EUGENE. Ore. (AP)Alek Jacob struck out nine and gave up four hits in a complete game shutout to help No. 2 regional seed Gonzaga beat third-seeded LSU 3-0 in a Eugene Regional opener on Friday night.
Jacob escaped a jam in the fourth inning after giving up a lead-off triple to Dylan Crews and loading the bases, but he got stronger as the game progressed, retiring the last 13 batters he faced. Jacob entered the game with a 1.46 ERA and 47 strikeouts in his last five starts – a run that started with his no-hitter against Pepperdine on April 16.
The Bulldogs (34-17) advanced to face No. 14 overall seed and regional host Oregon on Sunday. The Ducks beat Gonzaga 10-3 in Eugene on May 18, the only time the teams faced each other during the season.
The Tigers (34-23) had their first opening game loss in an NCAA regional in 36 years and will face No. 4 seed Central Connecticut Saturday in a loser-out game. It could be the last game for LSU coach Paul Mainieri, who announced last week he would retire after a combined 39 seasons at St. Thomas, Air Force, Notre Dame and LSU. Mainieri’s 1,501 career wins are most by an active coach and seventh all-time.
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