The Oregon State Baseball team is red hot with a nation leading winning streak of 22 games. The second longest streak you ask? That would be LSU at 17 games. One of those streaks will end in Omaha on Monday night as the Beavs and Tigers square off in the winners bracket.
LSU came into the postseason as the #4 seed after finishing the SEC schedule on a tear. After sweeping through regional opponents Texas Southern, SE Lousiana and Rice, the Tigers put Mississippi State away in a 2 game sweep of the super regionals. Saturday nights matchup with Florida State saw the TIgers rally late with a 2 run 8th inning to secure a 5-4 win and put the Seminoles on the brink of elimination.
Oregon State will face LSU freshman right hander Eric Walker (8-1 3.46 ERA) who has been lights out for the Tigers in his past two starts, picking up victories over Arkansas and Rice while striking out sixteen and only allowing one walk. Walker dealt with some forearm discomfort earlier this week, but following a pain free bullpen session on Saturday, LSU coach Paul Mainieri declared Walker to be 100% healthy. Much like Oregon State, LSU pitchers have had the benefit of a strong defense behind them all season ranking 10th in the nation with a .980 fielding percentage. Walker will go up against Oregon State sophomore Bryce Fehmel (5-2 3.80 ERA), who pitched a complete game gem last weekend against Vanderbilt to send the Beavs to Omaha. Fehmel will have his work cut out for him with a very deep Tiger lineup. Led by a trio of top of the order hitters in Cole Freeman, Kramer Robertson and Antoine Duplantis, who scored from first on a passed ball last night, the LSU lineup features a host of players who excel at finding a way on base and causing trouble for opposing pitchers. LSU also has one of the nations best raw power hitters in Greg Deichmann who has hit 19 home runs on the season along with a dozen doubles. On the season the Tigers have a team batting average of .294 with 6 tigers topping .300.
Watch as Antoine Duplantis scores from first on a passed ball.
Antoine Duplantis steals second... and then just keeps running and running!!— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) June 18, 2017
Florida State 2, LSU 1 - End 1 pic.twitter.com/cO5kt4TWS0
Monday’s game between two of the favorites in Omaha should be a close game til the very end. The winner will move withing one victory of the national championship series, while the loser will fall to the losers bracket and have a tough road ahead. For the Beavs, Bryce Fehmel will likely need to repeat his Vanderbilt performance to avoid falling into to the losers bracket. First pitch for Monday’s game is set for 4:05 PT and will be televised on ESPN.