Kansas St. (45-18, 16-8 in the Big XII) vs. #3 Oregon St. (49-11, 24-6 in the Pac-12) / 7 PM / Goss Stadium / ESPN2 / KEJO 1240 AM & KPOJ 620 AM
Oregon St. and Kansas St. square off tonight, and the stakes couldn't be higher. It's the last game of the Corvallis NCAA Super Regional round, and its a winner take all affair, with a berth in Omaha for the College World Series the prize.
It's also one of only 2 Super Regionals to go to a 3rd game, with 6 sweeps, 5 by the visiting team.
Kansas St. can take their first ever trip to the nearby center of the college baseball world. Oregon St. can reach the 50 win mark, and make their 5th trip ever. One will happen, and one team will be disappointed to be oh so close.
Tonight's game, originally scheduled for 4 PM PDT, was pushed back by ESPN to cap what was planned to be a triple header on ESPN2 to fill out the bracket in Omaha. Mississippi St. and Virginia got it started, in a showdown to determine the first opponent in the CWS for tonight's winner, and the Bulldogs hung on for a 6-5 win in a continuation of a game that was interrupted by rain last night. So tonight's winner will face Mississippi St. on Sunday, June 16, at 7 PM CDT (5 PM PDT).
Indiana and Louisville will be the other half of the bracket, so Oregon St. would be the only "National Seed"/Super Regional host in their half of the CWS preliminary, which uses the 4 team, double elimination format used in the Regionals to determine the participants in the finals.
South and North Carolina were scheduled to meet next, before the Kansas St.-Oregon St. game, but rain in Chapel Hill has postponed that game until tomorrow.
Oregon St. will go for their plane ticket to Omaha as the visitor in their own ball park for the second night in a row, the result of a coin toss before the series started. That's worked out well for the Beavers so far in wins over UC-Santa Barbara and Texas A&M in the Regionals, and once already against Kansas St.
Junior LHP Ben Wetzler (8-1, 1.98), a 5th round selection by the Philadelphia Phillies in last week's Major League Baseball draft, will get the start for Oregon St.
Kansas St., having gone through a half dozen pitchers in Sunday night's loss, including Jake Dollar, who had been projected to be tonight's starter, is in a much more unsettled position as far as pitching goes.
Junior RHP Gerardo Esquivel (2-2, 4.39), who came in after Blake McFadden, the 'Cats pitcher who got blown off the field in the first inning against Oregon St., also got jumped early by Arkansas in the deciding game of the Manhattan regional, and ultimately earned the win that sent the 'Cats to Corvallis, is a possible pick for the start today, and will certainly show up at some point. But Kansas St. will probably throw a variety of arms at Oregon St. as the night goes on.
Danny Hayes is in the 5th slot tonight; here's Oregon St.'s lineup: