LSU beats top seed Oregon State to reach CWS final

  • LSU beats top seed Oregon State to reach CWS final

LSU beats top seed Oregon State to reach CWS final

LSU got on the scoreboard first, and in a big way, in the bottom half of the second inning, when Papierski belted a two-out three-run home run, his 10th of the season, to give them a quick 3-0 lead.

Game time for Saturday's LSU/Oregon State game is dependent on the result of Friday evening's Florida/TCU game.

The fourth-seeded Tigers (52-18) won their third straight elimination game and will play No. 3 seed Florida in the best-of-three finals that begin Monday night.

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, June 23, 2017.

Russell Reynolds (1-1, 8.59) is scheduled for his first start of the season tonight for LSU.

"We had thought about it yesterday after the game, and we thought we'd go with Ras", Casey said. "I was trying to keep us deep in the ballgame, give Hess a break".

Meanwhile, top seed Oregon State (56-6) had lost just four times all season before facing LSU.

LSU would be alone in second place in all-time titles if it wins a seventh this week.

It caught everyone's attention a few weeks ago when head coach Paul Mainieri compared Papierski to LSU legend Blake Dean, but to this day, he's lived up to the compliment and leads the Tigers with 13 RBI in the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers fought their way into the championship round from the loser's bracket. Southern California is the leader with 12. They have a power threat in junior right fielder Greg Deichmann, who enters the CWS finals slashing.309/.418/.583 with 19 home runs. There's also SC, which went 47-4 in 1975, but yep, you guessed it, didn't win the national title. A national seed is guaranteed to win the 2017 championship. The Pac-12 defensive player of the year finished the season with just five errors. The Tigers will be the home team in Game 1 of the finals and the Gators in Game 2. Kowar, dealt his first collegiate loss in 16 decisions - including 13 this season - struck out 11 but could not get the offensive support he's often enjoyed as TCU used four pitchers to quiet the Gators. Byrne allowed a single by Zach Humphreys before retiring the last five TCU hitters, including three on strikeouts.

LSU Shortstop Kramer Robertson says both teams are playing better, and differently now than back in March.

"All I was trying to do was get a ground ball [against Skoug], and it just happened to be a strikeout, so that was big", Byrne said, per the Associated Press (h/t ESPN.com). "I want to do everything in my power to make sure that he leaves our program healthy for the Chicago Cubs".

LSU coach Paul Mainieri, left, and Kramer Robertson (3) watch as pitcher Alex Lange (35) talks to relief pitcher Zack Hess (38) before Lang leaves the game during the eighth inning of an NCAA College World Series baseball game against OR in Omaha, Neb., Friday, June 23, 2017.

On Florida and Sullivan coming up empty in five previous CWS trips, including getting swept by fellow SEC East member SC in the 2011 finals series: "You keep banging and knocking on that door, and one of these times he's going to bang, knock through the door and win it all". The Houston Astros ninth-round draft pick has hit three of the Tigers CWS-leading seven homers.

But it was the only inning Saturday that OSU put on a leadoff base runner.

Gilbert, a sophomore from Hoover, Alabama, ended up lasting a career-high seven and one third innings before being relieved by Zack Hess after allowing a solo home run to Michael Gretler as Oregon State cut LSU's lead to 6-1 in the eighth.

Florida is heading to the CWS championship series after Alex Faedo pitched the Gators to a 3-0 win over TCU on Saturday night.