That was a great game today...the enthusiasm was obvious on their faces before, durring and after it....wow were they pumped! Tigers Come From Behind to Beat Southern, 5-4 BATON ROUGE -- Sean Barker singled home the game-winning run for LSU in the bottom of the ninth as the Fighting Tigers (41-19) averted a major upset at the hand of cross-town Southern (45-9) with a 5-4 victory in the opening game of the NCAA Baton Rouge regional Friday at Alex Box Stadium. The second game of the opening round matching third seed Tulane (35-25) and second seed Louisiana-Lafayette (37-21) will start at 7 p.m. LSU advances to play the winner of the Tulane-UL-Lafayette game Saturday at 3 p.m., while Southern faces the loser of tonight's game Saturday at 3 p.m. J.C. Holt led off the ninth with a triple off of Southern reliever Duwon Day, and then Day intentionally walked Aaron Hill and Wally Pontiff to load the bases. Barker then lined a 1-1 pitch into right-center field to send the crowd of 6,309 home happy and give the Tigers their 16th consecutive opening-round win in NCAA regional play. Holt went 4-for-5 in his first NCAA Tournament game, and every LSU starter had at least one hit as the Tigers barely out-hit the Jaguars, 15-14. LSU is now 51-9 at home in NCAA post-season games, and LSU is 18-0 all-time in home post-season games against Louisiana competition. The Tigers scored single runs in each of the first three innings, but in two of those innings, the Tigers stranded runners in scoring position. LSU got on the board in the first on a Pontiff home run, but Holt's leadoff hit was made worthless when Hill grounded into a double play. Chris Phillips' RBI single in the second scored Blake Gill, but Jon Zeringue was stranded on third when Holt lined to shortstop Fernando Puebla. Hill would score LSU's third run in the third when Sean Barker stole second and Brandon Mason's throw kicked into center field when the ball hit a sliding Barker, and that score would hold until Southern finally roughed up LSU starting pitcher Brian Wilson in the fifth. Theo Dumas and Fernando Puebla started the fifth with back-to-back singles, then Brandon Mason's ground ball went between second and shortstop to score Dumas with the Jaguars' first run. Jake Tompkins relieved Wilson with the bases loaded, and although Pontiff made a diving stab of Rickie Weeks' ground ball, Puebla scored on the fielder's choice to cut the LSU lead to 3-2. But Tompkins would hold the lead for the Tigers for the time being by striking out Kevin Vital and getting Fred Lewis to ground out. But the Tiger lead wouldn't last, as Trae Duncan and Puebla singled to bring up Mason with two out, and the Southern catcher doubled off of the right field wall as Barker's leap failed, giving the Jaguars a 4-3 lead. The Tigers tied the game in the bottom of the seventh on Matt Heath's solo home run, his team-leading eighth of the season. Tompkins, a second-team All-SEC reliever, allowed two runs over five innings to earn the win and improve to 6-1 on the season. Game 1: LSU vs. Southern Quotes from LSU Head Coach Smoke Laval "Southern is definitely the best no. 4 seed in the NCAA tournament. I thought they could be a number three seed in another regional." (On Jake Tompkins) "Whether it was the second inning, sixth, or seventh, Jake knew he was going to be our go-to guy." "I thought the game would be a little more high scoring. It's just a game of baseball. Defense won us the ballgame here. We had tremendous defensive play." Relief pitcher Jake Tompkins "Coach Laval told me just don't hold anything back. I hurried up and got warm as soon as I could in the fourth. The next thing I knew, I was in the ball game. At times one bad pitch will hurt you like I threw to (Brandon) Mason when he doubled off the wall and two runs scored." Second Baseman J.C. Holt (On his 9th inning triple) "Before I went to the plate, everyone was just telling me to get on anyway I could. I went up there looking for a fastball in my zone. I just tried to protect the plate. He made a real good pitch and I was fortunate enough to get my bat down. We have been practicing on hitting curve balls and I finally was fortunate to come through." Left Fielder Matt Heath (On his 7th inning homerun) "I just tried to clear my head after having a rough day. He threw a two-seam fastball down and away and I just stayed on it. When I hit it I knew it was gone." Third Baseman Wally Pontiff (On his 1st inning home run) "The home run in the 1st was just me trying to swing as hard as I could because I've been a little passive at the plate. I was tired of swinging easy like a girl and I just swung hard. I actually got jammed on it a bit. The pitcher couldn't believe I hit it out of there. After the game I still couldn't believe I hit it out. It was a little reminiscent of the homerun I hit against Jackson State in the 2000 regional. (On his 5th inning diving stop) "I was guarding the line a little bit because I did not want a double to be hit. I just let my god given ability take over and it found my glove. You cannot practice that play. I have to give credit to our pitching staff for only giving up four runs against the number one hitting team in the country. Southern is the real deal but we got our timely hits when we needed to." Right Fielder Sean Barker (On his game winning hit) "When J.C. hit his triple, I thought Aaron Hill was going to hit him in. But then, I thought they may walk the bases loaded because I wasn't hitting well all day. Coach Laval has told us all year to get that base hit when the game is on the line. I was looking for a fastball because I knew he was a fastball pitcher."