LSU scored all four of its runs in Sunday’s NCAA regional win against Rice via a grand-slam home run by Greg Deichmann.
That sentence in itself is spectacular, but it doesn’t stop there.
Deichmann’s game-changing hit wasn’t just your garden variety grand slam — it was an ultra-rare, inside-the-park grand slam. One that didn’t even reach the outfield wall.
With a little help from a bench down the right field line and a mental mistake by a right fielder who was unsure of what to do amid the chaos, Deichmann touched all four bases on what appeared to be a double down the line off his bat.
“Threw a cureveball and saw it pop up out of his hand and I turned on it down the line,” Deichmann said, describing the play to The Advocate’s Ross Dellenger. “I saw the first baseman’s mitt go up. As soon as it bounced, I was digging for a double. I saw it heading for the tarp. I picked up (third base coach) Nolan (Cain), and he was waving me all the way.”
As the ball rolled underneath LSU’s bench, Rice’s right fielder did the correct thing in throwing his hands up to signal that he was obstructed from retrieving the ball. His mistake came when he decided to go to the bench and reach for the ball anyway.
All four of LSU’s base runners found their way to home plate, and the ball was never successfully retrieved.
After some discussion with LSU coach Paul Mainieri, the umpires decided to overrule the original call of ground-rule double to award Deichmann all four bases.
“The rules are very clearly stated — if you go for the ball it becomes live,” Mainieri said in the postgame news conference, via Dellenger.
The first-inning excitement provided all of the runs necessary for the Tigers to beat the Owls during the NCAA Tournament’s Baton Rouge Regional, as Tigers pitcher Alex Lange turned in eight strong innings for the victory.
Here’s a final look at tonight’s win over Rice. pic.twitter.com/WIFsDQTYBz
— LSU Baseball (@LSUbaseball) June 6, 2016