Sunday, June 11, 2000 • Box score
When pushed to the wall this season, the Louisiana-Lafayette baseball team has proven proficient at shoving back.
The Ragin' Cajuns ran their record in elimination games to 6-1 Sunday night with a 6-3 victory over San Jose State in Bracket One at the College World Series.
Sunday's two-game session drew 23,016 fans to Rosenblatt Stadium.
In the matchup between CWS first-timers, Louisiana-Lafayette got its history-making win in the national tournament behind the pitching of junior starter Scott Dohmann and sophomore reliever Gordon O'Brien.
Dohmann, the Cajuns' all-time victory leader, improved his record to 13-5 this season and 26-12 overall by allowing just five hits in 61/3 innings.
"We wanted a guy who was going to get after them and set a good pace," UL-Lafayette Coach Tony Robichaux said. "And that's Scott Dohmann."
After San Jose State closed to 4-3 in the seventh on first baseman John Fagan's two-run homer, O'Brien relieved Dohmann and posted his fourth save of the season with 22/3 innings of no-hit, four-strikeout relief.
Besides strong pitching, the Ragin Cajuns' were feisty at the plate. Their final four runs all came with two outs.
"The key was the two-out game," San Jose State Coach Sam Piraro said. "Louisiana won that battle.
"They were able to sustain innings with two outs, and we weren't able to do that. They shut us down in real crucial situations. I felt that was the difference in the game."
Piraro got no argument from his coaching counterpart.
"Two-out hits are huge," Robichaux said. "You can calculate this-it's so hard to get three hits in an inning, I don't care who you are.
"You must extend an inning. You need a walk, you need a hit batter, you need an error, you need something. And when you can score with two outs, it's huge. We preach that, and our hitters did a good job of extending an inning."
Louisiana-Lafayette boosted a 2-1 lead to 4-1 in the fifth inning with its initial two-out surge.
Right fielder Tommy Clark led off being hit by a pitch. After two lineouts, shortstop Rick Haydel slashed a liner to deep left center. San Jose State center fielder Ryan Brucker lunged for the ball after a long run, but it skimmed off his glove, allowing Clark to score.
Cajun center fielder Steven Feehan followed with another double for a 4-1 lead.
Fagan stirred the small cluster of San Jose State fans with his two-run homer in the top of the seventh, which chased Dohmann. SJSU got a potential tying run to third base with two outs, but the reliever O'Brien got the third out.
The Cajuns posted one insurance run in the seventh when first baseman Scott Atwood doubled and Feehan singled him home with two outs. Then they added another in the eighth on catcher Danny Massiette's single and designated hitter Jarvis Larry's two-out double.
Massiette and Larry also had a hand in opening the scoring for Lafayette in the bottom of the second.
Massiette led off with a homer, which landed in the first row of bleachers beyond the 360-foot sign in left-center field.
"Danny set the tempo early for us with his home run," Robichaux said. "He has done that several times for us this season."
Left fielder Will Hawkins followed with a long double to the left-field corner. He advanced to third on a ground ball, and scored on Larry's sacrifice fly for a 2-0 lead.
San Jose State used left fielder Rob Douglass' leadoff double in the third and an error to close to 2-1. A walk produced a second runner for the top of the SJSU order, but Dohmann wriggled out of the jam with two strikeouts and a popup.
Louisiana-Lafayette (48-19) now faces another elimination game Tuesday at 2 p.m. against Clemson, which lost 10-4 Sunday afternoon to Stanford.
San Jose State's season ends at 41-24. Piraro said before the CWS that he had purposely stayed away from Omaha until he had a chance to come with a team that had qualified.
Now that he has seen the event, will he come back even without a squad to coach?
"Absolutely," Piraro said. "I'll never miss this. What an atmosphere! God bless Omaha!"