A Look Back at LSU vs. Texas, Game 1
In case you missed it, LSU and Texas played an 11-inning gem on Monday night that featured power, pitching, clutch performances, and Orel Hershiser.Â Here are the highlights that â€œSportscenterâ€ may not have shown.
Mike Patrick helms a three-man booth, rounded out by Orel Hershiser and College Baseball Hall-of-Famer Robin Ventura.Â Either in their shirt, tie, or both, all three men wear purple.Â I miss the days of the mustard-yellow â€œMonday Night Footballâ€ blazers.
The boys throw it down to Erin Andrews.Â Sheâ€™s talking about how Texas has been a part of close wins throughout the tournament.Â 90% of ESPNâ€™s viewership is thinking, â€œAttractive blonde female talking about baseball.Â ATTRACTIVE BLONDE FEMALE TALKING ABOUT BASEBALL.â€
Side note: Can someone please explain these commercials where Visigoths play a game of college baseball?Â Granted, the sight of fat, bearded men chomping away on whole sunflowers, while their opponents spit out sunflower seed shells is humorous.Â I just donâ€™t know what Iâ€™m supposed to buy now that I find it funny.
Top of the 2nd: LSU 1, Tex 0
Erin Andrews comes out of the break by saying that the heat index has reached 100 degrees and that Texas starter Chance Ruffing is having a hard time gripping the ball.Â This leads Hershiser to add that in those situations, he would use â€œsugar gum,â€ because it would make his saliva sticky.Â This leads to the following exchange.
Ventura: Iâ€™m not sure thatâ€™s fair.
Hershiser: Thereâ€™re some hair gels that make your hands sticky too.
Patrick (pointing to Hershiser): You know, you have to admire somebody that never missed a trick and thatâ€™s him!
Hershiser: Itâ€™s not a foreign substance because you only get the stuff thatâ€™s made in America.
Ventura laughs incredulously.
Orel Hershiser takes his place as my new favorite baseball broadcaster.
Between the top and bottom of the second:
We get a â€œSportscenter Right Nowâ€ Update.Â Donald Fehr has stepped down from his position as the head of the MLBPA.Â The man presided over the union when it walked out on the 1994 season, threatened to lock out the 2002 season, and supposedly leaked the dates that players would be tested for steroids.Â Itâ€™s an understatement to say that I will not miss Donald Fehr.Â I hope his next job involves guarding Hannibal Lecterâ€™s prison cell.
Bottom of the 4th: LSU 1, Tex 0
Travis Tucker, Russell Moldenhauer, and Kevin Keyes all go deep.Â The light-hitting Texas squad has taken the lead off of three separate solo homeruns.
Reason number 70 to love the College World Series:Â The kids look like they enjoy playing the game.Â Itâ€™s not a job for them.Â They donâ€™t attack it with the â€œutmost professionalismâ€ and grind away.Â Most of them maximize their time in Omaha, and they go wild for every homer.
That being said, taking off your helmet and tapping the helmet of your teammate after hitting a homer is like a seven year-old drinking a Super Big Gulp.Â It really has to go.
Top of the 6th: LSU 1, Tex 3; Two men on, two out
Chance Ruffing gives way to Austin Wood.Â ESPN reminds us itâ€™s warm in Omaha in late June.Â They show a shot of Ruffing cramping up in the dugout.Â Two-sport star, Jared Mitchell smokes a triple into the left-centerfield gap to tie the game.
Bottom of the 6th: LSU 3, Tex 3
Coming out of the break, ESPN shows a highlight of Venturaâ€™s hitting streak ending at 58 games.Â Hershiser and Patrick try to get Ventura to boast a little.Â Ventura no-sells it like Hulk Hogan receiving a right hook; yet another reason I like Robin Ventura more than Joe Morgan, who would have reminded us he both played with Pete Rose and is a Hall-of-Famer before allowing anyone else to chime in.
Brandon Belt strokes a liner to centerfield.Â LSU outfielder and eventual hero of the game, Mikie Mahtook spins around three times before hauling the ball in on the warning track.Â He took a route to the ball that Magellan would have been proud of but made an incredible catch.Â He immediately pays for that expenditure of fluid on this warm day, as his leg begins to cramp up.
Mike Patrick reminds us that you have to hydrate both before AND during the game.Â Keep that in mind: on a hot day, one glass of water at eight in the morning will not be enough.
Bottom of the 7th: LSU 4, Tex 6
Chad Jones takes over for LSU starter Louis Coleman.Â Jones will play free safety for LSU in the fall, but at the moment, he mows down the Texas hitters, finishing the inning by striking Brandon Belt out on a filthy breaking ball.
Bottom of the 8th: LSU 4, Tex 6
We have a break in the action.Â Itâ€™s hot.Â Erin Andrews talks about the number of times the Texas catcher has changed his jersey.Â Ventura lets us know that the delay can be attributed to waiting for â€œdry balls.â€
I mean nobody wants a handful of wet balls.Â Itâ€™s simply impossible to get a firm grasp of slippery balls.Â I need to stop before Mike Lynch revokes my writing privileges on the site.Â You have to admit, though, it is imperative that the umpire dries his sack of balls.Â (Sorry, Mike.)
Top of the 9th: LSU 4, Tex 6; P Austin Wood faces 6, 7, 8 hitters of LSUâ€™s lineup
Bad mojo alert!Â With one out in the inning, ESPN elects Russell Moldenhauer as the â€œCapital One Player of the Game.â€Â I wrote about this a month ago.Â Awarding the â€œplayer of the gameâ€ before the final out is recorded is the equivalent of having William H. Macyâ€™s character in â€œThe Coolerâ€ sit next to you at a blackjack table.
In response, Moldenhauer attempts to discretely pick his nose with a pen.Â Thereâ€™s no way this doesnâ€™t end badly.
Single, walk, call to the bullpen, shot of the LSU dugout with rally caps donned, strikeout, PING!!!Â DJ LeMahieu puts on his Superman cape and drives a first-pitch changeup into the leftfield corner.Â Tie game.Â â€œCapital One Player of the Game 1, Texas 0.â€
Top of the 11th: LSU 6, Tex 6; Two on, two out
Mikie Mahtook, with a bandage on his forearm from the IV he received earlier in the game, flips a 1-2 hanging breaking ball into centerfield.Â LeMahieu scores.Â â€œCapital One Player of the Game 2, Texas 0.â€
Bottom of the 11th: LSU 7, Tex 6
Matty Ott, in his third inning of work, strikes out the first two hitters, works to a 3-2 count on Connor Rowe, and gets the centerfielder to reach for an outside slider and bounce to second.Â LSU wins. â€œCapital One Player of the Game 3, Texas 0.â€
In the end
We learned that Orel Hershiser liked to stretch the rules in his playing days; Erin Andrews looks good on muggy nights in Omaha; even if all your broadcasters wear purple thereâ€™s a good chance theyâ€™re still more palatable than Joe Morgan; umpires shouldnâ€™t have a sack of wet balls; and ESPN employs a vast array of wizards, warlocks, and magicians that control the hands of fate simply by awarding athletes meaningless prizes.