BATON ROUGE -- While LSU starter Aaron Nola was in the midst of a two-hit complete-game shutout, JaCoby Jones hit an eighth-inning triple and broke a scoreless tie on a double by Tyler Moore, as the Tigers won game 1 of the NCAA Super Regional, 2-0, over Oklahoma.
LSU (56-9) advanced within one game of its 16th College World Series appearance and first since 2009. Game 2 of the best-of-three series is set for Saturday at 6 p.m. CT on ESPN2, WatchESPN.com and the LSU Sports Radio Network.
Ryan Eades (8-1, 2.81 ERA) will get the start for LSU, while lefty Dillon Overton (9-2, 2.91 ERA) is set to take the mound for Oklahoma. The pair were taken 20 picks apart in the second round of the Major League Baseball Draft on Thursday night, with Eades taken 43rd by the Minnesota Twins and Overton 63rd by the Oakland Athletics.
Nola (12-0) was magnificent on the mound, tossing his fifth complete game of the season with no walks and six strikeouts. He hit a batter in the second inning, but picked him off first base.
Nola was only touched for a leadoff double in the left-field gap to Sooners cleanup hitter Matt Oberste in the fifth inning and a two-out single to center by designated hitter Colt Bickerstaff in the eighth. Oberste was bunted to third but went no further, as Nola got a strikeout and chopper on the infield to end the threat.
Meanwhile, Oklahoma starter Jonathan Gray (10-3), who was the third overall selection in the Major League Baseball Draft on Thursday night, kept up to his end of the pitchers' duel. Gray allowed three hits over the first 7 1/3 innings before his pitch count - and fastball - started to rise.
With one out in the bottom of the eighth, Jones broke through against the hard-throwing righty with his first triple of the season into the right-centerfield gap. In the next at-bat, Moore, pinch hitting for Andrew Stevenson, connected for a double over Oklahoma right fielder Taylor Alspaugh’s outstretched glove, putting the Tigers in front 1-0 and sending Gray to the showers after 118 pitches.
With Oklahoma reliever Ralph Garza on the hill, pinch runner Jared Foster came home on a seeing-eye single to right off the bat of rightfielder Mark Laird, who finished 3-for-4 on the night.
With a 2-0 advantage in the ninth, Nola shut the door retiring the Sooners in order and marking his fifth complete game performance on the season. Nola threw 102 pitches including 77 for strikes. In the process, the SEC Pitcher of the Year lowered his ERA to 1.68.
Oklahoma (43-20) saw its eight-game winning streak come to an end in front of a record crowd of 11,095 on a pleasant evening at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.