Information provided by LSU Sports
BATON ROUGE, LA - LSU rallied from a three-run deficit with a four-run eighth inning to defeat Mississippi State, 4-3, in the opening game of the 2017 NCAA Super Regional at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
Trailing 3-0 in the bottom of the eighth, LSU mounted an offensive threat and finally made it count after countless missed opportunities earlier in the contest. The Tigers won their 15th-straight game.
A leadoff walk to Kramer Robertson and a one-out single just over the shortstop's glove by Antoine Duplantis put runners on first and second for clean-up hitter Greg Deichmann. The Golden Spikes Award semifinalist laced a double into the left field corner to drive in two runs and narrow the deficit to 3-2.
State right-hander Riley Self (5-2) gave up an RBI single to Zack Watson, who crushed a 2-0 pitch to left field that tied the game at 3-3. Beau Jordan continued the rally with a perfectly executed hit-and-run single through the right side that put runners on first and third. Following an intentional walk to Smith that loaded the bases, Michael Papierski popped out to deep center field. Watson scored easily on the sacrifice fly and LSU took a 4-3 lead to the ninth.
Zack Hess (7-0), who entered for starter Alex Lange to end the Bulldogs' three-run eighth, finished off the ninth by working around a leadoff single which reached third with two outs. Hess struck out leadoff hitter Hunter Stovall on three pitches to send The Box into a frenzy.
Though he had no decision, Lange pitched a gem for the Tigers, which trailed 1-0 into the eighth inning on a first-inning bases-loaded hit-by-pitch. He credited with 7 2/3 innings pitched, allowing three runs on three hits with 10 strikeouts and six walks (two intentionally).
LSU (47-17) and Mississippi State (40-26) will play game 2 of the best-of-three series on Sunday at 8 p.m. CT. The game will be televised by ESPN2 or ESPNU, and broadcast on the LSU Sports Radio Network beginning at 7:30. The Tigers need one more win to advance ot the College World Series.