Oregon State, the No. 1 national seed, was eliminated from the College World Series when it lost to Louisiana State for the second consecutive day.
OMAHA, Neb. – Nothing Louisiana State encounters in the College World Series championship series is likely to be more daunting than the task the Tigers had to complete to get there.
LSU had to beat an Oregon State powerhouse that owned the most formidable record of any team in four decades, and had to do it twice.
The Tigers did, in impressive fashion.
Caleb Gilbert limited the No. 1 national seed Beavers to two hits in 71/3 innings, Michael Papierski homered from both sides of the plate, and fourth-seeded LSU won 6-1 on Saturday — a day after beating them 3-1.
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“To lose four games the entire season, and we beat them two days in a row, it’s hard to predict those things to happen, but that’s why you have to play the games,” Tigers coach Paul Mainieri said. “Our kids embraced the challenge.”
The Tigers (52-18) won their third straight elimination game and will play third-seeded Florida (50-19) in the best-of-three finals beginning Monday; both schools compete in the Southeastern Conference.
Florida advanced by beating Texas Christian 3-0.
Oregon State (56-6) finished with a .903 winning percentage — the best since Texas’ mark of .908 in 1982.
“It’s a tough day when you’ve had such a great year,” Beavers coach Pat Casey said. “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.”
Gilbert allowed an infield single and walk before Michael Gretler, who is from Bonney Lake, homered in the seventh. Gilbert struck out a career-high seven.
Papierski became the first player to homer twice in a CWS game since TCU’s Bryan Holaday in 2010. He went deep from the left side off Bryce Fehmel in the second and the right side off Brandon Eisert in the fourth.
This is the 18th year in a row the No. 1 national seed won’t win the title. Miami in 1999 is the only No. 1 seed to go all the way; that was the first year of this CWS format.