Walker shuts down Rice, Tigers head to Super Regional

OMAHA, NE - JUNE 24: (L) Manager Paul Mainieri of the Louisiana State University Tigers looks on as he has a meeting with his players in the sixth inning during Game 3 of the 2009 NCAA College World Series at Rosenblatt Stadium on June 24, 2009 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

In an NCAA tournament already ripe with upsets, 4th national seed LSU was not about to become another.

The Tigers scored 5 times in the first 4 innings, then rode the pitching of freshman Eric Walker to win the Baton Rouge Regional with a 5-0 win over Rice.

Walker pitched to two batters in the 9th, before being removed in favor of reliever Zach Hess. Walker pitched 8 shutout innings, striking out 8 and walking none.

LSU returns to the Super Regional, where the Tigers lost to eventual national champion Coastal Carolina, one year ago.

LSU plays the winner of the Hattiesburg, Mississippi Regional. Mississippi State has to beat Southern Miss twice. If not the Golden Eagles head to Baton Rouge for the best two of three series.

The winner goes to Omaha for the College World Series.

National seeds North Carolina and Stanford have been eliminated in the regional round.