The monkey is finally off LSU baseball's back after winning their first game in TD Ameritrade Park. With a complete game performance from Alex Lange, and a barrage of hits, the Tigers avoided elimination with their 5-3 win over Cal State Fullerton.
"Great ballgame," coach Paul Mainieri said. "Obviously the story of the game was this young right-handed pitcher on our team who has been just absolutely terrific all year."
Alex Lange gave up three runs in the first inning, but quickly found his groove in the second and allowed just two hits the rest of the game, while striking out 10.
"If you would have told me that I would go out there and throw a perfect game, I would have told you you're crazy," Alex Lange said. "Adversity is going to come in baseball, that's how the game is designed. They capitalized on some opportunities, so I just had to regroup and settle down."
Lange received a big boost in the Tigers' four-run third inning, in which LSU belted out six singles to take a 4-3 lead.
"It was great to swing the bats well, and put some runs up early in the game," Chris Sciambra said. "We fell behind but nobody panicked in the dugout. We chipped away, we had that big inning and we kept it going."
Paul Mainieri's lineup changes paid off in a big way. Alex Bregman hit leadoff for just the third time ever, and went 4-5. Kade Scivicque, Chris Sciambra and Mark Laird combined for seven more hits in their new spots in the batting order.
"I just wanted to be a sparkplug for out guys," Alex Bregman said. "I felt our offense just needed a spark. I think Kade did a great job of driving in that first run to really get us going. Then Sciambra came up with another big hit, then Laird, and a bunch of guys contributed. It's coming, we're going to be back to playing baseball the way we know how to play if we just keep taking it one pitch at a time."
Jake Fraley added, "Whenever Coach Mainieri makes those changes, we trust him because we're bought I to what he does. That's why he's the coach he is, why he has been so successful. We're bought I to what he does, and making those lineup changes obviously helped."
Sciambra added, "It feels great, no better time to do it. We're headed for a roll, the next team that plays us, we'll be ready for them, and we'll play well.
The Tigers will find out later tonight who they play next in the loser of the Vanderbilt vs TCU nightcap. A possible meeting with the defending national champion or a rematch with the Horned Frogs will take place Thursday night.