Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Second baseman Steven Milam blasted a lead-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning Friday, lifting LSU to a 4-3 win over Wofford in the opening game of the NCAA Chapel Hill Regional at Boshamer Stadium.

LSU improved to 41-21 on the season, while Wofford dropped to 41-19.

The Tigers will play at 4 p.m. CT/5 p.m. ET Saturday against the winner of Friday night’s opening round game between No. 1 seed North Carolina and No. 4 seed Long Island.

Wofford will face the loser of Friday’s UNC-LIU contest in an elimination game at 11 a.m. CT/12 p.m. ET on Saturday.

Milam’s walk-off homer in the ninth inning Friday marked his second dinger of the day, as he also launched a solo shot in the seventh inning. The blast marked Milam’s second walk-off home run in LSU’s past three games – he also accomplished the feat with a 10th-inning, two-run dinger last Saturday in an SEC Tournament semifinal win over South Carolina.

“What a game, I’m really proud of our team,” said LSU coach Jay Johnson. “Wofford is a great team, and we knew that coming in. They did a lot of things right today. Fortunately for us, we have great players.

“Another clutch performance by Steven. I know the two home runs really stand out, but he took four great at-bats bats today.”

“I wasn’t trying to win it in one swing,” Milam said. “That’s when you do too much. (Bouchard) threw probably, I think, eight fastballs, so I got my timing down and got a pitch I could drive, and it ended up leaving the park.”

LSU reliever Griffin Herring (5-1) was credited with the win after retiring the Terriers in order in the top of the ninth inning.

Wofford reliever Alec Bouchard (0-5) was charged with the loss as allowing three runs on three hits in 1.0 inning with no walks and one strikeout.

LSU starting pitcher Gage Jump turned in a superb outing, working a career-high 7.1 innings and limiting the Terriers to three runs on six hits with no walks and nine strikeouts.

“Gage was outstanding today,” Johnson said. “Good pitchers find a way to win no matter what. And there’s nobody better than him.”

Wofford starter Branton Little delivered an effective outing, blanking LSU through the first 5.0 innings and allowing just two hits with three walks and three strikeouts.

The Terriers struck for two runs in the second inning against Jump to grab a 2-0 lead. Catcher Daniel Jackson led off the frame with a double, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by rightfielder David Wiley, and scored on first baseman Tyler Hare’s sacrifice fly.

Designated hitter Lucas Manning the singled, stole second base, and scored on an RBI single by leftfielder Andrew Mannelly to give Wofford a 2-0 advantage.

Milam’s solo homer to lead off the seventh – his seventh dinger of the season – narrowed the gap to 2-1; however, Wofford shortstop Jack Renwick led off the eighth with his fifth homer of the year, restoring the Terriers’ two-run lead.

LSU shortstop Michael Braswell III led off the eighth with his fourth homer of the year, and one out later, first baseman Jared Jones tied the game by unloading his 27th dinger of the year to right-center field.

“It’s a great win for our program,” Johnson said. “Great win for the weekend. In postseason baseball, you have to master the art of moving on. So that’s what we’ll do now.”

(Release via LSU Athletics)

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10 Comments
user avatar
Kyrie Eleison22 days
Tiny got some giant pop.
user avatar
nol1wph23 days
So little but yet so big.
user avatar
LSUbest23 days
The Legendary Monster.
user avatar
Vernonbrew2223 days
These guys fight on.
user avatar
BigD4523 days
Milam is THE MAN! I've been watching him all year. He is only going to get better!
user avatar
cajunmud23 days
We got us a lil José Altuve.
user avatar
Tigers4Lyfe23 days
Ha. That's what my Dad told me last weekend after the SEC Tournament.
user avatar
fallguy_197822 days
Kid found his power in the last month or two of the season. He's a player.
user avatar
This kid. My god
user avatar
CanebreakCajun23 days
Back to back, switch hit homers for Milam. I anxiously await BabyTac's "the loudest one in the room, is the weakest" follow up.
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