College World Series
The College World Series which is traditionally held in Omaha, Nebraska at Rosenblatt Stadium, is a familiar place to the LSU Tigers. They have been there an astonishing 6 times in the '90s. I was lucky enough to attend the 50th anniversary of the event and watch the Tigers take home yet another national championship. LSU was dubbed by Sports Illustrated as the Team Of The Decade and awarded ESPN's 1996 ESPY Award for "Showstopper of the Year." Below is an excerpt from the 1996 CWS Program.Click here to watch a movie of Da' Shot Heard Round Da' Bayou.
Click here to listen to Jim Hawthorne, "The Voice of the Tigers," call Da' Shot Heard Round Da' Bayou.
You have to excuse LSU head coach Skip Bertman and his Fighting Tigers if they don't seem to be in awe of Rosenblatt Stadium and the magic found with the College World Series. You have to forgive them for their confident swagger and systematic approach to college baseball's ultimate goal - Omaha.
Since 1990, no other college baseball program has had more success in Omaha than LSU. Not only have the Fighting Tigers advanced to Omaha five [now 7!] times in the '90s, they have won the national championship twice [now 6 times!], first in 1991, again in 1993 [and 1996, 1997, 2000, and 2009 now!].
- NCAA record: doubles in inning (8)
- Tied NCAA record: consecutive batters reaching base in an inning (17)
- Tied NCAA record: hits in an inning (13)
- NCAA Tournament record: runs in one inning (18)
- NCAA Tournament record: total bases (27)
- NCAA Tournament record: plate appearances (22)
- NCAA Tournament record: RBIs (17)
- NCAA Tournament record: at-bats (16)
- NCAA Tournament record: combined runs (42)
- Johnny-D and I standing right next to the scoreboard (I would be the one standing under the 'hits' column without my shirt on - sorry about that, but it was hot) after the Tigers hit the winning home run against the University of Miami. It was a close series, but my alma mater took it home, and I was certainly glad to be there. I missed when we won the national championships in 1991 and 1993. I was going to make the 1996 series by hook or crook (I had surgery the day I left for Omaha!) This game is known as the Greatest Finish in College World Series History (ABC replayed the last 10 mins of it again after 1999's CWS.) In Louisiana, it's known as "Da' Shot Heard 'Round da' Bayou."
It was an incredible storybook ending:
Miami took the lead, 8-7, in the top of the ninth inning. LSU got a man on base in the bottom of the ninth, but quickly racked up two outs. Warren Morris, who had only played in 29 games the whole season due to wrist surgery, hadn't hit a single homerun all year. He made up for all of that on his first pitch, which he knocked out of the park to win the game and the national championship.
- Shortly after the victory in one of the favorite haunts of the College World Series fans. We partied non-stop when we were there with lovely students from Miami, Florida, Florida State, Wichita State, Oklahoma State, Creighton, Alabama, and Clemson (who the LSU football team beat in the Peach Bowl later in the year.)