Greg Deichmann drove in the go-ahead run during a wild eighth inning, and LSU won its 17th straight game with a 5-4 victory over Florida State in the College World Series on Saturday night.
Jared Poche’ (11-3) worked 2 2/3 shutout innings in a rare relief appearance for the win. Tyler Holton (10-3), who pitched a workmanlike 7 1/3 innings, took the loss.
LSU (49-7) was down 4-3 when a bizarre sequence turned the game in the eighth. Cole Freeman reached on a base hit and Antoine Duplantis singled past diving second baseman Matt Henderson.
The ball rolled past Steven Wells, and the right fielder was off-target with his throw trying to get Duplantis at second. Freeman headed for home, and third baseman Dylan Busby’s throw to catcher Cal Raleigh popped out of his glove as Freeman slid past. There were three errors on the play — two on Wells and the other on Raleigh.
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Alec Byrd relieved Holton, and Deichmann singled through the right side against a pulled-in infield to bring home Duplantis for the lead.
The Seminoles (45-22) had runners on first and second in the ninth when Zack Hess ended the game with a strikeout of Busby.
Florida State got out to a quick 2-0 lead against starter Alex Lange, who labored in his six-plus innings. Lange walked Taylor Walls to start the game, and then Busby cleared the wall in dead center with his team-leading 15th homer of the season.
Lange, the No. 30 overall draft pick by the Chicago Cubs, had difficulty controlling his fastball, and the Seminoles had their leadoff man reach base in six of the first seven innings. Lange allowed seven hits, walked four and struck out eight before coming out when he hit 9-hole batter JC Flowers to start the seventh.
Poche’, the Tigers’ No. 2 starter most of the season, came on for his first relief appearance of the season with the Tigers trailing 4-3. He allowed two singles before giving way to Hess.
LSU’s first run scored on a freak play. Duplantis was stealing when Holton threw a wild pitch on what would go down as a dropped third strike. Duplantis took third on the play as Raleigh chased the ball and came home when Holton failed to cover the plate.
Michael Papierski homered into the seats above the left-field bullpen on Holton’s first pitch of the fifth inning to pull LSU to 4-3.
THAT’S A LONG ONE
Busby’s home run was only the second in TD Ameritrade Park’s seven seasons to clear the fence beneath the batter’s eye. Florida’s Peter Alonso is the other player to go deep to dead center, doing it against Virginia in the 2015 CWS. The FSU-LSU game was the 309th played at TD Ameritrade. Creighton also plays at the stadium.
RECORD ON-BASE STREAK
When he walked in the fifth inning, Walls broke the Florida State record by reaching base on 14 straight plate appearances. Paul Sorrento had reached base 13 straight times in 1985. Walls reached on walks eight times during his streak, and he now leads the country with 65. The streak ended in the seventh when he grounded out.
Poche’, who entered the game having been a starter in 68 of his 70 career appearances, was available for relief after coach Paul Mainieri decided former Arlington Martin standout Eric Walker would be the starter Monday.
Poche’, the Oakland Athletics’ ninth-round draft pick, was a viable option for relief against a Florida State lineup that has four switch hitters who are better from the left side. The senior left-hander was effective in his previous relief appearance, throwing six innings of one-hit shutout ball in last year’s regional final against Rice.
LSU advanced to a Bracket 1 winners’ game against Oregon State on Monday night. The Seminoles will play an elimination game against Cal State Fullerton in the afternoon