OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Oregon State used a five-run second inning to build a big lead, Brandon Eisert pitched a season-long 5 1/3 innings of one-hit shutout relief, and the Beavers beat Mississippi State 12-2 in the College World Series on Friday to set up a bracket final rematch.
The Beavers (51-11-1) have staved off elimination three times since losing their CWS opener to North Carolina last Saturday. They beat Washington, North Carolina and now Mississippi State. Another win over the Bulldogs (39-18) on Saturday would send Oregon State to the best-of-three CWS finals for the first time since 2007.
Oregon State won the first of two straight national titles in 2006 after losing its first game in Omaha. The only other team since then to make it to the finals after a loss in its opener was the 2010 South Carolina championship team.
The Beavers continued their offensive tear against a Mississippi State that came into the game having allowed just two runs in 18 innings.
Oregon State is batting .377 and averaging 10.8 runs in Omaha after collecting 15 hits and scoring in double digits for the third time in four games.
Eisert (5-3) took over for starter Bryce Fehmel with two outs in the fourth and allowed only a walk in the fifth and a single in the eighth.
The Beavers sent 11 batters to the plate while breaking it open in the second inning. Mississippi State starter Jacob Billingsley (5-4) left after he walked the bases loaded. Keegan James walked the first batter he faced to force in a run. Adley Rutschman, batting .500 (7 for 14) with a CWS-leading nine RBIs in Omaha, followed with a two-run single as the Beavers built a 6-1 lead.
Oregon State put the game out of reach when it batted around in a four-run seventh go up 11-2.
Nick Madrigal and Trevor Larnach had three hits apiece for the Beavers.
Mississippi State, coming off a 12-2 win over North Carolina on Tuesday, managed just five hits against Fehmel and Eisert.
RUN OUT OF AN INNING
Not that it mattered in the end, Oregon State was poised for a big inning in the first after its first three batters reached base. But Cadyn Grenier and Larnach got caught in rundowns on the same play with none out, helping Mississippi State mitigate the damage.
The base running follies started when Rutschman hit a comebacker at Billingsley. Grenier got hung up on the third-base line when Billingsley decide to throw home. Third baseman Justin Foscue put the tag on Grenier, then saw Larnach halfway between second and third. Larnach decided to retreat and was tagged out by second baseman Hunter Stovall.
Tyler Malone’s groundout ended the inning with the scored tied 1-1.
Mississippi State beat Oregon State twice in the 2013 CWS. Now the Beavers will try to do the same to the Bulldogs in 2018.
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