The College World Series brings together the best eight teams in the nation for an egalitarian battle of double-elimination baseball that often pushes teams and rotations to their breaking points. No one will ever forget the 2016 CWS, when Coastal Carolina had to pitch a damn closer as a starter in the series’ final game just to eliminate pesky Arizona. Long live the Chanticleers.
And so Florida State and LSU met for an opening night date in Omaha for one of the most highly anticipated games of the tournament, what with LSU throwing and pitching lights-out baseball and FSU answering with lights-out throwing and pitching of its own. This game should go down in history as one of the best ever played at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha. The Tigers’ D, in particular, carried them through to a dramatic, hard-fought victory.
Earlier in the afternoon, Cal State Fullerton and Oregon State met for a battle that ended 6-5 in the Beavers’ favor, thanks in large part to Oregon State’s defense pulling through on a pair of spectacular defensive plays that prevented certain Titans base-running shenanigans. Baseball defense still lives.
Anyway, the evening tilt between No. 4 overall national seed LSU and Florida State promised the most compelling action of the CWS’ opening weekend, as the Tigers and Seminoles matched well at the plate and their pitching staffs are deep enough to throw themselves into panzer strikes for innings on end. This thing could have been a marathon.
In the top of the first, FSU’s Dylan Busby got things started with a two-run slam into left center where Fullerton’s Timmy Richards had previously bashed a three-run homer of his own in the afternoon game. That stretch of the outfield wall runs notoriously deep, especially so since the wind traditionally blows in from direct center at TD Ameritrade. No bother, though, when you’ve got bats as big as FSU’s. That could have demoralized the Tigers into submission.
And yet. Let’s check in with LSU’s infield, then, shall we?
That’s absolutely filthy stuff from LSU’s first baseman, and a testament to these Tigers’ severe commitment to containing their opponents’ hits within the lap of Omaha’s big bad stadium. Not many can hit out of that ballpark.
How did one LSU fan react to this gem? Well:
And oh yeah, LSU trailed by a run as late as the bottom of the eighth. The Tigers knocked in two balls to pull ahead of Florida State despite that, so they are in business or whatever.
Let’s pause here to appreciate A SQUIRREL ON THE FIELD:
LOOK AT THE LITTLE GUY.
So. With LSU trailing 4-3 but nibbling at the tail, Florida State committed three heinous blunders on the same play that plated the Tigers the tying run. They would go on to score the winning run in that inning, and holy hell, it was the end of day. How do you even score this play?
THAT’S THREE DAMN ERRORS ON THE SAME PLAY TO TIE THE GAME. It’s important to remember that these teams don’t ever really meet during the regular season — even though they should — because this game was chaos and historic baseball wrapped into one. Let them ever play at a neutral site, for no other reason than to provide the nastiest baseball we’ve ever seen. #NastyBaseball.