LSU Returns to Their Summer Home in Omaha! - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

LSU Returns to Their Summer Home in Omaha!

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BATON ROUGE -- Three weeks after dedicating the field at Alex Box Stadium to legendary former coach Skip Bertman - who made Omaha an annual early-summer vacation for many Tiger fans - head coach Paul Mainieri and the LSU baseball team punched a 16th ticket to the College World Series by dominating Oklahoma, 11-1, on Saturday.

In the process, LSU (57-9) tied the school record for victories in a season and won its sixth NCAA Super Regional title in 10 appearances.

All six have come at Alex Box Stadium, which found room for a record 11,401 fans to watch the Tigers dogpile at the new stadium for the first time since its inaugural season season in 2009.

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Using a core of upperclass leaders mixed with key newcomers, Mainieri earned his third trip to Omaha in his seven seasons at LSU. In 2009, he led the Tigers to the school's sixth National Championship after defeating Texas in the championship series.

"This room reeks of tradition and winning," Mainieri said from the Team Room where postgame press conferences were held at The Box. "The coaches before me have done amazing things and I get to be the custodian of it now. This team is special and I knew it before the year began. We added a few key pieces to the puzzle this year and we are fortunate that Mason and Raph came back. The team has just jelled and so much of the credit goes to Alex Bregman."

Super Regional Recap | Regional Recap

This year, Mainieri's Tigers will take on UCLA on June 15 or 16, taking the field at the new TD Ameritrade Park Omaha for the first time. The 24,000 seat stadium opened in April of 2012 and will play host to its second CWS. Game time will be either 2 p.m. CT or 7 p.m. on ESPN or ESPN2.

"You are always happy to go to Omaha and people don't quite understand how hard it is to get there," Mainieri said. "It's really quite an accomplishment to earn your way there any year but especially this year. Not just because of what happened last year but for guys like Mason Katz, Chris Cotton and Alex Edward. It just meant so much to all of our players to get those guys there.

"We are going there to win and I believe we can. We have a great group of guys that are very talented and are on a mission. We've got what it takes and we will show up Saturday against whomever we play."

A day after Aaron Nola tossed a two-hit shutout that gave LSU a lead in the best-of-three series, four Tigers combined to hold Oklahoma to one run on five hits.

Will LaMarche (3-0), who took over after a 52-minute lightning delay that forced starter Ryan Eades from the game, earned the victory. Eades gave up a run on three hits, but battled out of jams in the first and second innings and left the game with a 3-1 lead through four innings. LaMarche, Nick Rumbelow and Cotton held the Sooners scoreless for the remaining five frames, as LSU outscored Oklahoma in the series sweep, 13-1.

Junior second baseman JaCoby Jones powered the Tigers through the Super Regional, In his final five at bats in the series -- starting with Friday's eighth-inning triple off Jonathan Gray that ended up as the game-winning run -- Jones hit for the cycle.

Saturday, the third-round draft pick finished perhaps his final game at The Box with a 4-for-4 performance including a orginary hit to center that he legged into a double and a solo home run in the eighth. Jones scored three times and had two RBI.

Oklahoma left-hander Dillon Overton (9-3), who along with Eades was a second-round draft pick on Thursday, took the loss. He returned to the mound after the lightning delay to start the fifth inning but was lifted in the sixth after Ty Ross' safety squeeze scored Raph Rhymes and gave LSU a 4-1 lead.

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