BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Jared Poche' pitched shut out baseball into the eighth inning and All-American shortstop Alex Bregman broke an 0-for-14 NCAA Tournament slump with a two-out, two-run single to break open a close game leading LSU to a 6-3 Super Regional Championship Game victory over UL-Lafayette Sunday night.
The win for LSU (53-10) advances the top-ranked Tigers into a College World Series matchup against TCU or Texas A&M on Sunday in Omaha. The No. 2 seed LSU is paired with the No. 7 seeded Horned Frogs or their SEC rival Aggies if they prevail in Monday's Fort Worth Super Regional Championship.
Poche' scattered five hits over seven and two thirds innings and held a 5-0 lead with four outs to go when the Cajuns finally scored.
Senior catcher Kade Scivicque gave LSU a 1-0 lead in the top of the seventh with a solo home run to left field off Cajuns starter Gunner Leger. The UL-Lafayette freshman was dazzling early, striking out the side in the second inning and holding the Tigers scoreless for six innings, thanks in part to a couple of outstanding fourth inning catches by center fielder Kyle Clement to rob Jake Fraley and Alex Bregman of extra bases on back-to-back at bats.
However, Leger ran into trouble in the eighth inning when the Tigers put two runners on with two outs and Bregman came to the plate. The Albuquerque, New Mexico native, in what could be his final at bat for the Tigers in Baton Rouge, singled up the middle to score both runners and give Poche' a 3-0 lead, knocking Leger out of the game. Conner Hale greeted reliever Dylan Moore with a two run triple to the right field corner moments later, increasing the LSU lead to 5-0.
The teams traded runs to make it 6-1 going to the bottom of the ninth. Although UL-Lafayette (42-23) rallied for two runs, which was reminiscent of their come-from-behind victories at the Regional in Houston, it wasn't enough, as shortstop Blake Trahan popped up to first baseman Chris Chinea for the final out.
The Tigers celebrated with most of the 11,795 fans in attendance for the Super Regional Championship game.