Tigers Look To Bounce Back Against UNC and Stave Off Elimination From CWS

Paul Augustin, Jr.Senior Analyst IJune 19, 2008

Editor's Note: This game, which was originally scheduled for Thursday night, has been postponed due to rain until Friday night at 6 pm CT.  The game was postponed with UNC leading LSU 2-0 with the bases loaded and one out in the top of the first inning.


The LSU Tigers will face the UNC Tar Heels tonight in the College World Series.  The game is a rematch of Sunday's match-up, which the Tarheels won 8-4.  The loser of this game goes home, and the winner faces Fresno State (2-0). 

LSU will send junior left-hander Blake Martin (5-3) to the mound.  The Tigers are counting on Martin to get off to a strong start.  The Tigers' pitching staff gave up 17 hits in Sunday's game against the Tar Heels. 

UNC will start freshman right-hander Matt Harvey, who is 7-2.

The Tigers look to carry over the momentum from Tuesday's thrilling 6-5 victory over Rice.  LSU won on a walk-off three-run double by designated hitter Blake Dean.  The Tigers had trailed the Owls 5-2 heading into the bottom of the ninth inning. 

This situation the Tigers face now is similar to what they faced last week against UC-Irvine.  LSU trailed by three runs heading into the ninth inning in an elimination game only to stage an epic comeback.  The momentum from that game carried over to the next day.  The Tigers scored six runs in the first inning and never looked back in winning 21-7 to eliminate UC-Irvine and advance.

At the plate, the Tigers are led by First Team All-American Designated Hitter Blake Dean, national home run leader (27) and first baseman Matt Clark, and senior third baseman Michael Hollander.

Hollander and Clark each led off an inning with a home run in the first game against UNC.

The Tar Heels are led by a trio of sophomores. First baseman Dustin Ackley and right fielder Tim Fedroff each are hitting above .400 this season, and second baseman Kyle Seager leads the team with 75 RBI.

Ackley, Fedroff and Seager combined to score five runs and record eight hits in the win against the Tigers.

If the Tigers win tonight, the SEC will be 4-1 this year in the CWS.  Georgia is 2-0 and will play Stanford.  Stanford eliminated #1 Miami who went down quietly 8-3. 

The ACC sent three teams to the College World Series, but two have already been eliminated with a third on the brink.  Second-seeded Florida State was the first team eliminated with losses to Stanford and Miami.