Da Boot Sports
By: David Penn
HATTIESBURG, MS - Are you not entertained? The Cardiac Cats from Baton Rouge pulled off a comeback for the ages when LSU erased a seven run deficit in the eighth inning to beat the Kennesaw State Owls 14-11.
LSU started the bottom of the eighth facing an 11-4 hole, but ended up tying their largest postseason comeback.
Jack Myers did not start for Kennesaw State, but threw 5.1 innings for the Owls and held LSU in check until the eighth inning when his pitch count exceeded 100 pitches.
Ma’Khail Hilliard got the start for LSU and went 2.2 innings for the Tigers. Hilliard allowed five runs on five hits, walked
two batters, and recorded two Ks.
Riley Cooper came out in relief and pitched the next two innings. Cooper would surrender six runs on five hits, walking one
with two strikeouts.
Devin Fontenot was brilliant on the mound for the Tigers, whizzing fast balls in for strikes while earning six strikeouts in his 3.1 innings of work. Fontenot entered the game for LSU in the fourth inning, needing a big out that he would get. He then proceeded to shut down the Owls' batters for the next three innings, giving up two hits but allowed no runs.
Paul Gervase would pitch the final inning for the Bayou Bengals allowing no runs on one hit, while striking out one batter.
The first batter up in the home half of the eighth inning was Josh Stevenson who drew a walk. Dylan Crews was up next
and reached when Myers hit Crews in the elbow. Next, Jacob Berry would single and score Stevenson. Josh Pearson would then single to bring Crews home. Jordan Thompson followed with a double to left field, scoring Berry. At that point Kennesaw State head coach Ryan Coe finally pull Mayers, who had thrown 109 pitches. LSU was trailing at this point 11-7.
Tre’ Morgan would welcome the new Owls pitcher to the game with a two RBI single scoring Pearson and Thompson. Cade Doughty would then single, moving Morgan over to second base. The Owls again called for a pitching change with LSU now trailing 11-9.
Tyler McManus drew a walk that loaded the bases before his fellow Slidellian Brayden Jobert would ground into a fielder’s choice that scored Morgan and move Doughty to third base. McManus was forced out at second and Jobert was safe at first base. The Tigers now only trailed by one, 11-10 with runners on the corners. Stevenson drew his second walk of the inning which again loaded the bases for Dylan Crews to do Dylan Crews things. Crews crushed a two RBI double to give the Tigers the lead 12-11.
The Owls would then intentionally walk Berry to have the force at each base, but Pearson again drilled a single that
scored Stevenson and Crews providing the final margin of the game, as the Tigers win in thrilling fashion, 14-11.
LSU will move on to face the hosting Southern Miss Golden Eagles at 6:00pm CT, while the Kennesaw State Owls will face Army in an elimination game at Noon.