OMAHA, N eb . — It took Cody Glenn nearly a month to get back on the mound for the LSU Tigers.
His appearance in the College World Series didn’t last nearly that long.
Called Tuesday to try to hold down a North Carolina lineup dominated by left-handers, the sophomore lefty lasted just two innings plus two more batters in the third.
He gave way to Brent Bonvillain, who threw the next 4.1 innings, but by that point the damage was done. North Carolina led 3-0 and was on its way to a 4-2 elimination-game victory over the Tigers.
“I thought Cody looked real good to start the game,” LSU coach Paul Mainieri said. “His sinkerball was working good. He was pounding the zone and we thought we had (Brian Holberton) struck out with two strikes and didn’t get the call.
“Boom, (he) lays one in there, two-run homer on the next pitch.”
The home run, just the second allowed by Glenn in 84 innings pitched this season, gave the Tar Heels a lead they wouldn’t surrender.
Glenn hadn’t pitched since throwing seven innings May 22 to beat Alabama in the Southeastern Conference tournament. He was suspended for unspecified rules violations for the Baton Rouge Regional and wasn’t called on to pitch in either game in the Baton Rouge Super Regional.
With a rested bullpen and battling to stay alive in the CWS, Mainieri quickly turned to Bonvillain. He allowed one run on five hits, but like his teammates wasn’t pleased with the outcome.
“I didn’t have my best stuff today,” Bonvillain said. “And their hitters are pretty good. They didn’t miss too much. And if they did, they still somehow found a barrel and made contact with it.”
LSU managed to score just three runs combined in its two games here, its fewest ever in a College World Series appearance.
The Tigers’ previous low in a CWS was nine runs in 1994 and 2004, two other years when LSU went 0-2 in Omaha.
LSU and Stony Brook last year had the fewest runs in the CWS since Kansas scored three in 1993.
Three records that seemed destined to fall in Omaha will go down as ties in the LSU and Southeastern Conference record books.
LSU finished 57-11, tying the school record for wins set by the 1997 CWS championship team (57-13). It also remains the SEC record for victories in a season.
Individually, LSU closer Chris Cotton finished with 16 saves, tying the single-season record set by Matty Ott in 2009.
Cotton got his 16th save June 1 in LSU’s 8-5 win over Sam Houston State in the Baton Rouge Regional. He made three more appearances without qualifying for another, including his 2.2 inning stint here Tuesday.
Though Cotton gave up a hit to allow North Carolina to score its final run in the seventh, the run was charged to Bonvillain. Cotton went his last 13 appearances (18.2 innings) without being charged with a run, giving up only three hits and one walk in that span.
Senior first baseman Mason Katz, who was 4-for-6 in Omaha, raised his season-ending batting average to .370 and finished as LSU’s leading hitter this season.
Katz had 16 home runs and 70 RBIs, both also team highs.
Freshman shortstop Alex Bregman came into the CWS leading the Tigers with a .380 average, but went 0-for-9 in the two games to drop to .369 for the season.
Tigers outfielder Mark Laird went 3-for-5 Tuesday, raising his NCAA tournament average to .481 with his 18th multi-hit game of the season.
Laird was 2-for-4 against UCLA on Sunday. He entered the NCAA tournament batting .287 and finished at .307.
LSU lost back-to-back games for only the second time this season. The Tigers also lost to South Carolina on April 27-28.
North Carolina has gone 89 straight games without back-to-back defeats.
Former LSU All-American Todd Walker was in attendance Tuesday. It was 20 years ago that Walker led the Tigers to their second of six CWS titles.
Walker was also on LSU’s 1994 CWS team.
The Tigers have never come back to win the CWS after a first-game loss. Overall, it has only been done three times since 1961. … LSU is now 35-22 in the College World Series and 2-3 all-time against North Carolina. … LSU is now 132-50 in the NCAA tournament overall, its .725 winning percentage still ranking first all time.
There’s always another game. LSU opens the 2013 football season 73 days from Wednesday against TCU at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
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