Red-hot Nick Coomes spearheaded the LSU baseball offensive attack in the first round of the Corvallis Regional, leading the No. 2-seed Tigers to a 6-4 win over No. 3 San Diego State on Friday afternoon.
Despite being the No. 5 hitter in the LSU batting order, the senior catcher led off three different innings with hits. Coomes finished 3 for 4 with 2 runs.
The key inning
The Tigers broke open a 3-3 tie with a 3-run sixth inning.
Coomes led off the inning with a single on an 0-2 pitch, then got into scoring position on a wild pitch before scoring on a Jake Slaughter single up the middle.
Back-to-back RBI singles from Zach Watson and Antoine Duplantis padded the lead.
Nick Bush, Devin Fontenot preserve LSU bullpen
For LSU, simply beating San Diego State wasn’t enough. With starting pitchers Ma’Khail Hilliard and AJ Labas unavailable for regionals because of injury, the Tigers have to be as economical as possible with their pitching staff if they are to advance this postseason.
Starter Nick Bush and reliever Devin Fontenot combined to go deep enough to give their team a chance.
Bush got a no-decision, allowing 3 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks in 5 innings. Fontenot picked up the win, giving up 1 run on 2 hits while striking out 4 Aztecs.
Fontenot wriggled out of a jam in his final inning, catching Dean Nevarez looking on a 3-2 pitch to end the eighth. Nevarez represented the tying run.
Todd Peterson worked a clean ninth inning to earn the save.
What’s next for LSU baseball?
The Tigers face the winner of the Friday night game between No. 1 Oregon State and No. 4 Northwestern State on at 9 p.m. CT Saturday. LSU ace Zack Hess will get the start for the Tigers.