Skenes Tosses Complete Game in 7-2 Victory Over Tulane in NCAA Regional
Skenes recorded the Tigers' first complete nine-inning game since April 23, 2021, when AJ Labas accomplished the feat at Ole Miss. LSU will face Oregon State at 8 p.m. CT Saturday in an NCAA Regional winners' bracket game in Alex Box Stadium. Saturday's LSU-Oregon State game will be televised on ESPN2 and broadcast on the LSU Sports Radio Network.
BATON ROUGE, La. – Right-hander Paul Skenes tossed a career-high nine innings and tallied 12 strikeouts to lift the No. 5 national seed LSU Tigers to an opening-round 7-2 victory over Tulane in the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional Friday afternoon in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
With the win, LSU improved to 44-15 on the season and the Green Wave dropped to 19-41 on the year.
LSU, the No. 1 seed in the Baton Rouge regional, will face Oregon State in a winners’ bracket game at 8 p.m. CT first pitch Saturday. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2 and streamed on ESPN+. The game can also be heard on LSU Sports Radio Network affiliates and streamed at LSUsports.net/live.
Tulane moved into the losers’ bracket and will take on Sam Houston at 2 p.m. CT Saturday (ESPN+).
Skenes (11-2) tossed the first complete game of his career and tallied 12 strikeouts in the process while only allowing two runs on seven hits and no walks.
“He’s the best pitcher in college baseball,” said LSU coach Jay Johnson. “We’re now in postseason play, and we felt really good about what he could do today and impact us winning the game. And he definitely did that.
“And, there’s some other value of him being able to do what he did today that should help the rest of the pitchers the rest of the way.”
“Obviously the ability to start the regional off well, put our pitching staff and our bullpen in a good position to have a lot of rest and go into the second and third days of the regional strong, that was the primary goal of today,” Skenes said. “Obviously today’s win is important, but more happy that we’re in a good position the next few days to have all our arms.”
Skenes became the first LSU pitcher to throw a complete game in NCAA postseason play since Alex Lange defeated Cal State Fullerton in the College World Series on June 16, 2015. Lange posted 10 strikeouts and allowed three runs on six hits.
Since 2004, two other LSU pitchers thrown complete games in NCAA postseason play, including Aaron Nola in a 2-0 complete game shutout over Oklahoma during the 2013 super regional round and Lane Mestepey, who fired a complete game against Texas A&M in 2004 during super regional play.
The most recent LSU complete nine-inning game — in regular season or postseason — was tossed by AJ Labas on April 23, 2021, in a regular-season series at Ole Miss.
Tulane starter Dylan Carmouche (5-9) was charged with the loss Friday after firing 4.0 innings and allowing six runs on nine hits.
The Tigers struck first in the Baton Rouge regional, plating one in the bottom of the first. The frame began with centerfielder Dylan Crews and third baseman Tommy White poking singles into left field. After a double play, catcher Hayden Travinski delivered an RBI double to the RCF gap to give LSU a 1-0 lead.
The home team extended its lead in the second to 3-0 on the strength of situational baseball. Second baseman Gavin Dugas began it with a single and right fielder Brayden Jobert reached via hit-by-pitch. Both runners advanced on a sac bunt and left fielder Josh Pearson drove a run with an RBI groundout.
Crews continued his impressive outing by smoking one down the third base line for an RBI double to make the score 3-0. LSU increased the margin to 4-0 in the third inning on an RBI groundout from Jobert.
The Tigers tacked on two more in the fifth inning following their first scoreless frame of the afternoon. Travinski coaxed a four-pitch walk and Beloso singled down the right-field line. Dugas pushed another run across with a sac fly. Pearson added his own sac fly to score Beloso and make the score 6-0.
In the top of the seventh, Tulane scored its first runs of the ballgame with a two-run shot from designated hitter Brennan Lambert.
LSU tacked on a final run in the eighth inning when Travinski drew a bases-loaded walk.