1996 LSU Tigers baseball team
|1996 LSU Tigers baseball|
|1996 record||52-15 (20-10 SEC)|
|Head coach||Skip Bertman|
|Home stadium||Alex Box Stadium|
|1996 Southeastern Conference baseball standings|
|#3 Florida x||20||–||10||.667||50||–||18||.735|
|#5 Alabama x‡||20||–||10||.667||50||–||19||.725|
|#1 LSU x||20||–||10||.667||52||–||15||.776|
|#27 Mississippi State||17||–||13||.567||38||–||24||.613|
|x – Division champion
‡ – Tournament champion
y – Invited to the 1996 NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament
As of June 30, 1996; Rankings from Collegiate Baseball
The Tigers, coached by Skip Bertman, had already established themselves as a premier college baseball program, having won two previous national championships in 1991 and 1993. The 1996 version built on this reputation by compiling a 52-15 record, including going 20-10 in the Southeastern Conference, winning the SEC championship as well.
The Tigers regular season record was 43-13 with notable losses coming against conference rivals Alabama and a 3-game sweep at the hands of Florida.
LSU defeated Tennessee in the first game of the 1996 SEC Baseball Tournament but then lost to Florida (their fourth loss to them in as many games) and Kentucky and were eliminated.
NCAA Tournament Regional
College World Series
The Tigers opened the College World Series by defeating Wichita State 9-8, the same team they beat in the championship games of 1991 and 1993. LSU then moved on to play conference rival Florida (who had beaten the Tigers in all four games played earlier in the season). LSU won 9-4. Florida then came back through the losers bracket to face LSU again. The Tigers won the second game 2-1 to move onto the championship game.
The championship game featured a match-up of two college baseball powers in LSU and Miami (Florida). Both teams had previously won 2 national championships (Miami: 1982 & 1985) and were vying for their third. Miami featured future major leaguers Alex Cora and Pat Burrell, who helped the Hurricanes to establish a 7-3 lead in the game. However, the Tigers would fight back to tie the game. Cora then reclaimed the lead for Miami with an RBI single and the Hurricanes then led 8-7 heading into the 9th inning.
With 2 outs and a runner on third base LSU only needed a base hit or a wild pitch to tie the game. An unlikely hero emerged from the LSU dugout in Warren Morris, who had been hurt most of the year. He stepped to the plate and faced pitcher Robbie Morrison. Morris swung on Morrison's first pitch and lined the ball just inches over the right field fence for a 2 out, game winning walk off home run. This was his first home run of the season.
The Tigers won their third national championship and would follow it up with three more in 1997, 2000 and 2009. Miami would recover and go on to win two more national championships as well in 1999 and 2001.
|1996 LSU Tigers baseball game log|
|Skip Bertman||Head Coach|
|Mike Bianco||Assistant Coach|
|Dan Canevari||Administrative Assistant|
|Daniel Tomlin||Volunteer Assistant Coach|
- "College Baseball Conference Standings -- 1996". Boydsworld.com. Retrieved January 1, 2013.
- ESPY Past Winners
- Jim Schwanke Assistant Coach