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NCAA Tournament: LSU 8, Sam Houston State 5 -- That Was Unnecessarily Interesting

A wild first inning made LSU and Aaron Nola sweat out the rest of the game. But things came together when they needed to


It's not every day that a five-run first inning has absolutely no impact on the starting pitcher's ERA. But for Aaron Nola, it was really kind of fair that he didn't just avoid any effect on the ERA, but he picked up the win against Sam Houston State as well after the Tigers rallied for an 8-5 victory.

That's because three errors (and a wild pitch, in complete fairness) contributed mightily to the nightmare frame that almost had LSU out of the game before it really began. The Bayou Bengals would have a total of five errors before the night was over, though no more led to anything more than perhaps a tense moment or two. And Nola didn't let the rough start get to him. He allowed just three hits over the next six innings, enough time for LSU to eventually regain the lead.

Nola is now a perfect 11-0 and, more importantly, his team is 2-0 heading into the regional final. It should have been a lot easier to get to both of those numbers, but the stat sheet doesn't really care how you win. Neither does the format of the NCAA tournament, which says that the next win will bring a super regional to Baton Rouge.