2017 CWS Game 9: LSU Stays Alive With Victory

Game 11: LSU- 3, Oregon State- 1

WP: Alex Lange (10-5) LP: Jake Thompson (14-1) S: Zack Hess (4)

In what was expected to be a pitching duel between Oregon State’s RHP Jake Thompson (14-0, 1.84 ERA) and LSU’s Alex Lange (9-5, 3.08 ERA), and both delivered on that promise. Both starters threw into the seventh inning, but it was Lange who came out on top, with LSU winning 3-1.

After perfect first innings from both Thompson and Lange, LSU strung together three consecutive hits to begin the second, with third baseman Josh Smith driving in the first run for the Tigers with an RBI single. An RBI sacrifice bunt from designated hitter Beau Jordan plated the second run for the Tigers, but from there, Thompson was able to retire the next two batters to limit the damage to two runs for LSU. Lange threw a 1-2-3 bottom of the second, and LSU took their 2-0 lead to the third inning.

Oregon State grabbed their first baserunners in the third inning, loading the bases against Lange with two outs for right fielder Trevor Larnach, who walked to drive in the first run of the day for Oregon State. Lange then struck out first baseman KJ Harrison to retire the side in the third, with LSU leading 2-1. Thompson and Lange both settled in from, both throwing scoreless fourth, fifth and sixth innings for their respective teams, and the score held at 2-1 in favor of LSU after six innings.

Leading off the seventh inning, Smith drove a Thompson fastball over the right field wall into the LSU bullpen for a solo home run, extending the Tiger lead to 3-1. After Thompson retired the next two batters, he was lifted in favor of LHP Max Engelbrekt, who allowed a two-out infield single, but nothing further in the top of the seventh. Lange returned to the mound for LSU in the bottom of the seventh, retired the side in order, and after retiring Oregon State center fielder Steven Kwan on a groundout, Lange was pulled for the LSU closer, RHP Zack Hess. Hess struck out both second baseman Nick Madrigal and Larnach to end things in the eighth inning, with LSU still leading 3-1.

LSU loaded the bases in the ninth inning, but was unable to capitalize and add to their lead. Hess returned to the mound, and struck out Harrison, retired left fielder Jack Anderson on a flyout to left field, and struck out designated hitter Tyler Malone to save the game, and give LSU the 3-1 victory.

Win the win, LSU forces another game tomorrow against Oregon State, the winner of which will advance to the CWS finals beginning Monday evening and win bracket one of the 2017 CWS. The start time of that game is to be determined based on the outcome of the TCU vs. Florida matchup.

 

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