26 June, 2017
LSU beat top-ranked Oregon State for the second consecutive day, 6-1, to eliminate the Beavers from the College World Series on Saturday afternoon at TD Ameritrade Stadium. LSU will be looking for its seventh College World Series title against a foe in search of its first.
Another fan, Kenneth Mouton, said he was anxious after LSU's first matchup with Oregon State, "After losing the first game 13 to 1, you know, you figure your hopes are kind of dashed a little bit but for LSU to come back and win both games back to back was absolutely incredible I mean so exciting".
"We faced an unbeatable team these last two games", LSU coach Paul Mainieri said. And 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, and our kids embraced the challenge.
It certainly was as the Tigers, 3-1 in the CWS, improved to 51-18 on the season with their second straight win-or-go-home performance.
LSU pitcher Caleb Gilbert (7-1) pitched 7 1/3 innings, allowing two hits and one run and striking out seven to earn his seventh victory of the season.
Mainieri said LSU kept the Beaver offense off-balance in large part because they retired Nos.
Oregon State went to sophomore righty Drew Rasmussen - whom OSU coach Pat Casey said Friday would likely start the elimination game before changing his mind Saturday morning - with two outs in the fifth.
Gilbert, who had made 43 of his previous 52 career appearances as a reliever but was filling in for injured starter Eric Walker, made his 10th collegiate start the longest by logging 71⁄3 innings and 97 pitches.
Gilbert more than proved to be up to the task, however.
"Definitely feels good to get this win and go to the College World Series finals", Papierski said. "I think a lot of the game we were taking a lot of defensive swings".
Gilbert's start extended LSU's string of outstanding starts while facing elimination. The sophomore walked one and fanned seven.
Gilbert attacked hitters with a low-90s fastball and worked in his sharp slider. It was blatantly obvious from the first inning on that the strike zone was going to be wide, and Gilbert exploited it, getting multiple called strikes on pitches that literally were in the righthanded batter's box. He'd give another example and say, 'It's just one game.'. They are really a scrappy team.
Gilbert said he wasn't intimidated by the win or go home situation against the top-seeded team in the nation.
LSU players celebrated after Michael Papierski hit a three-run home run against Oregon State in the third inning.
Michael Papierski becomes the first player to ever hit 2 HRs in a #CWS game at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha!
For the second straight year and just the fourth time since the College World Series moved to a two-bracket structure in 1988, prepare for if-necessary, winner-take-all baseball on both sides of the tournament.
Having been staked to an early lead, Gilbert made sure it stood up.
Zach Humphreys greeted Byrne with a base hit, but the star closer struck out Evan Skoug and got Cam Warner to fly out to end the threat.
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. Now the Tigers are settled in and performing the way they were when they lengthened a winning streak to 17 coming into Omaha.
"(Hitting coach Micah Gibbs) talked about our game plan and that once we jumped on them and got them down, they were probably going to lay down because they haven't been behind very often", Papierski said.