Information provided by LSU Sports
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) – After giving up a three-run lead in the top of the fifth, No. 21 Rice answered with six straight runs to force an NCAA Regional deciding game against fifth-ranked LSU, 10-6 late Monday at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
LSU (44-19) and Rice (38-23) will square off at 4 p.m. CT on Tuesday to determine which will advance to the best-of-three NCAA Super Regional series.
The game will be televised by ESPNU, and it will be streamed live on ESPN3.com, accessible at WatchESPN.com and the Watch ESPN app.
The game will be broadcast on the LSU Sports Radio Network beginning with the pregame show at 3:30 p.m. CT.
Owls top reliever Glenn Otto (10-2) entered with Monday’s game with the score tied at 4-4 in the fifth inning to end LSU’s three-run rally and proceeded to stifle the Tigers the first time through the order. By the time LSU saw Otto for the second time, Rice led 10-4.
Riley Smith (2-1) took the loss in relief of LSU starter Caleb Gilbert, who allowed three runs on four hits in two innings. Smith gave up three runs on three hits in 2.1 innings.
“Obviously, it’s a tough loss for us tonight,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “We just had a tough time stopping them. We had a couple of tough breaks early offensively that kept us from scoring some runs. We just let some opportunities get away from us, and we just couldn’t stop them in the middle innings. Hopefully, tomorrow night will be a different story.”
Shortstop Kramer Robertson and centerfielder Jake Fraley each went 4-for-5 with two runs and two RBI for LSU, as LSU pounded 15 hits but left 12 on base.
Robertson’s two-run home run in the fifth pulled the Tigers within a run, 4-3. Later, Michael Papierski drew a bases-loaded walk that scored Jordan Romero to tie the game. Otto entered and forced a fielder’s choice from Cole Freeman.
After Rice responded with three runs in the bottom of the fifth to lead 7-4, Otto worked around a one-out double by Jake Fraley in the sixth and a two-out single by Chris Reid in the seventh.
Trailing 10-4 with one out in the eighth, Fraley hit a two-run home run to right field before Robertson and Deichmann both singled. However, Otto halted the rally with a fielder’s choice and a popout.
Earlier Monday, Rice eliminated Southeastern Louisiana, 15-0, in a game that was delayed 1 hour, 37 minutes, in the eight inning. The Baton Rouge Regional has been plagued by rain, with delays each day since Friday.