Facing its first win-or-go home situation of the year, Oregon State came up short. The offense, led by Nick Madrigal who was hitless in the two games, went cold in the team’s biggest moments of the season. In the two games against LSU with a chance to advance to the national championship series on Monday, the Beavers mustered just two runs. Bizarre for a time that was averaging nine runs in postseason play.
Undefeated Jake Thompson took the mound Friday afternoon and he settled into his normal elite level after giving up two early runs. A controversial play in the third inning will haunt Pat Casey this off-season. With runners on first and third, OSU’s Steven Kwan hit a liner down the left field line that was called foul when in all actuality it was a fair ball. In the College World Series, coaches are allowed to ask for reviews, but Casey elected not to. What could’ve been a two- or three-run inning resulted in one. The Beavers never found their rhythm at the plate again, and their 23-game win streak came to an end.
Saturday’s survive-and-advance game was led by the umpire’s mysteries strike zone. A very pitcher-friendly strike zone with the outside corner living on the chalk of the opposite batter’s box at times was a treat for the Tigers and terror for the Beavers. For the OSU offense that’s patient and doesn’t frequent with home runs and extra base hits, this was trouble. Add in Bryce Fehmel having his worst outing of the season, giving up four runs in just over two innings and you’ve got an orange and black dumpster fire in Omaha. This was a disappointing close to a season where Oregon State had the nation’s best record. The Beavs hadn’t lost back-to-back games all year until they met the Bayou Bengal whom they had beaten 13-1 four days before.