Published 6:44 pm Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Ryan Schimpf homered twice and drove in five runs and Blake Dean went 5-for-5 with a homer and three RBIs as LSU routed UC Irvine 21-7 on Monday night to earn a trip to the College World Series.

Micah Gibbs, Matt Clark, Johnny Dishon and Buzzy Haydel also homered for LSU (48-17-1), which is back in Omaha for the first time since 2004. The Tigers had their 23-game winning streak ended Saturday, and rallied for five runs in the ninth Sunday to stay alive in the super regional.

LSU will take on North Carolina in the opening round of the College World Series next weekend.

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Blake Martin started for the Tigers, giving up five hits and two runs in 4 2-3 innings, and Jordan Brown (5-0) came on in relief to pick up the win.

The Tigers scored six times in the first inning, including consecutive homers by Dean, Clark and Gibbs off Bryce Stowell (8-3). LSU cruised from there, closing 70-year-old Alex Box Stadium with a victory in front of 8,173 — the largest crowd in stadium history.

Eric Deragisch and Dillon Bell homered for UC Irvine (42-18), which was trying to get to Omaha for the second consecutive season.

• On Sunday,, LSU scored five runs in the ninth inning, including Sean Ochinko’s go-ahead single, as the Tigers rallied to stave off elimination in their super regional series against UC Irvine.

The deciding third game at LSU’s Alex Box Stadium is Monday night.

Trailing 7-4, LSU (47-17-1) loaded the bases with no outs when Jared Mitchell, who homered in the eighth, walked to force in a run. Pinch-hitter Nicholas Pontiff drove in a run on a fielder’s choice, Blake Dean hit an RBI single to tie it and Ochinko followed with a chopper over the third baseman’s head to drive in the go-ahead run. DJ LeMahieu’s sacrifice fly capped the rally.

Louis Coleman (7-0) allowed one hit in the final three innings for LSU, which had its 23-game winning streak ended the night before. The Tigers struggled against UC Irvine starter Daniel Bibona, who scattered nine hits over 7 1-3 innings, but got to work against the Anteaters’ bullpen.

Closer Eric Pettis (4-3) entered in the eighth and allowed five runs on five hits in one inning to take the loss for UC Irvine (42-17).