OMAHA — Ben McDonald, making his final pre-draft start for Louisiana State, was the recipient of most of the media attention before Saturday night's first-round game against Miami (Fla.) in the College World Series.
However, Miami pitcher Joe Grahe stole the spotlight with an impressive complete-game performance as the Hurricanes defeated LSU, 5-2, at Rosenblatt Stadium.
Grahe, a senior right-hander, allowed only five hits and struck out eight to improve to 15-4.
"After I went through the first inning and saw I could get hitters out in the World Series, I was all right," Grahe said. "I knew if I could just keep them to one or two runs, we were going to scrape one or two together and get enough to win."
Will Vespe and F. P. Santangelo each hit two-run homers off McDonald, who is expected to be picked by the Baltimore Orioles as the first player selected in Monday's free-agent draft.
McDonald, who yielded five runs, nine hits and had eight strikeouts in eight innings, said the media crush did not bother him against Miami.
"I don't think that had a real big effect," said McDonald, who surrendered a 10th-inning game-winning grand slam to Stanford's Paul Carey in the 1987 World Series, and is 0-3 at Rosenblatt Stadium. "I just couldn't get my curveball over the plate tonight and that hurt me. I basically just had one pitch tonight and its tough to win with just one pitch at this caliber baseball."
Miami (49-16) plays Texas (52-17) in a West Bracket winner's game Monday. LSU (53-16) meets Cal State Long Beach (50-14) Monday in an elimination game.