Saturday, June 9, 2012
LSU wins marathon game
By David Helman
BATON ROUGE, La. -- Seventeen hours after he tied this marathon super regional game, Mason Katz won it as well.
Katz's RBI single in the 12th inning lifted seventh-ranked LSU to a 5-4 victory Saturday over Stony Brook, just 10 minutes after the restart of the Game 1 thriller that been suspended Friday evening by rain.
The Tigers (47-16) are one win away from the College World Series. It took LSU less than a quarter of an hour to claim the win, a mere 23 hours after the series started.
Katz, who belted a game-tying homer in the 11th inning Friday, came to the plate Saturday with runners on first and second and one out with a chance to give LSU the series lead heading into the second game of Saturday's doubleheader. He delivered the knockout blow in the form of a line drive to left-center field, scoring Tyler Moore for the winning run.
"I was going to do my best to drive something in the gap," Katz said. "In that situation, I was not going to hit into a double play."
A glance at the diamond moments before Katz's walk-off -- with Moore on second, and JaCoby Jones on first -- gave a perfect picture of the wackiness on display this weekend at LSU's Alex Box Stadium.
Katz's game-tying homer to left field in the 11th had come moments before torrential rain suspended play.
In the bottom of the 10th, Moore was down to the Tigers' last strike when he smacked a solo homer, tying the game at 3-3.
And Jones was the one who started the insanity, hitting a game-tying homer in the bottom of the ninth.
As if the three game-saving homers, a two-hour rain delay and a 17-hour postponement weren't bizarre enough, LSU coach Paul Mainieri added to the intrigue when the Tigers took the field in the top of the 12th inning Saturday morning.
Rather than turn to his bullpen, Mainieri took a chance and pitched LSU ace Kevin Gausman -- the No. 4 overall pick in last week's MLB draft -- to close out Game 1.
The gamble worked perfectly, as Gausman dispatched Stony Brook (50-13) in 12 pitches, leaving him fresh to start Game 2, which was to start shortly after.