- Gary Laney, Reporter, GeauxTigerNation
BATON ROUGE, La. – Mason Katz's RBI single in the bottom of the 12th Saturday morning lifted LSU to a 5-4 win over Stony Brook in the completion of the first game of a best-of-3 super regional suspended Friday by rain.
Overview: Katz, who homered in the 11th inning Friday to send the game to the 12th inning, singled in the 12th to plate Tyler Moore, who led off the 12th inning with a seeing-eye bloop single the fell between three Stony Brook players for a hit. After an Austin Nola sacrifice bunt and an intentional walk to JaCoby Jones, Katz lined a Frankie Vanderka pitch to left-center field for the winning run.
The two teams will meet again for Game 2 starting at 11:05 a.m. Kevin Gausman (12-1) who pitched the 12th inning to get the win, is scheduled to start the second game for LSU against Stony Brook ace Tyler Johnson (11-1).
Turning Point: LSU (47-16) scored a single run in the ninth, 10th, 11th and 12th innings, all off the Stony Brook (50-13) bullpen.
In the ninth, 10th and 11th, the Tigers stayed in the game with tying solo home runs by Jones, Moore and Katz off relievers James Campbell and Jasvir Rakkar. The Tigers, were outhit 14-9 but hit three home runs to two for Stony Brook.
The Seawolves bullpen could not hold a 2-1 lead built by starting pitcher Brandon McNitt, who pitched seven innings of three-hit ball, allowing one unearned run.
Key Player: Katz was mired in a 1-for-14 slump when his team-leading 12th home run of the season, a solo shot, tied the game at 4-4 in the 11th. He followed that with another solidly-struck ball for the game-winning hit an inning – and a day – later.
"It felt good to get the barrell on the bat," Katz said of his home run Friday.
He then lined the game-winner off a hanging breaking ball from Vanderka.
I wanted to get something early in the count to hit," said Katz of the game-winning hit. "The kid (Vanderka) has a great curve ball. He threw me a curve ball and left it up in the zone and that was it."
Key Stat: The two teams entered the game with a combined 72 home runs in 124 games, an average of .58 home runs per game. In game 1, they combined for five that accounted for six of the game's nine runs.
Until Jones' game-tying home run in the ninth, the difference in the game was Stony Brook's Sal Intagliata's two-run home run in the second inning off LSU starter Aaron Nola. After Jones tied it in the ninth, Stony Brook's Steven Goldstein homered in the top of the 10th off LSU's Chris Cotton to give Stony Brook a 3-2 lead until Moore answered in the bottom half of the inning.
Miscellaneous: Gausman pitched a 3-up, 3-down ninth in his first bullpen appearance of the season in 17 appearances. ... The game lasted four hours, 11 minutes. It went into a rain delay at 3:08 Friday and was eventually suspended because of persistent showers. ... LSU improved to 12-8 all-time in super regional games and 8-0 all-time in post-season extra-inning games. ... Stony Brook suffered its first loss in 32 games where it led after the eighth inning. ... LSU is 6-3 in extra inning games and Stony Brook is 2-3 in extra inning games.
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