Late Rallies Put Tigers Within Game of Title, 7-6

Mikie Mahtook got clutch hits in the 10th and 11th.
Mikie Mahtook got clutch hits in the 10th and 11th. (@LSUsports) (@LSUsports)
LSU Sports Interactive

OMAHA, Neb. -- After second baseman DJ LeMahieu erased a 6-4 deficit with a two-out RBI double in the ninth, centerfielder Mikie Mahtook laced a two-out RBI single in the 11th  to give top-ranked LSU a 7-6 victory over Texas in game 1 of the National Championship series Monday night at Rosenblatt Stadium.

Freshman right-hander Matty Ott (4-2) earned the win for LSU, throwing three shutout innings between the ninth and eleventh, allowing no hits and striking out three.

“That was one of the most courageous, never-say-die, resilient effort out of one of my teams in 27 years of coaching,” LSU head coach Paul Mainieri said. “It was a total team effort for the ages.”

The Tigers (55-16) will face Texas (49-15-1) Tuesday night at 6 p.m. CT. An LSU win will clinch a sixth national championship and its first since 2000.

Game 2 will be televised on ESPN-HD and will be aired on the LSU Sports Radio Network (WDGL 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge). Live audio and stats can be accessed in the Geaux Zone at

LSU’s bullpen of Chad Jones, Paul Bertuccini and Ott allowed no hits in the final five innings in relief of starter Louis Coleman.

“Our bullpen has been fantastic the last month of the season,” Mainieri said. “It was great to see the rest of the guys pick up Coleman and rally around him, because he had a pretty tough outing.”

Coleman pitched six innings and allowed six runs on nine hits, including five solo homers, while striking out six.

Offensively, the Tigers were led by a 2-for-4 performance by LeMahieu, who also had three RBI and scored twice. Rightfielder Jared Mitchell also had two hits, including a two-RBI triple.

LSU wasted no time getting on the scoreboard as leftfielder Ryan Schimpf, the second batter of the game, blasted the second pitch from Texas starter Chance Ruffin over the wall in right center to put the Tigers up 1-0. It was Schimpf’s 22nd homer of the season and his third in the College World Series.

After notching only one hit through the first three innings, Texas tied the score in the fourth with a solo home run by second baseman Travis Tucker to tie the score at 1-1.

Two batters later, designated hitter Russell Moldenhauer crushed a ball off one of the flagpoles in centerfield to give the Longhorns a 2-1 advantage. It was only the second homer of the year for Moldenhauer.

Texas right fielder Kevin Keyes belted the Longhorns’ third solo homer in the inning two batters later, giving Texas a 3-1 lead. It was the first time a team has hit three homers in an inning at the College World Series since June 1, 1998, when LSU hit three against Mississippi State.

In the sixth, Ruffin left the game with two outs and Blake Dean on third and Micah Gibbs on first, giving way to left-handed reliever Austin Wood. The next batter, Jared Mitchell, hit a triple to left-center field, scoring Dean and Gibbs, tying the score at 3-3.

Ruffin threw 5.2 innings and allowed three runs on five hits with one walk, while tying a season-high with 10 strikeouts.

The Longhorns responded in the bottom of the frame when Moldenhauer launched his second solo homer of the game off Coleman, putting Texas back on top 4-3.

Texas made the score 5-3 when Keyes crossed the plate on a wild pitch by Coleman. The senior right-hander ended the sixth by striking out leftfielder Preston Clark with a runner on third.

The Tigers pulled the score within one in the seventh when second baseman DJ LeMahieu pounded a solo homer over the wall in center to make the score 5-4.

In the bottom of the frame, Texas blasted their fifth solo homer off the game, this time off the bat of centerfielder Connor Rowe, to put the Longhorns ahead 6-4.

Jones entered the game for Coleman after Rowe’s homer and retired the Longhorns in order, striking out first baseman Brandon Belt to end the inning.

