partlycloudy
Friday July 28th, 2017 12:54PM

LSU beats Oregon State 6-1 to reach CWS finals

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Nothing LSU encounters in the College World Series championship series will be any more daunting than the task the Tigers had to complete to get there.

The Tigers had to beat an Oregon State team that owned the most formidable record of any team in four decades, and they had to do it twice.

They did in dominating fashion.

Caleb Gilbert held the No. 1 national seed Beavers to two hits in 7 1/3 innings, Michael Papierski homered from both sides of the plate and LSU won 6-1 on Saturday a day after beating them 3-1.

"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 Southeastern Conference rival Florida (50-19) in the best-of-three finals beginning Monday. Florida beat TCU 3-0 on Saturday night.

The Beavers (56-6) had a pair of 23-game winning streaks and finished the season 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 homered in the seventh. He struck out a career-high seven in his longest outing in his two seasons at LSU. Zack Hess allowed one hit the rest of the way.

"It's a surreal feeling to be able to pitch your team, when the back's against the wall in an elimination game, into the College World Series final," Gilbert said. "I just had all the faith in the world in my teammates and my coaching staff and just really went out there and pitched my game, tried to attack early with a heater and get ahead and trust my defense behind me."

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.

"I put some good swings on fastballs today," Papierski said, "and after that, the wind helped a little bit. But that wasn't the highlight of the game. It was Caleb Gilbert."

The Beavers managed only a season-low two hits on Friday and the three against Gilbert and Hess on Saturday. They went the first 17 innings Friday and Saturday without having a leadoff batter reach base.

"A lot of the game we were taking a lot of defensive swings," Gretler said. "We didn't put any pressure on them."

Before Saturday, Oregon State hadn't lost consecutive games since a five-game losing streak from May 6-13, 2016.

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 Beavers had made up a four-run deficit in a 6-5 win over Cal State Fullerton last Saturday, but Gilbert and Hess made that a nearly impossible task.

Oregon State's postseason was tainted by the revelation that Pac-12 pitcher of the year Luke Heimlich had pleaded guilty to molesting a 6-year-old female relative when he was a teenager. Heimlich didn't pitch in super regionals, and he didn't accompany the team to Omaha.

Details about the molestation came to light June 8 in a story published by The Oregonian/OregonLive. In an editorial accompanying the article, the newspaper said it learned about Heimlich's 2012 conviction in Washington state after running a background check that it routinely does for in-depth profiles.

Fehmel made his third postseason start since the rotation was adjusted to account for the loss of Heimlich.

"This is a great team," the Beavers' KJ Harrison said. "For us to end up the way we were, obviously, it's not the best. We wanted to win it all. As the days go on, it's definitely a season to remember."

NO. 1 SEED GOES OUT AGAIN

This marks the 18th year in a row that the No. 1 national seed won't win the championship. Miami in 1999 is the only No. 1 seed to go all the way. That was the first year of the current tournament format.

SURPRISE STARTER

Fehmel was a surprise starter. Casey said Friday that the plan was to throw Drew Rasmussen, but he changed his mind because Fehmel was effective against LSU on Monday and he wanted Rasmussen available for relief.

