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Omaha, Neb. – Bennett Lee drove off the go-ahead in the eighth inning right after putting up a big defensive display at the plate, leading national top seed Wake Forest to a 3-2 victory over LSU in the men’s tournament. College World Series Monday Night.
The Devil Deacons (54-10) now dominate their class and win away from the best of the three finalists. Their next game on Wednesday will be against the winner of Tuesday’s elimination game between SEC rivals LSU and Tennessee. The Deacons must lose twice to be denied a place in the finals.
Deacons catcher Lee made one of MCWS’s plays in the top of the eighth when he faced a bouncing pitch by third baseman Brock Wilken and tagged in Tre’ Morgan to keep the game tied 2-all.
After Danny Corona slammed a ground breaking Thatcher Hurd on the right line for a double in the bottom half, Lee followed it up with a base hit to the left that brought Corona home and produced Wake Forest’s second straight win.
Forest woke closer Camden Menachee (1-1) went down a 1-2-3 ninth to finish the Tigers (49-16).
LSU starter Ty Floyd restricted Deacons to 2 hits and matched his career to 10 strikeouts before losing his drive in the sixth inning. He walked the first three batters, prompting coach Jay Johnson to call Hurd (6-3) to face co-captain V. Wilken.
Wilken hit a ball up the middle for an RBI single, and the tying run came home when Justin Johnson hit a double play.
The Tigers opened the scoring against Wake Forest’s Josh Hartle in the third. Tommy White singled for one run and scored from second when Morgan scored a three-out on a fly ball that lost to outfielder Adam Cecier in the Sun.
Hartle went in six innings and struck out nine, bringing his season total at Wake Forest to -140.
The Deacons brought the Tigers back in the eighth when things looked dire. LSU was running corners to none after Morgan doubled down the line and moved when Hayden Travinski reached on an error.
Handing Peluso’s backhand, Welkin double-pumped it and bounced it home to Lee, who tagged Morgan on a close play that stood in video review. The inning ended when Welkin picked off tormentor Gavin Dugas to start a double play.
LSU’s Dylan Crews, who was projected to be the first or second player selected in the amateur draft next month, was 0-for-3 but extended his starting streak to 69 games when he walked seventh.
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