Monday, June 4, 1990
Oklahoma State freshman Brad Gore slashed a hole in Louisiana State's College World Series championship hopes Monday night.
Gore shackled the second-seeded Tigers on two hits for 7 1/3 innings, helping the Cowboys remain unbeaten with a 7-1 victory over LSU at Rosenblatt Stadium.
"He only made one mistake tonight, and that was to me," said LSU designated hitter Lyle Mouton, whose fourth-inning solo homer accounted for the Tigers' scoring. "But he gave it up with no one on, two outs and up 4-0, so it really doesn't hurt him.
"He pitched a dandy of a game."
Facing an LSU team that came into the game with a .332 batting average, Gore limited the Tigers to Mouton's homer over the scoreboard and Ron Lim's infield single in the eighth. Ritchie Moody finished the game for Oklahoma State, combining with Gore for the first CWS two-hitter since 1975.
The victory, before a session-record crowd of 15,802, left the third-seeded and 55-16 Cowboys as the only undefeated team in bracket two in the double-elimination portion of the tournament. Oklahoma State advanced to a 7:07 game Thursday night, needing just one win to gain a spot in Saturday's national championship game.LSU vs. The Citadel
LSU, 53-18 overall and 1-1 in the tournament, faces a tougher path to the title game. The Tigers play The Citadel, an 8-7, 12-inning winner over Cal State Fullerton in Monday's other game, in an elimination battle tonight at 7:07.
Tonight's winner will play Oklahoma State Thursday and will need to beat the Cowboys twice to make the final.
"We feel pretty good about ourselves," Cowboys shortstop Brad Beanblossom said. "We just have to stay focused on why we came to Omaha."
Beanblossom and the Oklahoma State hitters backed Gore with a nine-hit attack. They gave him to a 2-0 lead in the first inning off LSU starter Chad Ogea.
Oklahoma State made it 4-0 in the third, then extended its lead to 7-1 in the seventh on Michael Daniel's three-run homer.
"They really did the job," said Ogea, who saw his 14-game winning streak snapped. "But I felt I beat myself tonight. I didn't do what I was supposed to do, and I didn't hit my spots.
"They hit the mistakes that I threw up there."
Oklahoma State picked at Ogea from the start, dissecting the sophomore right-hander with its patient approach to hitting.
"We battled hard early to establish the strike zone with Ogea," Oklahoma State Coach Gary Ward said. "We took him 36 pitches into the first inning. We had seven good at-bats, back to back. That's a quality inning."
Beanblossom's single drove in Mitchel Simons, who had walked and stolen second, with the Cowboys' first run. Neil Szeryk's two-out single made it 2-0 and gave Gore some room for error.Legion Ball Last Year
A year ago, Gore was pitching American Legion baseball in his hometown of Taloga, Okla. Monday night, with a national television audience looking on, he looked ready to take on the American League.
"I wasn't really nervous," said Gore, who shut out Washington State on five hits in his last outing at the West II Regional. "I didn't learn I was pitching until this morning, so I really didn't have that much of a chance to get nervous.
"When they came out and scored two runs for me, it gave me a lot of confidence. I just had to throw strikes and go right at the hitters."Helped by Lineout
After striking out the first four batters he faced, Gore walked the bases loaded in the bottom of the second. He worked out of trouble, striking out Scott Bethea and getting John Tallechea to line out to Steve Dailey in left field.
"Their No. 9 hole guy hits the ball hard right at somebody - that's baseball luck," Ward said. "After that, Brad got things established."
Jeromy Burnitz's run-scoring single and Dailey's sacrifice fly pushed the Cowboys' lead to 4-0 in the third. Mouton got LSU on the board with a rocket-shot homer over the 35-foot high scoreboard in left-center field, ending Gore's no-hit bid.
The Tigers' only other hit came in the eighth, when Lim led off the inning with an infield single. Keith Osik bounced out, and the Cowboys called for Moody.
"I wasn't tired," said Gore, 5-2 after his third postseason victory. "I still had good stuff, but the situation called for the left-hander. Ritchie came in and did a great job."'Tremendous' Pitching
Moody retired five of the six batters he faced to finish off the first CWS two-hitter since June 8, 1975, when South Carolina's Greg Ward beat Eastern Michigan in a six-inning game. The last nine-inning two-hitter came June 10, 1974, when Texas pitchers Jim Gideon and Jimmy Brown shut down Seton Hall 12-2.
Gore "pitched a tremendous ballgame," LSU Coach Skip Bertman said. "He mixed in three different pitches for strikes, made very competitive pitches when he had to, and held us down the entire evening."