 19 starts, as he went six innings against LSU. With today’s win, Ranaudo has won his last seven decisions dating back to May 8.
- Anthony Ranaudo finished the MCWS with a 2-0 with a 3.68 ERA in his three starts at the MCWS, fanning 12 over 14.2 innings of work.
- Sean Ochinko ?s four-hit game was his second of the season, as he also had four hits against Central Florida on Feb. 27.
- DJ LeMahieu’s two hits tonight gave him 12 for the series, as he led all players in hits (12) and runs scored (nine), while his .444 average (12-for-27) was the best of any LSU regular in the MCWS.
- LSU’s Jared Mitchell and Chad Jones are the first two student-athletes to win a BCS National Title and a College World Series title and are the second and third athletes in LSU history to win national titles in multiple sports.
- Jones went a career-long 1.2 innings against Texas on Wednesday and did not allow a run in his three appearances, spanning 3.0 innings. He threw just 3.1 innings entering the MCWS and didn’t allow a run in eight of his nine appearances on the mound.
- Jared Mitchell belted his second homer of the MCWS against Texas on Wednesday and finished the MCWS with a .348 average with two homers and seven RBI.
- With four strikeouts tonight, Louis Coleman now has 303 career strikeouts, a total that moved him into ninth place on LSU’s career list. Coleman’s 129 innings is the most by a Tiger pitcher since 2002 (Lane Mestepey, 142.1 IP).
- Coleman finished with a series-best 18 strikeouts over 15 innings.
- Texas falls to 82-55 all-time at the MCWS, as UT leads all programs in MCWS in wins (82) and games played (137).
- Texas has now finished second six times in the MCWS, the most of any program. The Longhorns broke a tie with Arizona State and Oklahoma State, which had five runner-up showings apiece.
- Texas’ 14 homers ties for third on the MCWS single-series list and is Texas’ most homers in a single MCWS.
- Texas has accounted for nearly half of its offense via the home run, as 17 of the Longhorns’ 36 runs in Omaha have been off homers. In all, 12 of Texas’ 14 homers in the MCWS were been solo homers.
- Cole Green made his 20th start of the season for Texas, a total that leads all starting pitchers nationally, while Anthony Ranaudo made his 19th start, matching Texas’ Chance Ruffin for second nationally.
- Austin Wood made his national-best 41st appearance on Wednesday, tying Randy Boone (2007) and Clayton Stewart (2005) for third on Texas’ single-season list. Wood finishes his career with a school-record 118 appearances.
- Texas went just 2-for-21 (.095) with men on base on Wednesday and hit just .151 (8-for-53) during the MCWS Championship Finals.
- Texas finishes with 50 wins, the third-highest win total in the country.
- Miami (Fla.) is the last No. 1 overall seed to win a national title, when the Hurricanes accomplished the feat in 1999 (1st-year of 64-team bracket).
- The 11 runs allowed by Texas marks only the fourth time in 67 games that the Longhorns have allowed 10 or more runs in a game. The 11 runs is the most runs Texas allowed since surrendering 14 to Baylor in 14-9 loss in the Big 12 Tournament on May 20.
- Texas’ Russell Moldenhauer led all players in homers (four, matching MCWS series record) and total bases (20).
NCAA Men’s College World Series
Game 13: LSU vs. Texas Post-Game Press Conference Quotes
Hall of Fame Room, Rosenblatt Stadium
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
LSU head coach Paul Mainieri:
(opening statement): “I’ve dreamt my whole life of having this moment. It’s almost surreal.”
(thoughts at the moment of championship): “My first thoughts are with this wonderful university and with this state and its tenacious people. This championship is for them.”
(about the team): “We’ve had a wonderful group of kids. They’ve done everything you’ve asked them to do. They did everything they needed to do to be called champions.”
(his dad’s championship): “As we were getting the outs in the ninth, my thoughts were with my family. My dad won this championship 45 years ago at the Junior College World Series. The Mainieri family has gone 45 years without a championship.”
LSU first baseman Sean Ochinko
(about Mitchell’s three-run home run in the first inning): “[Mitchell’s] home run in the first got the wheels going for us. We were talking about jumping out early and that got us going.”
LSU starting pitcher Anthony Ranaudo
(about Mitchell’s three-run home run in the first inning): “As the starting pitcher, the three-run home run in the first gives you a lot of room to go and compete and throw strikes. I didn’t have my best stuff today. That has been the story of the season for us, when the pitchers didn’t have their best stuff, the hitters picked them up and when the hitting wasn’t going the pitchers picked them up.”
LSU second baseman DJ LeMahieu
(about the game overall): “Everyone contributed to this game. [Mitchell] had the three-run home run, [Ochinko] had a two-run single, [Ranaudo] competed as hard as he could and [Jones] came in and did a great job.”
LSU outfielder Jared Mitchell
(about if there was a better way to finish his career): “If there is a better way, write the story for me. It’s been so much fun … to accomplish something like this with these players.”
Texas head coach Augie Garrido
(opening statement): “I would like to thank the CWS committee, the people of Omaha and the NCAA. This is a fabulous event. They’ve created a national tournament that is so meaningful to all that participate.”
(about the game): “We all saw it together. LSU is a very talented college baseball team. I don’t think we lost the tournament. They won it. It was a well deserved championship for LSU.”
(about whether he felt as if there was meat left on the bone in the early innings): “Only if you’re talking about the six runners that didn’t score. That could have changed the momentum. I’m not willing to pick our team apart. They (LSU) beat us. They did what they needed to do to win the game.”
Texas left fielder Preston Clark
(about the magical run of the team during the last month): “ It’s been amazing. Every one of these guys has pulled for each other. This is the best team we’ve ever been a part of. They punched us in the month, and we couldn’t get a rally going. It is a tough loss. I love these guys; it was a great run for us.”
Texas second baseman Travis Tucker
(about Keyes’ home run to tie the game): “ We were excited to tie the game up. We came back and we just thought we’d keep rolling.”
(about the five-run sixth inning): “They answered back; it was devastating. They got the momentum back, they’re a great ballclub.”