OMAHA, NEB. — For the first time this season, Jack Wholestaff wasn’t up to the task for the LSU Tigers.
And now the Tigers’ season is over.
LSU danced around its lack of a consistent third starter, and a dependable closer, all season en route to 54 wins, the Southeastern Conference regular-season championship and the program’s 17th trip to the College World Series.
At least 13 times this season, the Tigers went with what coach Paul Mainieri called his “Jack Wholestaff” approach, stitching together a complete game out of a cast of relief pitchers.
Every time it worked, but not with LSU’s hopes of a seventh national championship on the line. TCU beat the Tigers for the second time this week, sending LSU back to Baton Rouge with an 8-4 defeat before an announced crowd of 26,803 at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha.
LSU, which lost 10-3 Sunday to TCU, saw its season end at 54-12. TCU (51-14) advanced to a rematch with Vanderbilt at 7 p.m. Friday.
The Horned Frogs, who lost 1-0 Tuesday to Vandy, must beat the unbeaten Commodores twice to reach next week’s CWS championship series.