LSU Wins Again, Pressure Shifts Towards Wake Forest
The LSU Tigers did it again. Facing elimination for the second straight night, the Tigers pulled another rabbit out of their baseball caps.
Tuesday night Nate Ackenhausen & Riley Cooper combined to blank Tennessee 5-0. On Wednesday, lefty Griffin Herring, the third LSU pitcher in the 2nd inning no less, threw 4.2 shutout innings with Cade Beloso providing the thump, a big 3-run, home run in the 3rd inning, that proved to be the difference in the game. LSU went on to beat Wake Forest 5-2.
And just like that, all of the pressure has shifted from LSU to Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons beat LSU 3-2 in the second game of the College World Series, forcing LSU to go through the ‘losers bracket’. Instead of Wake finishing them off, the Tigers went all crane technique and forced the ‘if necessary’ game Thursday night.
(PS Had absolutely no idea today was the 39th anniversary of the Karate Kid)
All of a sudden LSU has won two straight games.
LSU’s offense has scored 10 runs in the last two games
Wake Forest’s offense has scored 8 runs total in the College World Series
And now it appears, LSU will have the best pitcher in the country, Paul Skenes, on the mound with a chance to send them to the Championship Series against the awaiting Florida Gators.
Wake will counter with right-hander Rhett Lowder, who isn’t exactly chump change. While MLB.com ranks Skenes as their 2nd best prospect, behind teammate Dylan Crews, of course, Lowder is ranked 8th.
Lowder comes into the game with a perfect 15-0 record with a 1.99 ERA. He’s struck out 137 batters in 113.1 innings. Those are impressive numbers. They are not Paul Skenes numbers.
Skenes is 13-2 with a 1.81 ERA and while throwing almost the same amount of innings as Lowder, 114.2, the LSU righty has struck 200 batters.
It certainly has the making of an instant classic. Skenes, the power pitcher with a massive breaking ball vs Lowder, who can throw it where he wants to and has an outstanding changeup.
Nonetheless, all of the pressure is now on Wake Forest. They beat LSU early in Omaha and their offense has struggled all week. Meanwhile, the Tigers are playing with house money with Wake Forest having to beat the house, which tonight, is Paul Skenes.