Da Boot Sports
By: David Penn
HATTIESBURG, MS - The late inning heroics that punctuated back to back comebacks for LSU in its first two games in the Hattiesburg regional were not present on Sunday night.
LSU put up four runs early, but the Golden Eagles had answers and the game was tied after three innings.
USM would keep LSU off the scoreboard for the final six frames with Justin Storm pitching the final five innings earning seven Ks.
LSU pitched by committee, rolling out seven different Tiger hurlers. Bryce Collins was the most effective, allowing no hits or runs. All six of the other pitchers for LSU gave up at least one run. Sam Dutton and Riley Cooper pitched for the longest stretches with Dutton starting on the mound and pitching the first 2.1 innings and Cooper pulling 2.2 innings of middle relief.
Cade Doughty started the scoring off with a two run dinger in the first inning that scored Jacob Berry.
Doughty would score Crews again on a single in the third frame and Josh Pearson would score on a passed ball in the
same inning to finish out the scoring for the Tigers.
The Tigers and the Eagles will face off Monday at 3:00pm CT to determine the Hattiesburg regional champion. All eyes will be on the bullpens for both clubs with USM playing its fifth game of the regional and LSU now playing its fourth game of the regional.
Miami lost to Ole Miss and Arizona, so the winner of the Hattiesburg regional will host a super regional.
++POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE::
LSU Coach Jay Johnson
"Credit to Southern Miss and [Justin] Storm did a great job. I heard [Scott] Berry say somebody has to step up when you fall into the loser's bracket and he certainly did, so good to him and we'll just get ready to go tomorrow."
On Southern Miss pitcher Justin Storm...
"He did a nice job and had some deception. He got us out of our plan in the zone."
On LSU Pitching and Message to Team After Tonight's Loss...
"Tonight doesn't have anything to do with tomorrow unless the players let it and we will not do that. Our approach will be to get 27 outs as fast as we can with as few of guys from Southern Miss scoring. I don't really have an answer of what that looks like just yet, but we will by the time the bell rings tomorrow. We've answered the bell with failure before and did it very well, so it's not anything that's uncommon. I want them to be themselves and play in character."
On Mindset for Game Seven…
"The opportunity is to win three before you lose two and that's in front of us. There's nothing that you can do about tonight. There's no use in crying over spilled milk or whatever the saying is. I think we'll be ready to play tomorrow, and I have a lot of faith in our players."
LSU Second Baseman Cade Doughty
On Justin Storm...
"He was mixing it up pretty well and we kind of just got out of our plan. We gave him a lot of swings and misses on balls. You know, credit to him, but we just got out of our plan."
On Potential Comeback in Ninth Inning…
"I was just confident in our guys. I don't think the last two nights had anything to do with tonight. They were great, but we flipped a page really fast and I was just always confident. I didn't get it done this time, but we'll be ready tomorrow."