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Louisiana State center fielder Mikie Mahtook lashes a single in the top of the 11th inning to score DJ LeMahieu with the winning run in game one of the CWS championship series.

Earlier in the game Mahtook was treated for leg cramps.MATT MILLER/THE WORLD-HERALD Published Monday June 22, 2009Louisiana State: One to geaux By Steven Pivovar WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER « CWS DiggNewsvinedel.icio.usRedditFacebook Related NewsInteractive CWS bracket, results,...CWS Blog: Past postsCWS in PicturesRelated Links2009 CWS bracketFollow us on TwitterThere is still another year of games before the College World Series bids farewell to Rosenblatt Stadium, but Louisiana State's 7-6 victory over Texas on Monday night might be one to save for the time capsule.The Tigers, down two runs with an out to go in the ninth inning, tied the game on DJ LeMahieu's double.

LeMahieu then scored the run that put LSU a win away from a sixth national championship, racing home on freshman Mikie Mahtook's two-out single in the 11th inning."That was probably the most courageous, never-say-die effort that I've ever seen out of one of my teams in 27 years,'' LSU coach Paul Mainieri said.

"That was one for the ages.''Few in the crowd of 23,019 would argue.

Top-ranked LSU (55-16) had to overcome a five-homer explosion by Texas that allowed the Longhorns to take a 6-4 lead into the ninth inning in the opening game of the best-of-three championship finals.Game SnapshotStar of the gameMikie Mahtook got the game-winning hit, but if it hadn't been for DJ LeMahieu, Louisiana State might be trying to figure out how to get even in the finals series tonight.

After Texas had taken a 5-3 lead in the sixth, LeMahieu homered to get his team back within a run in the seventh.

Then, with Texas one out away from a 6-4 victory, the sophomore ripped a two-out double down the left-field line to tie the score.

He scored the game-winning run in the 11th on Mahtook's single.Play of the gameOn a night filled with clutch hits, LeMahieu delivered the biggest when he stroked the ninth-inning double off Texas reliever Austin Dicharry.

"That was as clutch a hit as you'll ever want to see,'' LSU coach Paul Mainieri said.

The drive into the left-field corner scored Sean Ochinko and Derek Helenihi to forge a 6-6 tie.Quirky statAfter arriving in Omaha with 39 homers in 61 games, Texas has hit 11 in four CWS contests.

Two came in the ninth inning of Friday's finals-clinching win over Arizona State, and five came Monday night.

Those seven homers came in 30 plate appearances that started with Cameron Rupp's blast with one out in the ninth Friday and ended with Connor Rowe's shot to lead off the seventh.

In that span of 6.1 innings, Texas hit more homers than it had in eight games in February (3) or 17 games in March (4).Critical decisionTexas coach Augie Garrido said he was playing a hunch when he penciled Russell Moldenhauer's name into the No.

4 slot for the CWS opener against Southern Mississippi.

He responded by hitting a homer and a double in the 7-6 win.

He had been quiet in Texas' two games against Arizona State, going 0 for 6 with two strikeouts.

He came into Monday's game with an on-base percentage (.387) that was higher than his slugging average (.342) but Garrido still stuck with him.

Moldenhauer rewarded that faith as he singled and hit two home runs.Defining momentRallies often start with the most inconsequential of things.

With Chance Ruffin sailing along in the sixth, LSU got a single from Blake Dean.

On a 3-2 pitch to Micah Gibbs, Dean broke for second, pulling Texas second baseman Travis Tucker with him to cover the bag.

Gibbs punched a single into the space where Tucker normally would have been playing.

Instead of getting an out, Texas found itself in a first-and-third jam.

Ruffin came back to strike out Mahtook, which could have ended the inning had Gibbs not been running.

Jared Mitchell then greeted reliever Austin Wood with a triple to tie the game at 3-3.

Our takeLSU weathered what could have been a knockout blow by the suddenly powerful Longhorns.

Now it's up to Texas to pick itself up off the canvas and try to get the win that will extend the college baseball season until Wednesday.