The Tigers erased a 6-4 deficit with two outs in the ninth when LeMahieu laced a double down the left field line scoring Leon Landry and Derek Helenihi, tying the score at 6-6 heading to the bottom of the ninth.

After Ott got out of the ninth unscathed, the Tigers loaded the bases in the tenth, but Texas right-hander Brandon Workman entered the game with one out and struck out Helenihi and Tyler Hanover to end the LSU threat.

In the 11th, Ott struck out shortstop Brandon Loy and Maitland before forcing Rowe to ground out to Hanover at second base to end the game.

Men’s College World Series Notes MCWS Championship Finals Game 1 - June 22, 2009
LSU 7, Texas 6 (11 innings)    
Attendance: 23,019 (2009 Series Total-294,219; Avg.-22,632)

  • The seven combined homers (UT 5, LSU 2) broke the MCWS Championship Finals single-game record. The previous mark was four (Fresno State, 3; Georgia 1) set on June 23, 2008.
  • The seven homers were the most in any MCWS game since June 9, 2001, when Southern California (6) and Georgia (1) also combined for seven homers. The seven combined homers ranks fifth on MCWS single-game charts (complete list is on page 88).
  • Prior to tonight, the last team to hit three homers in an inning at the MCWS was LSU against Mississippi State on June 1, 1998.
  • It is the third extra-inning game of the MCWS, the most extra-inning games since 1994 (MCWS record is four set in 1960 and 1972). Six of the eight teams in the MCWS have been in at least one extra-inning game.
  • The 11-inning game is the longest ever MCWS Championship Finals game, topping the 10-inning game between Rice and Stanford on June 21, 2003.
  • Texas is now 7-5 all-time in extra-inning games at the MCWS, matching Arizona State for the most extra-inning games all-time. LSU is 2-1, as tonight’s game was the Tigers’ first extra-inning game at the MCWS since 1987.
  • The team that has won the first game of the MCWS has won four of the six previous titles. The only two times it didn’t happen was in 2006 (Oregon State) and 2008 (Fresno State).
  • Tonight’s time of 4:08 marks the fourth game of at least four hours in the 2009 MCWS.
  • Tonight’s game was the fourth one-run game of the 2009 MCWS, marking the fifth straight year of at least four one-run games at the MCWS.
  • Texas and LSU lead the 2009 MCWS field with 11 homers each, as they have combined for 22 of the 40 homers hit through 13 MCWS games.


