BATON ROUGE -- "This," Nick Goody said, "is why you come to LSU."
"This" was a one-run game, three outs to get, the ball in the hands of the closer.
Goody made sure all of the 8,978 at Alex Box Stadium knew his rough finish to the season was behind him, striking out the side for his 11th save as the Tigers completed a sweep of the Baton Rouge super regional with a 6-5, 10-inning victory over Oregon State.
It was Goody's first save situation since giving up a season-high three runs in 1 1/3 innings 10 days ago against Mississippi State in the SEC Tournament – his second blown save in a week and fourth straight appearance allowing at least one run after an eight-week string of 17 straight scoreless outings.
"It's just baseball," said Goody, who saw his ERA climb from 0.71 to 2.67 during his end-of-season slump. "Everything happens for a reason."
He pitched a 1-2-3 ninth in Saturday night's 7-1 victory over the Beavers to snap the bad streak, then closed the door when it mattered the most on Sunday.
"What Nick Goody did, I tell you, that's true closing," LSU coach Paul Mainieri said. "To close a championship (game) with a one-run lead and throw the ball the way that he did - that's why you have to stick with people with that kind of talent."
Now, the Tigers are on to the super regionals next weekend at The Box against either Central Florida or Stony Brook.
Whomever makes the trip to Baton Rouge, they will face a loud and crazy atmosphere of purple-and-gold clad fans trying to will their Tigers to another trip to the College World Series.
"I don't know if a big-league atmosphere has this," Goody said. "You soak it in as a player. It's definitely a fun situation to be in."
Goody threw 14 pitches on Sunday, 12 for strikes. It's been that way much of the season for the Orlando native, who has walked only three in 32 1/3 innings of work.
"That's the mentality you've got to have," said Goody, who struck out the side with a one-run lead for the second time this year. "You've got to try to make the hitters hit it. That's the way I go out and attack hitters."
That also figures to play well for his pro stock. Goody was a 22nd-round pick of the New York Yankees out of State College of Florida last year, but passed up the pros to come to Baton Rouge. It's likely he will hear his name called again in this year's MLB draft, which begins Monday.
First-year pitching coach Alan Dunn has made a huge impact on this Tiger staff.
"That's what AD has instilled in us," Goody said. "(He tells us) 'We're not going to walk anybody. They're going to beat us with our best stuff. Throw every pitch with conviction.' I threw every pitch with conviction the best I can."
That conviction has the Tigers one step closer to Omaha.
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