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College baseball: Tech, LSU win openers in NCAA Tournament

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The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs and LSU Tigers won first-round games in their respective regionals as the NCAA Division I Tournament began Friday.

Tech, the No. 2 seed, defeated No. 3 Dallas Baptist 12-5 in the Austin Regional. LSU, the No. 2 seed, scored 10 runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to rally past No. 3 Kennesaw State 14-11 in the Hattiesburg Regional.

Tech (43-19) faces No. 1 seed Texas (43-19), an 11-3 winner over Air Force, at 6 p.m. Saturday. LSU (39-20) takes on No. 1 Southern Miss (44-16), a 2-0 winner over Army, at 6.

Leading 2-1 after four innings, Tech scored five in the bottom of the fifth. DBU answered with three in the top of the sixth to get within three.

The Bulldogs tacked on four more in the bottom of the inning on Jorge Corona’s inside-the-park grand slam home run with two outs to push the lead to 11-4. Corona hit the ball to deep center and the DBU centerfielder lost sight of it as it went to the wall.

Tech had 12 hits. Corona added another home run and had six RBI.

Taylor Young went 3-for-4 with two doubles. Phillip Matulia went 3-for-5 with a home run, double and four RBI.

Cole McConnell had two hits, including a double. 

Jonathan Fincher went five innings for the win. He allowed four hits and one earned run.

LSU was down 11-4 after seven innings. The Tigers scored the 10 runs in the eighth on seven hits, one more than they had in the game to that point.

Josh Pearson had two singles. Dylan Crews and Jordan Thompson had doubles. Jacob Berry, Tre’ Morgan and Cade Doughty had singles.

The bottom of the eighth started with a walk and a hit-by-pitch. The Tigers then had five consecutive hits before Kennesaw State recorded an out.

Pearson finished 3-for-4 with a double and three RBI. 

Crews, Thompson, Morgan and Doughty all had two hits. Thompson had two doubles. Crews had three RBI.

Brayden Jobert hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the third.

LSU starter Ma’Khail Hilliard lasted just 2 2/3 innings, giving up five hits and five earned runs. He was relieved by Riley Cooper, who allowed five hits in two innings and six earned runs.

Devin Fontenot relieved Cooper with two outs in the top of the fifth. He immediately gave up a two-run double. After walking the next batter, he induced a flyout.

Fontenot allowed only one more hit and struck out six over the next three innings, earning the win.

The Owls got one hit off Paul Gervase in the ninth, a single with two outs.

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