LSU senior Austin Nola led off the top of the tenth inning with a walk and scored the winning run on a wild pitch, leading the No.7 national seed Tigers to a 6-5 come-from-behind victory over Oregon State to win the NCAA's Baton Rouge regional Sunday night. The Tigers' extra inning rally spoiled a brilliant performance by Oregon State reliever Scott Schultz, who entered the game in the first inning trailing 3-0 with one out and pitched eight and two thirds spectacular innings, allowing just three hits, two runs and one earned run. The pitcher with the same name as the former LSU star from the 90's appeared to be the hero of the game for the Beavers, who were on the verge of forcing a deciding game Monday night for a berth in the Super Regional round when they scored five unanswered runs to wipe out LSU's lead and take a 5-3 advantage.
The Tigers needed a comeback, despite a fast start that saw their first four batters of the game reach base. Leadoff man Austin Nola walked and scored on a Mason Katz single and Raph Rhymes chased home Katz with a 2-run homer, the only one by any player in this weekend's tournament. Oregon State starter Taylor Starr only recorded one out when Jacoby Jones singled and was picked off first. OSU rallied to tie the game with single runs off Ryan Eades in the first, second and fourth innings. The Beavers took a 5-3 lead on Tyler Smith's two run single in the bottom of the sixth. However, Paul Mainieri's Tigers forced extra innings by scoring one run in the eighth on two errors by third baseman Ryan Dunn and another run in the ninth, when Alex Edward doubled to score Jared Foster, who had entered the game as a pinch runner for Ty Ross after he started the inning with a leadoff double. LSU reliever Nick Goody pitched a scoreless tenth inning to earn a save.
LSU now awaits the winner of the Coral Gables Regional winner, which will be decided Monday between #2 seed Central Florida and #4 seed Stony Brook.
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