LSU beats Oregon State to reach College World Series finals

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

The top three all-time teams - 1972 Arizona State (64-6, .914), 1982 Texas (59-6, .908) and 1974 Arizona (58-6, .906) - all fell short of a championship. Prior to this year, only one Gators pitcher had ever struck out 9 in a CWS game.

Because of that widened zone, Beaver hitters just weren't able to get any sort of momentum going.

Meanwhile, the second game of the College World Series on Friday night sees No. 3 seed Florida facing No. 6 TCU.

But pressed into service, the righty took the hill Saturday for LSU's most important game of the season - an elimination game against the No. 1 team in the country to decide who would move onto the College World Series finals.

Less than an hour before Saturday's win or go home matchup, the Tigers urgently huddled around coach Mainieri in the third base dugout. The Beavers were scoreless until the eighth when Michael Gretler hit a one-out home run. He said he would be ready to contribute again on the mound Saturday if called upon. "He knew where the value to our team was", Mainieri said.

Oregon State, at least for a moment, seemed to figure out Lange.

"We believe in ourselves", Oregon State coach Pat Casey said, "and we're still 56-5 or whatever we are". It's only got four losses.

Payton graduated from OSU in 1990 after a stellar four-year career that included three NCAA tournament appearances, Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year recognition in 1987 and National Player of the Year recognition in 1990. "I had to get first-pitch strikes in there, and when I got ahead I wanted to make them pay for it". "I felt good about our attitude and our effort". "I hit three hard balls against Louisville and ended up 0-for-4, that's tough".

"I put some good swings on fastballs today", Papierski said, per the Associated Press (h/t ESPN.com).

To get to the College World Series championship series, the LSU Tigers had to do something no team had done against the No. 1 Oregon State Beavers.

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The Tigers put up yet another run in the bottom half of the 6th inning, when Beau Jordan hit a solo homer, his 4th of the season, to extend the lead to 6-0.

Faedo (9-2), a former Alonso standout, struck out 11, just as he did last Sunday in a 3-0 win over the Horned Frogs (50-18).

Watson, who's 8 for his last 12 in Omaha, led the Tigers at the plate with a flawless 3-for-3 afternoon that included a walk and run scored.

1 national seed, was eliminated from the College World Series when it lost to Louisiana State for the second consecutive day.

Junior catcher Michael Papierski had the day of a lifetime, homering from both sides of the plate in his first two at-bats as LSU beat top-ranked Oregon State for the second straight day to earn a spot in the championship series.

LSU leadoff hitter Kramer Robertson went 3 for 3 and reached base four times, scoring one run.

With LSU beating the number 1 team in all of college baseball it brings up the question, who is the new number 1 team?

Alex Lange was special as LSU kept its season alive. "This team and this community, it's pretty special".

Oregon's Cadyn Grenier, left, tags out LSU's Zach Watson, as Watson attempts to steal second base during the sixth inning of an NCAA College World Series baseball game in Omaha, Neb., Friday, June 23, 2017. It's second to none. All the great wins we've had he's been a big part of them.

"The reason that you come to Baton Rouge to play baseball is because of the fans". "A couple balls off (the plate) and just really taking advantage of it and taking advantage of them being so patient".

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