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Golden Eagles fall in regional final to LSU

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Josh Smith hit a solo home run and a two-run triple, and LSU advanced to the super regional round of the NCAA tournament with a 6-4 victory over Southern Miss on Sunday night.

The Tigers (40-24) won all three of their games in the Baton Rouge regional and will host Florida State (39-21) next weekend with a trip to the College World Series in Omaha at stake.

Smith led off the bottom of the first with a homer to right on the first pitch he saw to make it 1-0. He made it 3-0 in the second with a two-out, two-run triple to left center.

Southern Miss (40-21) responded with Gabe Montenegro’s homer in the fourth and took the lead with a three-run rally in the fifth, highlighted by Danny Lynch’s two-run single to center.

But the Golden Eagles left the bases loaded when home runs leader Matt Wallner struck out waving at a breaking ball from reliever Matthew Beck.

LSU’s Antoine Duplantis had two hits. His first, a lined single to center, placed him first in career hits at LSU with 353, surpassing Eddy Furniss (1995-98). He waved to the crowd as he received a standing ovation and teammates along the first-base dugout saluted him with hats held high in the air.

Duplantis led off the seventh with a single to left against Southern Miss starter Josh Lewis (1-1) and scored the on Zach Watson’s two run single, which put LSU back in front, 5-4. Saul Garza’s double off the wall drove in Watson.

Trent Vietmeier (3-1) pitched two scoreless innings in the sixth and seventh. Devin Fontenot came on in the eighth, recording six outs without allowing a run for his seventh save.