Alex Bregman’s resurgence continues in postseason play

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- LSU's Alex Bregman celebrates after hitting a double into left-center field against Houston on Sunday night in the championship round of the Baton Rouge regional. Show caption
Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- LSU's Alex Bregman celebrates after hitting a double into left-center field against Houston on Sunday night in the championship round of the Baton Rouge regional.

Alex Bregman is looking more like the All-American LSU fans are used to seeing.

Bregman had hits in his first three at-bats and made more snazzy defensive plays Sunday night in LSU’s game against Houston at Alex Box Stadium, continuing a recent impressive run for the shortstop.

Bregman hit a pair of singles and smacked a double off of the left-center field wall. He caught a pop-up in shallow left field while on a full sprint, his back to the infield, to begin the fourth inning.

Bregman started early.

Landon Appling, the second batter of the game, hit a pop fly over third baseman Christian Ibarra’s head. Ranging to his right, Bregman snatched the ball on one hop and tossed, from deep in the hole, to second base for a force out. Kyle Survance had opened the game with a leadoff single.

Bregman, who was mired in a mid-season hitting skid, entered the game with a .395 average during LSU’s 10-game winning streak. He had driven in seven runs and had 17 hits over those 10 games.

Tossed him

Houston lost its designated hitter in the fifth inning. And won’t have him for Monday’s game.

Sophomore Justin Montemayor was ejected from the game after arguing a close call at first base. He must serve a one-game suspension Monday.

Montemayor, batting .250 in the regional entering Saturday night’s game, appeared to be safe in a play at first.

He hit a grounder near the first-second base hole. First baseman Tyler Moore grabbed the ball and tossed to a running Kyle Bouman.

Bouman and Montemayor arrived at the bag at nearly the same time, and first base umpire Adam Dowdy emphatically called Montemayor out as the Box roared. Home plate umpire Steve Mattingly ejected Montemayor for snapping at Dowdy.

Montemayor batted in the No. 7 hole and had scored three runs in the regional.

Will get you another one

Southeastern Louisiana first baseman Sam Roberson continued his hot hitting on Sunday in the Lions’ loss to Houston. Roberson went 2-for-4 with a pair of singles.

“For the day, I felt pretty good,” Roberson said. “I just got some good pitches to hit and put it on the barrel.”

He finished the tournament 6-for-11. His .545 average was the highest in the regional heading into Sunday night’s game between LSU and Houston.

Roberson, a junior from Dallas, had a two-run homer in the regional opener against LSU and also doubled in the tournament. He finished with three RBIs, including a sacrifice fly Saturday against Bryant University that proved to be the game-winner.

Spent arms

Houston entered the game against LSU having used nine pitchers over the first three games of the regional, though just three of those threw more than 40 pitches.

The Cougars started their ace, Aaron Garza, in Sunday afternoon’s 9-5 win over Southeastern, an elimination game. They threw their No. 2 arm, Jake Lemoine, in the second game of the regional, a 5-1 loss to LSU on Saturday night.

Houston started David Longville on Sunday night. Longville, a junior right-hander, has the third-most starts on Houston’s team but entered the night with just one decision (1-0).

Lagniappe

Entering Saturday’s regional final, LSU had not lost an NCAA regional in which it had won the first two games since the NCAA switched to this format in 1999. The Tigers were 8-0 and had been forced into a decisive fourth game just once (in 2001). ... Lizzie Cameron, the daughter of offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, sung the national anthem before Sunday’s game. ... With a single in the first inning, Jake Fraley extended his hitting streak to five games. ... Scivicque’s second-inning solo home run extended his hitting streak to six games.