Gary Hymel had two three-run homers, and Louisiana State blasted its way into the championship game of the College World Series with a 19-8 victory over Florida on Wednesday night. The fourth-seeded Tigers, who had 14 hits against five pitchers, reached the title game for the first time despite having been in the CWS five of the last six years.
LSU will face either Creighton or Wichita State for the championship Saturday. Creighton would have to beat Wichita State twice to gain the title game.
The Tigers (54-19) also laid claim to bragging rights in the Southeastern Conference as they lost to Florida (51-21) in the opening game of the double-elimination CWS. Louisiana State won the regular-season SEC title before losing the conference tournament to Florida.
Creighton and Wichita State is another matchup of conference foes as both teams play in the Missouri Valley Conference. Wichita State has won all seven of the meetings between the teams this season.
Hymel homered in the first and ninth to sandwich an impressive string of middle innings that saw the Tigers score five runs in the fourth, five in the fifth and three in the sixth.
Lyle Mouton tied a CWS record with his three-run homer in the sixth, his fourth career CWS homer.
Florida's Mario Linares had two home runs, a two-run shot in the fifth and a three-run blast in the seventh.
Paul Byrd (8-3) was the winning pitcher while Cord Corbitt (2-1) took the loss.