LSU's path to Omaha got a little bit easier Sunday night. The Tigers defeated Southern Miss 6-4 in the Baton Rouge Regional to advance to the Super Regional, which they will host due to Florida State's upset of Georgia.
Entering the postseason LSU was the No. 14 national seed and paired with No. 3 Georgia, but since Florida State eliminated Georgia, LSU is the highest remaining seed of the two groups and will host the best-of-three series against the Seminoles.
Game one will be played on June 8 at 2 p.m. and aired on ESPN while game two is scheduled for 5 p.m. on June 9 on ESPN2. Game three if necessary will be on June 10 at 7:30 p.m. and air on ESPN.
LSU was on the ropes once again in the Baton Rouge Regional championship game, and once again the Tigers were able to get out of it.
“I think a lot of people forget that we were the preseason No. 1 team,” said junior shortstop Josh Smith, who hit a leadoff home run in the first inning and a two-RBI triple in the second to give LSU a 3-0 lead. “This team is a really good team, and some guys are getting healthy again, Marceaux is getting healthy again. It’s given us that whole confidence.
“We were down one run [to Southern Miss], and I don’t think anybody in the dugout thought we were losing that game”.
LSU last played Florida State in the College World Series in 2017, defeating the Seminoles 5-4 and 7-4. They advanced to College World Series Finals but fell in two games to Florida.
The first game against Florida State in Omaha that year is the first appearance of the rally beach ball. LSU trailed 4-3 in the bottom of the eighth inning when an inflatable beach ball wound up on the field in right field.
Then sophomore Antoine Duplantis hit a single into right field and a string of errors plagued the Seminoles, allowing senior Cole Freeman to score from first and Duplantis to reach third. Junior Greg Deichmann brought in Duplantis to give LSU the lead 5-4.
LSU hopes to create new memories against Florida State this time around and hopefully won’t need the help of an inflated plastic ball to do it. The Tigers are 11-5 in Super Regional play under Paul Mainieri with the only two series losses coming against Stony Brook in 2012 and Coastal Carolina in 2016.