BATON ROUGE, La. — Oklahoma's Jonathan Gray was everything Sooner fans have come to expect. LSU's Aaron Nola was just as good in a game that turned into a classic pitcher's duel.
It came down to clutch hitting with runners in scoring position. LSU got the hit it needed while Oklahoma didn't, and the Tigers took Game 1, 2-0, in the NCAA Baseball Super Regional at LSU's Alex Box Stadium.
Gray (10-3) befuddled LSU for seven innings before JaCoby Jones ripped a one-out triple to right-center in the eighth. Pinch hitter Tyler Moore doubled Jones home, and LSU (56-9) had all the run production it would need.
“(Jones) hit a good pitch,” Oklahoma coach Sunny Go lloway said. “I thought Jon made a really good pitch. You've got to tip your cap sometimes. Their guy got the hit when they needed it.”
Oklahoma (47-20) will start Dillon Overton in Saturday's 6 p.m. game as the Sooners try to force Game 3.
All totaled, Gray lasted 7 1/3 innings, surrendering five hits and a pair of walks. He struck out nine, but he was charged with both runs after throwing 118 pitches.
“We keep a close eye on the pitch count, and it looked like Nola was winning the pitch count battle throughout the game. That was getting to be a concern,” said Golloway, who planned on taking Gray out after the eighth.
Nola (12-0) went the distance, and was more efficient in the early going when he built his pitch count edge. His two-hit shutout featured 102 pitches, no walks and six strikeouts.