  • The Tigers have now won a season-high 14 consecutive games following tonight’s win and have not lost since a 4-1 loss to Vanderbilt in the opening round of the SEC Tournament on May 21.
  • With tonight’s win, LSU can win its sixth national title on Tuesday night against Texas. LSU is 5-0 when playing for a national title in program history.
  • With tonight’s win, LSU improves to 34-19 (.642) in its 15 MCWS appearances, a winning percentage that ranks third in MCWS history.
  • With a 9-0 record, LSU remains perfect in this year’s NCAA Tournament. No team has gone undefeated through the entire NCAA Tournament since the MCWS Championship Series was established in 2003. The last team to go undefeated in the NCAA Tournament was Miami in 2001, as the Hurricanes also went 9-0 in the NCAA Tournament. LSU can become the first team to ever go 10-0 in the NCAA Tournament.
  • LSU has not committed an error in its last four games, the longest stretch without an error this year. No NCAA champion has ever went an entire MCWS without committing an error.
  • LSU is now 25-3 when hitting two or more homers in a game this season.
  • With tonight’s win, LSU leads the nation with 55 wins and will finish the year with the most wins of any program.
  • Ryan Schimpf belted his 38th career homer in the first inning against Texas to rank 10th on LSU’s career homers list. Schimpf, who was 1-for-5 tonight, is hitting .444 (16-for-36) with five homers and 12 RBIs in the NCAA Tournament.
  • DJ LeMahieu is hitting .474 (9-for-19) with eight runs scored in the NCAA Tournament.
  • LSU scored six of seven runs in two-out situations and now has 16 two-out RBIs in the MCWS of its 39 runs. The Tigers are hitting .400 (22-for-55) in two-out situations at the MCWS.
  • LSU has scored in the first inning of all four of its MCWS games and has outscored its opponents 65-31 in the opening inning of games this season. LSU is now (27-3) when scoring in the first inning of a game and (43-6) when scoring first this season.
  • Tonight’s win by the Tigers marked their second win of the season when trailing after eight innings. LSU was just 1-13 when trailing after eight innings before tonight’s comeback.
  • Prior to tonight, LSU had trailed for only a half inning at the MCWS (LSU led Virginia 3-2 after fourth inning; Virginia scored two in top of the fifth before LSU scored three in the bottom half of the inning).
  • LSU has now hit 105 home runs on the season, the most by an LSU team since hitting 157 in 1998.
  • This is LSU’s longest game of the season (previous high was a 10-innings game against Baylor on May 30. It is LSU’s longest game since a 15-inning victory over New Orleans on May 13, 2008. 
  • With six strikeouts tonight, Louis Coleman now has 299 career strikeouts, a total which ranks 10th on LSU’s career list. Coleman’s 127 innings is the most by a Tiger pitcher since 2002 (Lane Mestepey, 142.1 IP)
  • The two-run deficit after Texas’ three homers marked LSU’s biggest deficit since the opening game of the Baton Rouge Super Regional on June 5.
  • The five homers allowed by LSU’s Louis Coleman ties his season high. He also allowed three against Mississippi State on May 15. Coleman, who allowed six runs over six innings, was 3-0 with a 1.99 ERA in his first four NCAA Tournament appearances. Coleman has now fanned 27 and walked three over 28.2 innings of work in this year’s NCAA Tournament. 
  • The five homers by LSU pitching ties a season high, as the Tigers allowed five homers to Alabama on April 12.


  • Tonight’s loss was Texas’ first this season when leading after eight innings. The Longhorns were 39-0 when taking a lead into the ninth inning.
  • The loss snapped Texas’ eight-game win streak at the MCWS, which was the  longest streak since Miami won eight consecutive games between 1999 and 2001. Texas will face its first elimination game at the MCWS on Tuesday, but the Longhorns are 1-0 in elimination games, defeating TCU in the third game of the Super Regional.
  • The Longhorns fell to 81-54 all-time at the MCWS, as Texas leads all programs in MCWS in wins (81) and games played (135)
  • Texas’ five homers breaks the single-game MCWS Championship Finals record of three, set by Fresno State against Georgia on June 23, 2008.
  • Texas’ five homers ties for fifth all-time in a MCWS game and is the most by any team in the MCWS since Southern California hit six against Georgia on June 9, 2001.
  • Texas’ five homers was a season high, topping the previous best of three set three times (at Oklahoma State, 4/3; at Baylor, 5/2; vs. Arizona State, 6/19). It is its highest single-game homer total since belting five against Alabama A&M on May 14, 2008. Texas’ single-game record for homers is six.  The Longhorns have hit 17 homers in 10 NCAA Tournament games after hitting 33 during the regular season.
  • The five solo homers by Texas is one shy of the MCWS record for solo homers in a game. LSU hit six solo homers against Southern California on 5/30/98.
  • Texas extended its national lead for sacrifices to 103 with its ninth-inning sacrifice against LSU. The Longhorns have had 27 sacrifices in 10 NCAA games.
  • The two homers by Russell Moldenhauer marked his first career two-homer game and the fourth by a Texas player in 2009 (Cameron Rupp vs. Arizona State, June 16; Michael Torres vs. TCU on June 6; Connor Rowe at Oklahoma State on April 3). It is 57th time in MCWS history that a player has hit two homers in a single MCWS game.
  • Russell Moldenhauer is the second player to hit two homers in a MCWS Championship Finals. He joins Fresno State’s Steve Detwiler, who hit two against Georgia on June 25, 2008.
  • Prior to Russell Moldenhauer, the last MCWS player to hit his first two homers of the MCWS was Stanford’s Jonny Ash in 2003.
  • Before tonight, the last time Texas hit three homers in an inning was against Quinnipiac on June 3, 2005 (3rd inning).
    Chance Ruffin’s 10 strikeouts matches his season high set against Oklahoma on April 18th. It is fourth time that Ruffin has struck out at least 10 hitters in a game this season.
  • Texas has accounted for nearly half of its offense via the home run, as 13 of the Longhorns’ 27 runs in Omaha have been off homers. Before the sixth-inning wild pitch that scored Kevin Keyes, Texas’ last six runs had come on solo homers, dating back to the ninth inning of the win over Arizona State on June 19.
  • Texas is (11-0) when hitting two homers in a game this season.
  • Austin Wood made his 40th appearance of the season, a total which ties Arizona’s Jason Stoffel for the national lead. He extends his own record with 117 career appearances and is the sixth Texas pitcher to appear in at least 40 games in a season
  • Texas falls to 3-2-1 in extra-inning games this season
  • Texas was just 1-13 with running on base against LSU and is hitting .190 (12-for-63) with runners on base in its four games at the MCWS.