The Longhorns will turn to freshman Taylor Jungmann, spectacular when Texas faced a must-win situation in the final game of the super regional against Texas Christian.

Jungmann had a chance to close the Tigers out in the ninth inning on Monday but couldn't get the job done.

Texas must hope he can tonight.— Steven PivovarA one-out single by Sean Ochinko and a walk to Derek Helenihi kept the Tigers on life support.

Texas reliever Austin Dicharry struck out pinch-hitter Tyler Hanover for the second out before LeMahieu, a second-round draft pick of the Chicago Cubs, ripped a first-pitch double down the left-field line to tie the game.LeMahieu scored the game-winner in the 11th when Mahtook stroked a one-ball, two-strike curveball from losing pitcher Brandon Workman into center field.LSU closer Matty Ott then finished three hitless innings of relief with two strikeouts and a groundout, touching off a wild celebration among the thousands of purple-and-gold-clad fans who had turned Rosenblatt into Alex Box Stadium North."I grew up an LSU fan, and I watched the Tigers win those five national championships,'' said Mathook, who a year ago was fresh off a high school graduation.

"Now, to have a chance to be a part of history is just a special feeling.''The Tigers will try to lock down a title tonight at 6 in the second game.

An LSU win would officially start the clock ticking on Rosenblatt's final days, while a Texas win would extend the series to a decisive game Wednesday."What happens now is that everyone starts to get a little shaky as to why all this happened,'' said Texas coach Augie Garrido, whose team dropped to 49-15-1.

"They put their heart and soul into the effort, and this performance was really good."The problem is the loss.

The performance was pretty darn good.''The Longhorns hit five home runs, and lost.

This is a team that had homered just 39 times in 61 games prior to arriving in Omaha.

Since then, the Longhorns have bashed 11."We play in a park that just swallows the ball,'' Texas designated hitter Russell Moldenhauer said.

"We've hit the ball well all year.

This field just plays to how we're hitting right now."Moldenhauer hit two of Texas' five solo homers, all of which came off LSU starter Louis Coleman.

He gave up three in the fourth inning — to Travis Tucker, Moldenhauer and Kevin Keyes — as Texas erased a 1-0 deficit.After LSU tied the game in the sixth on Jared Mitchell's two-run triple, Moldenhauer connected again to give his team a lead.

Texas tacked on a fifth run later in the inning when Keyes scored from third on a Coleman wild pitch, and Connor Rowe gave the Longhorns a 6-4 lead when he led off the seventh with his second CWS homer and eighth of the season."Coleman elevated some pitches,'' said Mainieri, who took his starter out after Rowe's homer.

"I went out to the mound and said to him, 'At least they're solo home runs.'"We stayed within striking distance."LeMahieu, who had homered in the seventh for LSU's fourth run, delivered the game-tying hit in the ninth.

The Tigers threatened in the 10th, loading the bases with one out before Workman blew away Helenihi and Hanover with strikeouts.Workman walked LeMahieu to open the 11th inning.

He stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by Texas catch Cameron Rupp.

LeMahieu was still 90 feet away when Mahtook came to the plate with two outs after Workman walked Micah Gibbs.Mahtook had struck out his first three times up, then grounded into a double play to end the eighth.

He needed a midgame IV to help him get through some serious cramping caused by sizzling temperatures and humidityHe had stroked a 10th-inning single to give him a dash of confidence when he came to the plate in the 11th to face Workman."He was obviously throwing really hard,'' Mahtook said.

"I made a point to get my foot down early and see every pitch.

I fouled a few fastballs off and then he tried to bury a curveball, which I had been swinging at all game."He left it up and I hit it up the middle.''Ott made the run stand up to allow LSU to start thinking about what is possible tonight."This is what you work for since you start playing baseball when you're 8 years old,'' Ott said.

"We have a chance to add to the tradition and make dreams come true.''Contact the writer:679-2298, [email protected] Contact the Omaha World-Herald newsroom Copyright ©2009 Omaha World-Herald®.

All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, displayed or redistributed for any purpose without permission from the Omaha World-Herald.

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