OMAHA, Neb. — Two years ago, Louisiana State wasn't good enough to qualify for its conference tournament. After Wednesday night, the Tigers are the best team in college baseball again.
The Tigers won their sixth national title Wednesday night, breaking open Game 3 of the College World Series finals with a five-run sixth inning that carried them to an 11-4 victory over Texas.
Jared Mitchell hit a three-run homer in the first inning as LSU (56-17) built a 4-0 lead. Texas (50-16-1) pulled even, but Mikie Mahtook's tie-breaking double ignited the Tigers' big sixth against the mistake-prone Longhorns.
Anthony Ranaudo (12-3) got the win despite allowing four runs on eight hits and five walks in 51⁄3 innings. Brandon Workman (3-5) took the loss.
The Tigers came into the CWS ranked No. 1 in the major polls, and that's where they'll finish after keeping Texas from becoming the first No. 1 seed to win the NCAA Tournament since Miami in 1999.
LSU won national titles in 1991, '93, '96, '97 and 2000 under Skip Bertman. Though the Tigers made it back to the CWS two times under Smoke Laval — he went 0-4 here — the program was in a down cycle before Paul Mainieri arrived three years ago.
His 2007 team, which included four regulars on the 2009 title team, failed to qualify for the Southeastern Conference post-season tournament. His 2008 squad struggled until mid-season, then rolled off an SEC-record 23 straight wins on its way to the College World Series.
Louis Coleman struck out Kevin Keyes for the second out in the ninth inning, bringing most of the 19,986 fans at Rosenblatt Stadium to their feet. Coleman struck out Connor Rowe for the final out, threw his glove high in the air and then sank to the bottom of the pile in front of the mound.
The Longhorns had forced a deciding third game after freshman Taylor Jungmann held LSU to five hits in a 5-1 victory Tuesday.
LSU, which lost back-to-back games only once this season, had no problem scoring Wednesday against six pitchers. The Longhorns gave the Tigers some help, too. LSU capitalized on two walks, two hit batters, a passed ball, a wild pitch and an error in the sixth. Only two of the five runs LSU scored in the inning were earned.
Mahtook doubled into center off Workman to break a 4-4 tie, and he scored on Derek Helenihi's sacrifice fly off Austin Dicharry. Austin Wood, who came on after Dicharry walked D.J. LeMahieu, hit Ryan Schimpf to load the bases, and then he plunked Blake Dean to force in another run.
Sean Ochinko followed with a two-run single to make it 9-4, and his homer in the ninth made it 11-4.
LSU, 1-2 in Omaha last year, started 2009 ranked No. 1 in the Collegiate Baseball poll and swept the SEC regular-season and post-season titles.
LSU 310 005 011—11 12 0
Texas 002 020 000—4 9 1
Ranaudo, Jones (6), Coleman (8) and Gibbs. Green, Workman (3), Dicharry (6), Wood (6), Shinaberry (8), Ruffin (9) and Rupp. W—Anthony Ranaudo. L—Brandon Workman (3-5) (12-3) 2B—Nola, Mahtook (LSU); Tucker, Torres (Texas). HR—Ochinko, Mitchell (LSU); Keyes (Texas).
Records—LSU (56-17), Texas (50-16-1)