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White Delivers Blast to Send LSU to CWS Finals, 2-0

Tommy White's walk-off homer lifts LSU to the CWS Championship Series vs. Florida. Game 1 is set for 6 p.m. CT Saturday at Charles Schwab Field.

by Bill Franques
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White Delivers Blast to Send LSU to CWS Finals, 2-0

OMAHA, Neb. – LSU third baseman Tommy White launched a two-run homer in the bottom of the 11th inning Thursday night to defeat No. 1 overall seed Wake Forest and lift the Tigers to a 2-0 victory, clinching a spot in the CWS Championship Series versus Florida starting Saturday night.

With the victory, LSU improved to 52-16 on the season and moved into the finals for the first time since 2017 and the eighth time in program history. The Demon Deacons dropped to 54-12 as their season came to an end.

The Tigers return to action Saturday night at 6 p.m. CT to take on SEC foe Florida. The contest will be televised on ESPN and broadcast on LSU Sports Radio Network affiliates.

“I couldn’t be more proud of our team,” said LSU coach Jay Johnson. “I think that exemplifies the talent on this roster, but more importantly, the character and the people. That was the best-pitched college baseball game I’ve ever seen from both sides.”

White’s homer marked the fifth walk-off hit in LSU’s College World Series history. The others were Todd Walker’s single in a 1993 semifinal win over Long Beach State; Warren Morris’ homer in the 1996 national championship game vs. Miami; Brad Cresse’s single in the 2000 national championship game vs. Stanford; and Blake Dean’s double in a 2008 elimination game vs. Rice.

LSU centerfielder Dylan Crews led off the bottom of the 11th inning with a single against Wake Forest reliever Michael Massey. The Deacons inserted closer Camden Minacci into the game, but White launched his first pitch into the left field seats to give the Tigers the win.

The homer was White’s 23rd of the season and increased his season RBI total to 100.

LSU reliever Thatcher Hurd (7-3) earned the win, working the final three innings and blanking Wake Forest on one hit with one walk and one strikeout.

LSU starter Paul Skenes was brilliant through the first eight innings, as he allowed no runs on two hits with one walk and nine strikeouts. He extended his season strikeouts total to 209, establishing the SEC single-season mark for strikeouts.

The former record-holder was LSU All-American Ben McDonald, who recorded 202 strikeouts in 1989.

“Obviously what Paul did was spectacular,” Johnson said. “What Thatcher did was spectacular. You might see four pitchers that were on that mound tonight from both teams that will pitch in Major League Baseball All-Star Games.”

The shutout was LSU’s second in its past three games in Omaha, and the third in the Tigers’ CWS history. LSU blanked Tennessee, 5-0, on Tuesday night, and the Tigers shut out Wichita State, 8-0, in the 1993 national championship game.

Massey (3-1) suffered the loss, as he was charged with one run on one hit in 2.2 innings with one walk and five strikeouts.

Wake Forest starter Rhett Lowder also delivered a superb outing, firing 7.0 shutout innings with three hits, two walks and six strikeouts.


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