Even with its biggest games yet to be played, the LSU baseball team will head to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb., next week having already matched the school record for wins in a season.
The Tigers picked up their 57th win Saturday in an 11-1 victory over Oklahoma to clinch the Baton Rouge Regional, moving to 57-9 on the year.
LSU also won 57 games in 1997, finishing 57-13 and winning the national championship with a 4-0 mark in the CWS.
This will be the first of LSU’s teams to arrive at the CWS with single-digit losses.
The LSU team that won the 2009 national championship finished 56-17, falling one win shy of the school record for single-season wins. That team went 5-1 in Omaha, including 2-1 in the best-of-three championship series against Texas.
LSU set the school record with 48 wins this year in the regular season.
At the end of the fourth inning Saturday, play was suspended because lightning was detected within 8 miles of Alex Box Stadium.
Public address announcer Bill Franques asked the crowd to exit the stadium and encouraged fans to find a place to take shelter.
The delay lasted 53 minutes.
For the second night in a row, the LSU-Oklahoma game set an LSU record for single-game attendance.
The number for Friday’s super regional opener was 11,095. The second game topped that, with 11,401 turning out Saturday.
The paid attendance for Saturday’s game was 12,153.
LSU — the first team to clinch a spot in the College World Series — will face the winner of Cal State Fullerton’s super regional against UCLA in its first game at TD Ameritrade Park.
The official schedule for the CWS has not been released, but the Tigers are expected to open play Saturday at either 2 p.m. or 7 p.m.
With the two wins against Oklahoma this weekend, LSU improved to 12-8 all-time in super regional games.
The Tigers are now 11-4 in super regional games played on their campus, including a 6-2 mark at the old Alex Box Stadium.
Stony Brook took two of three at LSU last year in super regionals, the only time — in six tries — LSU has failed to advance to the CWS when playing its super regional at home.
Super regionals have been part of the NCAA tournament since 1999.
With two hits Saturday, Alex Bregman rached 104 hits for the season, propelling LSU shortstop past Mike Fontenot for the most hits in a season by an LSU freshman.
Fontenot had 103 hits for the Tigers as a freshman in 2000.
When the Tigers go to the CWS, Bregman will have a chance to catch Brandon Larson for the most single-season hits by a player in LSU history. Larson had 110 hits for LSU in 1997.
LSU freshman Mark Laird picked up Saturday where he left off the night before, knocking singles in his first two at-bats.
Laird was LSU’s top offensive threat in Friday’s opening 2-0 win. He followed a first at-bat strikeout against Jonathan Gray with back-to-back singles off the first-round draft pick, then greeted Oklahoma reliever Ralph Garza with an RBI single to right in the eighth.
In a lefty-lefty matchup Saturday against starter Dillon Overton, Laird had singles in the first and third. He scored LSU’s go ahead-run in the third on an error by Oklahoma first baseman Matt Oberste.
Laird missed most of the regional last week after suffering a sprained ankle at the Southeastern Conference tournament.
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