BATON ROUGE, La. – Tyler Johnson pitched a 3-hitter Saturday as Stony Brook evened its best-of-3 NCAA Super Regional series against LSU with a 3-1 win at Alex Box Stadium.
The third and deciding game will be noon Sunday at LSU. The Tigers will be going for their 16th College World Series appearance while Stony Brook is playing in its first super regional.
Overview: Johnson outpitched LSU ace Kevin Gausman (12-2), who earlier in the day got a win out of the bullpen in LSU's 5-4 12-inning win in Game 1. That game was completed Saturday morning after rain suspended play Friday.
In Game 2, The Seawolves (51-13) got four of their six hits in a two-run third inning played in a steady downpour.
LSU (47-17), the No. 7 national seed, could not put that many hits together all day. The Tigers have been anemic at the plate in the series with six runs on 12 hits in 21 innings. The Tigers have managed six hits in 16 innings against Stony Brook starting pitchers.
Turning point: The rains that have plagued the super regional came again in the third inning and seemed to bother Gausman as Stony Brook pieced together a two-run rally that proved to be pivotal.
Sam Intagliata and William Carmona had run-scoring singles in the fourth inning rally for the Seawolves, who swung big sticks in an inning where Gausman, the first pitcher selected in the MLB draft last week, looked uncomfortable dealing with a muddy mound and constant rain.
Kevin Courtney added a solo home run for Stony Brook in the fifth off Gausman, the No. 4 overall pick in the draft to Baltimore.
Key player: After a brilliant seven-inning, three-hit start by Brandon McNitt in the first game for Stony Brook, Johnson (12-1) matched him nearly pitch-for-pitch, scattering three hits in a complete-game win.
Like McNitt, Johnson was not overpowering, striking out just one. But he had the Tigers hitting of their front foot and got many softly hit outs.
Key stat: Courtney went 3-for-3 for Stony Brook, equaling the hit total of the rest of his teammates and the hit total of the entire LSU team. His double started the two-run third inning rally, then his home run gave Stony Brook a 3-0 lead, the largest lead so far in a low-scoring super regional.
Miscellaneous: Likely starters for Game 3 will be LSU right-hander Ryan Eades (5-2, 3.55 ERA) against Stony Brook senior right-hander Evan Stecko-Haley (7-3, 3.47 ERA). ... While rain fell for much of the third through fifth innings, there was never a rain delay, although extra time was needed between half innings for the Alex Box Stadium grounds crew to work on the field.