The Tigers, coached by Skip Bertman, had already established themselves as a premier college baseball program, having won two previous national championships in 1991 and 1993. The 1996 version built on this reputation by compiling a 52-15 record, including going 20-10 in the Southeastern Conference, winning the SEC championship as well.
The Tigers opened the College World Series by defeating Wichita State 9-8, the same team they beat in the championship games of 1991 and 1993. LSU then moved on to play conference rival Florida (who had beaten the Tigers in all four games played earlier in the season). LSU won 9-4. Florida then came back through the losers bracket to face LSU again. The Tigers won the second game 2-1 to move onto the championship game.
The championship game featured a match-up of two college baseball powers in LSU and Miami (Florida). Both teams had previously won 2 national championships (Miami: 1982 & 1985) and were vying for their third. Miami featured future major leaguers Alex Cora and Pat Burrell, who helped the Hurricanes to establish a 7-3 lead in the game. However, the Tigers would fight back to tie the game. Cora then reclaimed the lead for Miami with an RBI single and the Hurricanes then led 8-7 heading into the 9th inning.
With 2 outs and a runner on third base LSU only needed a base hit or a wild pitch to tie the game. An unlikely hero emerged from the LSU dugout in Warren Morris, who had been hurt most of the year. He stepped to the plate and faced pitcher Robbie Morrison. Morris swung on Morrison's first pitch and lined the ball just inches over the right field fence for a 2 out, game winning walk off home run. This was his first home run of the season.