OMAHA, Neb. - Homers by centerfielder Mikie Mahtook, shortstop Austin Nola and designated hitter Blake Dean, as well as a solid performance by starter Louis Coleman, paced No.1 LSU to a 9-1 victory over Arkansas in the second round of the College World Series Monday night at Rosenblatt Stadium.
The Tigers (53-16) extended their winning streak to 12 straight games and will play again Friday at 1 p.m. CT against the winner of Wednesday's elimination game between Arkansas (40-23) and Virginia (49-14-1).
Friday's game will be televised on ESPN 2. It will also be broadcast on the LSU Sports Radio Network (WDGL 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge). Live audio and stats can be accessed in the Geaux Zone at www.lsusports.net.
Coleman (14-2) threw six innings, allowing one run on six hits while walking three and striking out seven. The senior from Schlater, Miss., became LSU's first 14-game winner since Patrick Coogan posted 14 victories in 1997.
"I know I say it every time he pitches, but Louis Coleman is a great competitor," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "He is going to give us his best effort every time he takes the mound. Maybe he didn't have electric stuff to start the game, but by the middle innings, he was tremendous. He got better and stronger as the game went on, and we gave him plenty of run support.
"I'm very proud of the way our entire team played tonight. I had the feeling we would play well because I sense a focus and demeanor within our team that is a coach's dream. We'll take a few days off now and get ready for Friday."
Righfielder Jared Mitchell and second baseman DJ LeMahieu led LSU offensively with three hits apiece. LeMahieu became the first player in LSU history to record back-to-back three-hit games in the College World Series.
After LeMahieu led off the game with a single and stole second and Schimpf walked, centerfielder Mikie Mahtook blasted a three-run homer to left to give the Tigers a 3-0 lead in the first inning.
Mahtook's homer was the first by an LSU freshman in the College World Series since Mike Fontenot homered against Texas on June 10, 2000.
The Razorbacks responded in the bottom of the frame with back-to back hits by Ben Tschepikow and Scott Lyons. First baseman Andy Wilkins knocked in Tschepikow from third with a sacrifice fly to left to make the score 3-1.
LSU increased its lead to 4-1 in the second when LeMahieu laced a two-out single to right and then scored from first on a double by Ryan Schimpf, which went over the head of Arkansas centerfielder Colin Kuhn.
The Tigers' four runs came off of right-handed starter Brett Eibner, who only lasted 1.2 innings, allowing five hits. Eibner was replaced by right-hander TJ Forrest, who came in and struck out Micah Gibbs to retire LSU in the second.
After another double by Tschpikow and walks by Wilkins and second baseman Bo Bigham, Coleman struck out pinch hitter Jacob House with the bases loaded to end the Arkansas threat in the third.
LSU got back on the board in the sixth when shortstop Austin Nola belted a solo homer over the left field wall, putting the Tigers ahead 5-1.
Later in the inning, designated hitter Blake Dean launched a two-out, two-run homer to deep left off Forrest to give LSU a 7-1 advantage. Right-hander Sam Murphy came on in relief for Forrest after Dean's homer.
With a 3-2 count and two outs in the sixth, right fielder Jared Mitchell ripped a single to left that scored Gibbs and Mahtook after Arkansas leftfielder Chase Leavitt's throw to third got by Zack Cox. Mitchell advanced to third on the play and LSU took a 9-1 lead into the bottom of the sixth.
Daniel Bradshaw came on in relief for Coleman in the seventh and threw two innings, allowing no runs on two hits while walking none and striking out two.