In a game where they appeared in control the entire evening, Oregon State defeated Mississippi State for the second night in a row on Saturday.
Hey #BeaverNation, we're headed to the #CWS CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES!#GoBeavs pic.twitter.com/zDVgwbQkxB— Oregon State Baseball (@BeaverBaseball) June 24, 2018
The win for the Beavs eliminates Mississippi State from the College World Series and sends Oregon State to the College World Series final, where a best two of three series against Arkansas will determine the national champion.
In this game, Oregon State outhit Mississippi State 8-4 and the Beavs committed one error on the way to a 5-2 victory.
Adley Rutschman got the Beavs up early with an RBI single in the third inning. Michael Gretler followed it up with an RBI shortly after. The big piece of offense in that inning though came from a three-run bomb by Tyler Malone to put the Beavs up 5-0.
SEE YUH— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) June 24, 2018
Three-run and @BeaverBaseball has SHOT out to a 5-0 lead!#CWS pic.twitter.com/wKni5AV6Id
That run would bring Oregon State’s run total to 507 for the year, a new single season program record.
Mississippi State’s first hit of the game came in the third and resulted in an RBI by Rowdey Jordan.
The Bulldogs would put up one more run in the bottom of the ninth, but their rally would fall short before the final out and Oregon State would get the win.
Kevin Abel’s start was fantastic tonight. The true freshman went seven innings with just three hits, one run, and 3 walks with five strikeouts. Jake Mulholland finished up the game with one hit, two walks, two strikeouts, and a run.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of this win for the Beavs was the defensive play. Other than the one error, Oregon State’s fielders were a collective highlight reel tonight. Here’s a couple examples of what I mean.
HOSED @BeaverBaseball ends the inning with a laser throw from Nobach!#CWS pic.twitter.com/ndC8oxNy9y— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) June 24, 2018
GAME. CHANGER. @BeaverBaseball gets a HUGE double play to end the Mississippi State threat!#CWS pic.twitter.com/Ws60xyiENU— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) June 24, 2018
Throughout this entire series, it has seemed like Oregon State is only getting more and more comfortable. The more they play, the more they are figuring out what’s left of the kinks in their game.
Furthermore, Kevin Abel’s first season is coming to a fantastic climax. With this kind of performance on this stage, Abel has all but cemented the fact that he will be one of the most important pieces of this OSU baseball team moving forward.
If you follow some of the other stuff that I do, then you know that I’ve said Mississippi State has looked like the team of destiny since the start of the tournament. After tonight, however, it would appear that Oregon State has taken over that mantle with their ability to come up with incredible performance in massive games.
The Beavs will next face Arkansas in game one of the CWS finals on Monday afternoon at 4 PM PT. Two wins against the Razorbacks will earn Oregon State their third national championship.