OMAHA, NE (WAFB) - LSU fell 4-3 to Florida in game one of the College World Series Finals. The Gators were led by starting pitcher Brady Singer.
Singer struck out 12 Tigers, setting a CWS Finals record.
"We have them right where we want them," catcher Michael Papierski said after the 4-3 loss to Florida.
LSU lost by only one run and on paper, the pitching matchup was a major mismatch. Singer entered the game with 119 innings and is considered one of the best pitchers in the country. Russell Reynolds, on the other hand, had pitched only 14 innings all season long and had an ERA of 8.59.
Despite all of that, LSU hung in there. However, some tough calls at second base in the end led to the 4-3 loss.
"We had a couple of situations that we, maybe if we had been able to take more advantage of, maybe we could have even overcome it," said LSU head coach Paul Mainieri. "But, when you think about the fact that we went up against one of the best pitchers in the country, I think the guy will be the first pick in the draft next year and we were having to piece it together with out bullpen guys, it was amazing to me that we were right there and had a chance to win."
"We were within three the whole game and got it all the way back to one run, then they kept us in the game the whole time and we had a chance to win, but we just couldn't get those big hits," said outfielder Antoine Duplantis. "We got, obviously, a few big hits, but we just couldn't push it over the edge."
"That's the team they are; you give a couple of things to them, they are going to take advantage of it," said second baseman Cole Freeman. "We're one win away and guess what, we're all in the same boat. We're feeling probably better than them. We know what we're about to get out of Jared. He knows it's his last start. He's going to give us everything he has and we're going to play the defense behind him, swing the bats, take our approaches to the plate again like we did tonight and I like our chances tomorrow."
Senior pitcher Jared Poche' of Lutcher will take the mound Tuesday night in a win-or-go-home game for the Tigers.
After game one, Mainieri said the only person besides Poche' he'd want on the mound would be Alex Lange and if Poche' can get the job done to force a game three, then Lange will get his shot on Wednesday.
The first pitch of game two is scheduled to be thrown at 7 p.m. on ESPN.
6th Inning: Tigers strike for 2 runs
Antoine Duplantis home run to right field (3-1)
Zach Watson hit by pitch
Josh Smith walked
Beau Jordan single to left field, Watson scored (3-2)
8th Inning: Tigers score 1 more
Greg Deichmann double to left field
Josh Smith single to right-center thrown out at 2nd, Deichmann scored (4-3)
Tiger starter Russell Reynolds went 3.1 innings, giving up three runs, two hits, three walks and two strikeouts.
Nick Bush replaced Reynolds and pitched 3.1 innings, giving up one run, three hits and two strikeouts.
Hunter Newman pitched 2.1 innings, giving up one hit, two walks and one strike out.
LSU catcher Michael Papierski with the cannon, throwing out two Gator base runners attempting to steal second.
Deichmann and Duplantis led the hitting attack for LSU with two hits apiece.