A day after giving up the most runs in Men’s College World Series history, the LSU bats came alive Monday night to secure the team’s first national title since 2009, defeating Florida 18-4 in the third and deciding game of the championship series.
Despite an embarrassing 24-4 loss in Game 2, the Tigers bounced back in the winner-take-all match to claim their seventh championship in program history — second to USC’s 12 titles.
“We got punched in the mouth yesterday,” LSU’s Dylan Crews said. “That’s the beauty of baseball. You wake up in the morning and do it all over again. We woke up today and you could see on everybody’s faces that we were ready to go.”
After facing an early 2-0 deficit, the Tigers responded with six runs of their own in the second inning, and didn’t coast from there. LSU tallied a total of 24 hits — the most ever in a College World Series game. The Tigers’ 14-run rout was also the largest margin of victory ever in a final.
After starting the season ranked as the No. 1 team in the nation, LSU was able to hold that spot for the first 10 weeks of the regular season. But after a disappointing 5-5 finish and 1-2 record in the Southeastern Conference tournament, the Tigers came into the NCAA tournament as a No. 5 seed.
LSU glided through its regional and super regional rounds with ease to advance to the World Series in Omaha, Nebraska. After dropping its second game of the tournament to top-ranked Wake Forest, the Tigers had to win three straight to advance to the finals — a task they made light work of. LSU knocked out Tennessee in an elimination game before winning back-to-back games against Wake Forest to advance.
Florida came into the tournament as a No. 2 seed, after winning the SEC regular-season title with a 54-17 record. LSU was the only other team in the conference to eclipse the 50-win plateau. On paper, all the stats indicated Florida was the better team. But in the end, it was the Tigers who emerged victorious.
“Oh my gosh, this is what I dreamed of since I was a freshman, holding this trophy,” Crews said after the game. “We’re champions, baby, bringing it back to LSU. It’s been a long journey for us. We dealt with a lot of stuff. “
LSU joined Mississippi, Mississippi State and Vanderbilt in securing the SEC’s fourth straight national title.
Men’s College World Series winners
– 2023: LSU (SEC)
– 2022: Mississippi (SEC)
– 2021: Mississippi State (SEC)
– 2020: Canceled due to the pandemic
– 2019: Vanderbilt (SEC)
– 2018: Oregon State (Pac-12)
– 2017: Florida (SEC)
– 2016: Coastal Carolina (SBC)
– 2015: Virginia (ACC)
– 2014: Vanderbilt (SEC)
– 2013: UCLA (Pac-12)