LSU tops Southern Miss 6-4 to advance to NCAA super regional
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Josh Smith hit a solo home run and a two-run triple, and LSU advanced to the super regional round of the NCAA tournament with a 6-4 victory over Southern Mississippi on Sunday night.
The Tigers (40-24) won all three of their games in the Baton Rouge regional and will host Florida State (39-21) next weekend with a trip to the College World Series in Omaha at stake.
The Tigers have made 18 College World Series appearances and have won six national championships, the last in 2009.
Smith led off the bottom of the first with a homer to right on the first pitch he saw to make it 1-0. He made it 3-0 in the second with a two-out, two-run triple to left center.
Southern Miss (40-21) responded with Gabe Montenegro’s homer in the fourth and took the lead with a three-run rally in the fifth, highlighted by Danny Lynch’s two-run single to center. But the Golden Eagles left the bases loaded when home runs leader Matt Wallner struck out waving at a breaking ball from reliever Matthew Beck.
LSU’s Antoine Duplantis had two hits. His first, a lined single to center, placed him first in career hits at LSU with 353, surpassing Eddy Furniss (1995-98). He waved to the crowd as he received a standing ovation and teammates along the first-base dugout saluted him with hats held high in the air.
Duplantis led off the seventh with a single to left against Southern Miss starter Josh Lewis (1-1) and scored the on Zach Watson’s two run single, which put LSU back in front, 5-4. Saul Garza’s double off the wall drove in Watson.
Trent Vietmeier (3-1) pitched two scoreless innings in the sixth and seventh. Devin Fontenot came on in the eighth, recording six outs without allowing a run for his seventh save.