Walter Pierce

Wow! Tigers win tilt for the ages to take one-game lead in CWS

by Walter Pierce

In arguably one of the most exciting games in College World Series-final history, the LSU Tigers won a see-saw contest 7-6 over the Texas Longhorns in Omaha, Neb., Monday night to take game one in the best-of-three series. The Longhorns, known for a small ball game of sacrifice bunts and pinch hitters, played gorilla ball against the Bengals, scoring five of their six runs on solo homers blasted over the furrowed, forlorn brow of starting Tiger pitcher Louis Coleman.

The Tigers chased the horned cows most of the game after clinging to a 1-0 lead for three and a half innings. In the bottom of the fourth the Texas bats got uncharacteristically hot, and until extra innings began in the top of the tenth, the Tigers played a game of nail biting come-from-behind baseball, scoring two in the top of the ninth to tie the game 6-6 and keep hope alive.

In the tenth, the Tigers left the bases loaded without crossing the plate. But the Bengals held the Longhorns in the bottom of the tenth, and in the top of the eleventh with runners on the corners, St. Thomas More alumnus Mikie Mahtook slapped a single over second base to drive in the go-ahead run. The hit was atonement for the freshman, who had struck out swinging in his first three at-bats. LSU reliever Matty Ott held the Longhorns scoreless in the final three innings to ice the win for the Tigers, who take a 1-0 lead in this best-of-three series. The 11-inning contest lasted four hours and 18 minutes.

The teams square off again Tuesday evening at Rosenblatt Stadium for game two. A Tiger win will clinch LSU's sixth national championship. Game three, if necessary, will be Wednesday.