OMAHA, Neb. – The Oregon State bats were on fire Friday, as Mississippi State suffered its first loss in the College World Series, falling 12-2 to No. 3 Oregon State Friday afternoon at TD Ameritrade Park.
MSU (39-28) will face Oregon State (52-11-1) again today with the winner advancing to the CWS Championship Series on Monday.
The Diamond Dawgs are no strangers to this situation, as MSU has won five straight elimination games in the postseason this season.
State took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Jake Mangum was hit by a pitch to start the game. Two batters later Hunter Stovall hit a two-out double to score Mangum.
The Beavers tied the game in the bottom half of the first after Nick Madrigal singled, stole second and third, and ended up scoring on a Trevor Larnach single.
Oregon State then took a commanding 6-1 lead in the bottom of the second inning. Kyle Nobach hit a leadoff double. Michael Gretler followed with an RBI-single to give the Beavers a 2-1 lead. A Madrigal single scored Gretler, and Cadyn Grenier followed with a walk to load the bases. Larnach drew a bases-loaded walk to score a run. Adley Rutschman capped off the big inning with a two-RBI single.
Jordan Westburg reached first in the third inning after being hit by a pitch, and later scored when Hunter Stovall connected for an RBI-single to make it 6-2, but MSU stranded two runners in the inning.
Oregon State added a run in the fourth inning after Larnach doubled and later scored on a Kyle Nobach single.
The Beavers exploded for four more runs in the seventh inning to increase their lead ro 11-2. Gretler began the inning by drawing a walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Jack Anderson followed up with a single. Zak Taylor then hit a two-RBI triple to give Oregon State a 9-2 lead. Larnach singled to score Taylor and Joe Casey singled to score Lamach.
In the bottom of the eighth, Anderson drew a two-out walk and later scored on a Madrigal double to give Oregon State a game-ending 12-2 lead.
Oregon State dominated in hits, out-hitting MSU 15-5. The Beavers also left 11 runners on base. Stovall was State’s lone multi-hit performer.
Jacob Billingsley (5-4) drew the start, but was lifted with one out in the second inning. He allowed six runs, all earned, on five hits. He also walked two batters.
Keegan James pitched the next 3.2 innings and allowed one earned run on four hits. He struck out three batters and walked three. Denver McQuary then pitched an inning and allowed three runs. Blake Smith pitched the final two innings and allowed two runs on three hits. He added two strikeouts, but also walked two batters.
State walked nine batters in the game.
Bryce Fehmel got the start on the mound for the Beavers. He pitched 3.2 innings and allowed two runs, both earned, on four hits. He had one strikeout. Reliever Brandon Eisert (5-3) earned the win. He pitched 5.1 innings and allowed just one hit. He struck out three batters and walked one.
The Diamond Dawgs need a win today to earn a trip to the National Championship. The winner will face Arkansas on Monday at either 2 p.m. or 7 p.m.