LSU Pulls Off Stunner, Knocking Out Oregon State To Reach CWS Final

LSU Pulls Off Stunner, Knocking Out Oregon State To Reach CWS Final

LSU completed an improbable run through the loser's bracket by overpowering Oregon State, 6-1, to reach the College World Series Finals at TD Ameritrade Park on Saturday afternoon.

If LSU hangs on and wins, it will advance to the championship series, which begins Monday night against either Florida or TCU.

And the Tigers completely shut down the Beavers in both of those games, holding Oregon State to two runs on five hits in 18 innings.

With OSU batters trying to work him deep into counts, Gilbert threw nearly exclusively fastballs, recorded 17 first-pitch strikes to the 25 batters he faced, walked only one (and that came with two outs in the 4th), never allowed a leadoff hitter to reach base and got 6 of his 7 strikeouts on called third strikes.

As LSU bombed three home runs off the best statistical pitching staff in the nation, Oregon State did not have a base runner in the first three innings while taking five strikeouts across a much-maligned strike zone from home plate umpire Greg Street.

The last player to accomplish the feat was TCU's Bryan Holaday, who hit two bombs against UCLA on June 26, 2010, when the CWS was still being played at Rosenblatt Stadium. Lange fired 7 ⅓ innings of two-hit work for his 10th win and second elimination-game gem in three years at the CWS.

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The loss ended a remarkable season for Oregon State, which finished 56-6, a.903 winning percentage, among the best in college baseball history. He went deep from the left side off Bryce Fehmel in the second inning and the right side off Brandon Eisert in the fourth. "And now is not the time to really think about that or talk about it, but I know there will be a time when they get to sit back and reflect and realize what they accomplished". The sophomore walked one and fanned seven. "I knew any run we got was going to be valuable, it was probably going to be a low scoring game". "I wish I could tell you that I went to bed last night and dreamt that Caleb Gilbert would give us seven shutout innings on one-hit ball, and that Michael Papierski was going to launch one out from each side of the plate, and that (LSU designated hitter) Beau Jordan was going to tomahawk a 97-mile-an-hour fastball into the stands, but I'd be lying if I told you that". Antoine Duplantis had an RBI single in the third to extend the advantage to 4-0.

Fourth-seeded LSU bounced back from a 13-1 loss to Oregon State on Monday and reached the championship round for the first time since winning the national title in 2009. The Tigers hit three home runs Saturday and allowed just three hits - that's a winning formula.

LSU will be trying to win its seventh national championship, breaking a tie for second place with Texas.

He mowed down the first 11 batters of the game and then set down 11 more in a row after KJ Harrison slapped a two-out single to left field in the 4th. Entering the fifth inning, Gilbert had allowed the one hit and no runs with one walk and five strikeouts. Caleb Gilbert started on the mound for the Tigers and was superb just as his Friday counterpart Alex Lange.

"It's a surreal feeling to be able to pitch your team, when the back's against the wall, into the College World Series", Gilbert said. "I put some good swings on fastballs today". Nick Madrigal walked to put runners at first and second, LSU's Hess appeared to be struggling with his control. That's the side of the plate from where the LSU baseball player had a late-season surge in production toward the end of his sophomore year.

Looking ahead, there are several Beavers who have most likely played their last game in an OSU uniform.

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