The Independent Staff

Tigers roar for national pride

The Louisiana State University and A&M College Tigers won the national collegiate baseball championship with an emphatic, no-doubt-about-it 11-4 win over the University of Texas at Austin Longhorns Wednesday night in a raucous Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Neb. It was LSU’s sixth College World Series championship and the first for Tiger skipper Paul Mainieri in this deciding best-of-three contest.

LSU got on the board first in the top of the first with a three-run homer by New Iberia native Jared Mitchell. But Tiger pitcher Anthony Ranaudo collapsed in the bottom of the third, allowing two Longhorn runs, including one on his third consecutive walk. Ranaudo would last six innings, allowing four runs on eight hits, but earned the win by virtue of his A&M College teammates' bats.

With the game tied at four apiece in the top of the sixth, the Tigers broke it open. St. Thomas More alumnus and freshman sensation Mikie Mahtook came through big for the Bengals, hitting a one-run double. Mahtook would later score on a sacrifice fly. Tigers 6, Longhorns 4. A base hit, two walks and two batters hit by pitch would give LSU three more runs in the sixth, all of them unearned, but all of them appreciated. Tigers 9, Longhorns 4.

In a nod of appreciation, Mainieri inserted Tiger ace Louis Coleman into the game in the eighth as closer. The SEC pitcher of the year and an all-American, Coleman bypassed the bigs to play one more season at LSU for a chance at Omaha. He had been lit up for five home runs in game one, but Wednesday night his decision paid off.

LSU added insurance runs in the top of the eighth and the ninth, but it was Mahtook’s RBI double in the sixth that proved the deciding hit.

Go Louisiana State University and A&M College Tigers, go!