The LSU Tigers, 2009 national champions of college baseball, will return to Alex Box Stadium for a championship celebration on Thursday at 4 p.m.
OMAHA, Neb. — The Team of the 90s has returned to the top of 21st-century college baseball. The LSU Tigers brought home a sixth national championship to decorate its new Alex Box Stadium by besting top-seeded Texas, 11-4, in the third and deciding game of the 2009 College World Series on Wednesday.
LSU (56-17) won its first national championship since 2000 after former head coach and athletics director Skip Bertman put the "football school" on baseball map with five titles in 10 seasons.
Third-year coach Paul Mainieri — who wasn't hired to bring the Tigers back to Omaha, but to win championships — fulfilled his destiny. When he was hired as the 25th baseball coach in school history on June 28, 2006, Bertman said, "It would take someone special to lead this program ... someone who would thrive in the high expectations of a championship program. I believe LSU has found that man."
One last time, Bertman's move paid off in Omaha.
Sophomore starter Anthony Ranaudo (12-3) earned his second CWS win after throwing 119 pitches. The 6-foot-7 righthander from New Jersey gutted through 5.1 innings without his best stuff. Ranaudo stranded nine Longhorns, twice with the bases loaded, allowing four runs on eight hits with five walks and four strikeouts.
Mainieri also called on lefthander Chad Jones to replace Ranaudo. The two-sport star added a baseball ring to go with his 2007 BCS National Championship by holding down the Longhorns for 1.2 hitless innings.
Taking his rightful place in LSU history, senior Louis Coleman took the mound for the final two innings and earned the dogpile he richly deserved. Disappointed with the CWS ending in 2008, Coleman returned for his senior season to win a championship.
The Tigers, who started four freshmen for most of the season, took the lead for good in the top of the sixth when freshman centerfielder Mikie Mahtook doubled to right field to chase Texas reliever Brandon Workman (3-5) and ignight a five-run sixth inning.
LSU manufactured two more runs before senior first baseman Sean Ochinko slashed a two-RBI single through the left side to give LSU a 9-4 lead.
Not only was Ochinko re-inserted into the LSU lineup for game 3, but Mainieri asked him to bat clean-up so that Dean could see better pitches. Ochinko responded with a 4-for-5 performance with three RBI in his final game wearing purple and gold.
Just like the old Skipper, all of the new skipper's moves paid off in the postseason just as they did in his regular-season lineup flip.
The Tigers earned a 4-0 lead through two innings, as Jared Mitchell hit a two-out, three-run homer in the first inning. Ryan Schimpf drove in Micah Gibbs in the second with another two-out single.
Seven of LSU's runs came with two outs.
The Tigers added single runs in the eighth and ninth innings on a sacrifice fly by Ryan Schimpf and a solo homer by Ochinko.
Texas (50-16-1) bounced back from a 7-6, 11-inning loss on Monday to force the rubber match with a strong 5-1 victory on Tuesday. The Longhorns were denied their seventh national championship.
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2009 College World Series All-Tournament Team
C Cameron Rupp, Texas
1B Dustin Ackley, North Carolina
2B DJ LeMahieu, LSU
3B Kyle Seager, North Carolina
SS Tyler Cannon, Virginia
OF Kole Calhoun, Arizona St.
OF Jared Mitchell, LSU
OF Ryan Schimpf, LSU
DH Russell Moldenhauer, Texas
P Anthony Ranaudo, LSU
P Taylor Jungmann, Texas
Most Outstanding Player: Jared Mitchell, LSU
Courtesy of LSUsports.net