NCAA Men’s College World Series
Game 13: LSU vs. Texas Post-Game Press Conference Quotes
Hall of Fame Room, Rosenblatt Stadium
Monday, June 22, 2009

LSU head coach Paul Mainieri:
(opening statement):  “Hard to describe the emotions I feel about this game, but I am going to try.  This was the most courageous
never say die resolve that I’ve ever seen from one of my teams in 27 years of coaching. That was the definition of team effort and it will be what I reference when I talk to teams in the future about team effort.”

(about talking to Coleman on the mound):  “I went out to Coleman and said, at least they’re solo home runs.  I told my hitters we’re going to have to hit to win the ballgame, but the way the ball was flying around the park I had confidence that we would win.”

(about his bullpen):  “Matty Ott was the key to this game, coming in and tossing three closeout innings. That was great, but they were all great.  Jones coming in and throwing an inning, Bertuccini and of course Matty.  Our bullpen has been maligned this season, I’m not sure it has been deserved.  Our bullpen has been a great asset over the last three months of the season.”

LSU 2B/SS DJ LeMahieu
(about how much Texas’ close games in the series affected your mindset):  “We heard about what they’ve done, but we didn’t concern ourselves with that. We just knew we had to work hard and not give up.”

LSU relief pitcher Matty Ott
(about fatigue in the latter innings):  “I was feeling good the whole time. We practice and lift weights to keep conditioned. Throughout the season, I told myself that I need to be able to throw three to four innings because I might need to step in and throw later in the season.”

(about how much Texas’ close games in the series affected your mindset):  “You never know what’s going to happen. So we always prepare for a close game and get ourselves ready for whatever might happen.”

LSU outfielder Mikie Mahtook
(about cramping early in the game):  “After the inning, I got an IV in the dugout. Thankfully, we caught them before they got too bad.”

(about his hit in the the 11th inning):  “ He was throwing hard, and I saw that from the dugout . I made a point to put my foot down early and look for my pitch. He left one up, and I took it up the middle.”

Texas head coach Augie Garrido
(opening statement):  “It was an incredible game between two teams that were doing unbelievable things to win a game.  The team that lost the game was going to feel the wrath of baseball.  We were that team tonight.  It was an incredible performance by both teams.”

(about his thought process about the pitching decisions):  “In hindsight, if I could take the cards back, I might do that.  The decisions I made managing pitching did not work out.”

Texas designated hitter Russel Moldenhauer
(about his two home runs in tonight’s game):  “They went out of the park. I was feeling good and relaxed at the plate. I was putting a good swing on it. I felt good.”

Texas pitcher Chance Ruffin
(about if the decision to take him out was related to cramps):  “My calf was cramping, but that is not what took me out. I was feeling fine, and I fought through. Taking me out was just the decision that was made.”




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