Oregon State's pitching switch backfires in loss to LSU

Top-seeded Oregon State (56-6), which was eliminated by No. 4 LSU (52-18) at TD Ameritrade Park, found that out Saturday afternoon.

However, something changed for the Beavers after their shellacking of LSU on Monday, as the Beavers weren't the same team on Friday and Saturday. LSU spent the previous night and the better part of the morning preparing for Rasmussen's fastball and game planning for how to best approach it.

LSU pitcher Alex Lange (35) gestures as he leaves the game during the eighth inning of an NCAA College World Series baseball game against OR in Omaha, Neb., Friday. Gilbert struck out a career-high seven. They accumulated just three hits on the day, one being a solo home run once the game was out of reach.

The Beavers managed only a season-low two hits on Friday and the three against Gilbert and Hess on Saturday.

Lange (10-5), the Chicago Cubs' first-round draft pick, ran into trouble in the third when he walked three batters and gave up a double.

"It's a surreal feeling to be able to pitch your team, when the back's against the wall in an elimination game, into the College World Series final", Gilbert said.

"I put some good swings on fastballs today", Papierski said.

He would add another homer, this one a solo shot, to pad the lead in the fourth. Fehmel got knocked out of the game Saturday with one out in the third and down 4-0.

LSU has played in the championship series once before - a 2-1 series win over Texas for the 2009 CWS national title - and have a flawless 6-0 record in all CWS championship games. "I was like, 'Get foul, get foul.' Then they called it foul, and I thought it was foul". "But I just had all the faith in the world in my teammates and my coaching staff and just really went out there and pitched my game, tried to attack early with a heater and get ahead and just trust my defense behind me". It also represented the first earned run against Oregon State's bullpen, which had surrendered one unearned tally in 181⁄3 postseason innings. Papierksi gave LSU a 3-0 led with a home run over the rightfield fence on a three-ball, one-strike count pitch. All the great wins we've had he's been a big part of them.

"It's unbelievable what they did this year", LSU coach Paul Mainieri said.

OSU's plate discipline is a defining characteristic of its offense, so the Beavers looked out of sorts when their patience went unrewarded.

Papierski was the first player to homer twice in a Series game since T.C.U.'s Bryan Holaday in 2010.

The Tigers (52-18) won their third straight elimination game and will play the Florida-TCU victor Saturday night in the best-of-three finals beginning Monday. That takes away from their offensive style when you get that first guy out.

Two losses against LSU doesn't erase a season's-worth of splendid play. They are really a scrappy team.

Neither was designated hitter Beau Jordan, who said the decision "didn't faze" the Tigers.

2017 was a memorable year for the Oregon State baseball team, but with Pat Casey at the helm and players like Madrigal, Rutschman, and Grenier coming back, the sky's the limit for 2018.

As the team meeting was finishing up and Gilbert trotted over following a TV interview, his teammates applauded him and they surrounded him in a tightknit circle as Mainieri delivered his final message. They take a lot of pride in our program.

  • Larry Hoffman