ROBERTSON REBOUND

LSU's Kramer Robertson entered the game 1 for 18 at the CWS. He went 3 for 3 and reached on a walk.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Baseball , College Sports, AP Sports - College Baseball
© Copyright 2017 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
LSU beats Oregon State 6-1 to reach CWS finals
Caleb Gilbert held LSU to two hits in 7 1/3 innings, Michael Papierski homered from both sides of the plate and LSU beat No. 1 national seed Oregon State 6-1 to reach the College World Series finals
6:00PM ( 8 minutes ago )
Tony Kanaan back on familiar IndyCar ground at Road America
Tony Kanaan feels like a veteran again this weekend at Road America after being treated like a rookie last week at the 24 Hours of Le Mans
5:54PM ( 13 minutes ago )
White Sox retire former star pitcher Buehrle's No. 56 jersey
The Chicago White Sox have held a pregame ceremony to retire the No. 56 jersey worn by former star pitcher Mark Buehrle
5:42PM ( 25 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Worth the wait: Bibens-Dirkx pitches Rangers past Yanks 8-1
Austin Bibens-Dirkx pitched seven dazzling innings in his first shot at the New York Yankees after 12 seasons in the minors, and Carlos Gomez homered for the Texas Rangers in their 8-1 victory
4:54PM ( 1 hour ago )
Spithill, Oracle get swagger back with 1st America's Cup win
Oracle slows Kiwis' surge in Bermuda waters, beating New Zealand for 1st win in America's Cup
4:51PM ( 1 hour ago )
Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna feeling 'weird,' mentally off
Blue Jays' Roberto Osuna feeling 'anxious' and 'weird'; closer is 'lost' and can't explain it
4:29PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Sports
Illinois could be 1st state with 'junk' credit due to budget
Illinois is on track to become the first U.S. state to have its credit rating downgraded to "junk" status, which would deepen its multibillion-dollar deficit and cost taxpayers more for years to come
1:35PM ( 4 hours ago )
TCU to meet Florida again after 9-2 College World Series win
Evan Skoug hit a bases-clearing double, four TCU pitchers combined on a five-hitter, and the Horned Frogs beat Florida 9-2 to force a second Bracket 2 final at the College World Series
12:46AM ( 17 hours ago )
Shifted to second base, Asdrubal Cabrera asks Mets for trade
Activated from the disabled list and inserted into the New York Mets' starting lineup at second base rather than shortstop, Asdrubal Cabrera said he wants to be traded
12:15AM ( 17 hours ago )
AP Online Baseball
USA Gymnastics doctor to stand trial on sex assault charges
A judge has ordered a longtime doctor at Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics to stand trial on charges alleging that he sexually assaulted six young gymnasts while they were seeking treatment for various injuries
1:51PM ( 1 day ago )
Michigan sports doctor to stand trial on sex assault charges
A judge has ordered a longtime doctor at Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics to stand trial on charges alleging that he sexually assaulted six young gymnasts while they were seeking treatment for various injuries
11:31AM ( 1 day ago )
TCU's Wymer stymies Louisville in 4-3 CWS win; Florida next
Sean Wymer struck out national player of the year Brendan McKay in two key situations while pitching 4 1/3 innings of shutout relief, and TCU was on the right side of two close plays in a 4-3 win over Louisville in a College World Series elimination game
12:55AM ( 1 day ago )
College Sports
Poche' sets LSU wins mark, knocks Florida State out of CWS
Jared Poche' became LSU's all-time wins leader, Jake Slaughter hit a three-run homer, and the Tigers eliminated Florida State from the College World Series with a 7-4 win Wednesday night
11:57PM ( 2 days ago )
Howard's 12 Ks, Merrill HR help TCU oust Aggies from CWS 4-1
Brian Howard matched his career high with 12 strikeouts and TCU beat Texas A&M 4-1 in a College World Series elimination game
5:40PM ( 4 days ago )
Beavers' streak at 23; Harrison slam fuels 13-1 win over LSU
Bryce Fehmel limited LSU to two hits in eight innings, KJ Harrison hit the first College World Series grand slam at TD Ameritrade Park, and Oregon State beat LSU 13-1 for its 23rd straight win
11:24PM ( 4 days ago )
AP Sports - College Baseball
Tony Kanaan back on familiar IndyCar ground at Road America
Tony Kanaan feels like a veteran again this weekend at Road America after being treated like a rookie last week at the 24 Hours of Le Mans
5:54PM ( 13 minutes ago )
White Sox retire former star pitcher Buehrle's No. 56 jersey
The Chicago White Sox have held a pregame ceremony to retire the No. 56 jersey worn by former star pitcher Mark Buehrle
5:42PM ( 25 minutes ago )
Gaga on gay pride: It's a time to shine light on equality
Lady Gaga, a longtime supporter of gay rights, says pride weekend is a time to shine a light on equality and reflect on the importance of tolerance
5:29PM ( 38 minutes ago )
Ronaldo scores, Portugal eases past New Zealand 4-0
European champion Portugal showed 95th-ranked New Zealand the respect of selecting Cristiano Ronaldo and other stars when resting them was a wise option
5:28PM ( 39 minutes ago )
Now in Washington, Melania Trump still no social butterfly
Just weeks into full-time residency at White House, first lady Melania Trump remains outside the social whirl of Washington
5:27PM ( 40 minutes ago )