LSU defeats Vanderbilt 5-4; Wins SEC championship

HOOVER, Ala. — Pinch hitter Chris Sciambra singled home Jared Foster with the tiebreaking run in the 11th inning as LSU won the Southeastern Conference baseball tournament championship with a 5-4 victory against Vanderbilt on Sunday at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.

With one out in the 11th, Foster was hit by a pitch from Brian Miller (5-2). Sciambra pinch hit for Andrew Stevenson and Foster stole second before Sciambra sent him home by bouncing a single into center field.

Chris Cotton (4-1), who tied an SEC Tournament record with three saves, pitched 2.2 perfect innings for the victory.

The second-ranked Tigers improved to 52-9 and the No. 1 Commodores fell to 51-9.

LSU won its record 10th SEC Tournament championship and fourth in the last six seasons under coach Paul Mainieri.

The Tigers will find out the details of their NCAA tournament future Monday morning.

Vince Conde singled against Joey Bourgeois with one out in the bottom of the ninth and Cotton relieved for LSU and got two flyouts.

The Tigers took a 4-2 lead into the bottom of the seventh but the Commodores tied it against Nick Rumbelow.

With one out Connor Harrell singled, Conrad Gregor singled him to third and Gregor stole second. Zander Weil singled home the tying runs and Wiel went to third. Pinch hitter Andrew Harris was intentionally walked, loading the bases.

Spencer Navin hit a high fly ball to medium right, Jared Foster backed up to get a running start, caught the ball in perfect throwing position and launched a strike to get Wiel at the plate and keep the score tied.

The Tigers got two on with two out in the eighth, but Andrew Stevenson grounded to second.

Bourgeois relieved Rumbelow to start the eighth and walked the leadoff hitter. After a sacrifice bunt, the Tigers intentionally walked Mike Yastrzemski to set up the double play. Bourgeois struck out Harrell and got Gregor to ground out to second.

LSU scored as many runs in the second inning as it had in any of its previous four games in the tournament as it took a 3-0 lead.

Raph Rhymes led off with a single to left against starter Philip Pfeifer, but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double.

Christian Ibarra walked a Ty Ross singled him to second. Foster hit a line drive to right that Yastrzemski could have backed up to catch, but he lost it in the sun and it got over him for a single.

Second baseman Tony Kemp caught Yastrzemski’s throw and turned to home, but saw Ibarra was holding and tried to throw behind Foster but didn’t realize no one was covering first. The ball skipped toward the Vanderbilt dugout as Ibarra scored and Ross and Foster moved up.

Stevenson beat out an infield hit that made it 2-0 and Sean McMullen hit a sacrifice fly that made it 3-0.

Vanderbilt came right back against Tigers starter Brent Bonvillain in the bottom half. Harrell led off with a single and Gregor doubled him to third.

Wiel’s grounder to second brought in a run and Vince Conde’s single brought in another.

LSU pushed the lead to 4-2 in the fourth when Ibarra led off with a double, moved to second on Ross’ sacrifice and scored on Foster’s single.

Bonvillain left after four innings, having allowed two runs on five hits with one walk, two hit batsmen and one strikeout.

Nate Fury relived to start the fifth and got into immediate trouble by yielding back-to-back singles to put runners on the corners. Ross threw out Yastrzemski trying to steal second as Xavier Turner held third.

Fury hit Harrell, struck out Gregor and walked Wiel to load the bases. Conde hit a long drive to deep left-center that Stevenson ran down, stretching out to snare the ball as he reached the warning track.

Kurt McCune relieved to start the sixth and struck out the first two batters before walking Kemp. Turner hit a line drive back to the mound that McCune snagged for the third out.