Oregon State withstood a late Kansas State rally to win, 4-3, and advance to Omaha for the fifth time in school history.
If you turned the game off late Monday to hit the hay, nobody can really blame you. A day after scolding K-State with a 12-4 Game 2 retribution, the Beavers held a 4-0 lead in the sixth inning, which began at roughly midnight on the East Coast. Man, did you miss some excitement, though.
The Wildcats ended up plating one run in the bottom of that inning and two more in the eighth as part of a dramatic comeback bid that saw the tying run thrown out at the plate for the 25th out of the game.
With the score 4-1, Kansas State began the bottom of the eighth with a fly out, but used a walk and a single to put men on first and second. A line out recorded the second out and brought Blair DeBord to the plate. DeBord sent an 0-2 pitch deep to left field for a two-RBI double that cut the lead to 4-3 and put the tying run in scoring position.
Oregon State sent in senior reliever Matt Boyd to get the third out, which he did, but in a little more dramatic fashion then head coach Pat Casey probably had in mind. The next batter singled to left and DeBord tried for home, but was gunned down at the plate by left fielder Michael Conforto to preserve the Beaver lead.
Boyd would allow the tying run to reach base in the bottom of the ninth with an in-field single, but ended the threat to earn the save.
Oregon State built an early lead using a two-run shot to right center by Danny Hayes in the top of the second, and added to it when Kavin Keyes knocked an RBI-double with two outs in the fourth. The Beavers then got a fourth run across in the fifth inning when K-State shortstop Austin Fisher booted a slow-rolling grounder, an error that would come back to haunt the Wildcats.
Kansas State got on the board in the sixth when senior Jared King singled to right center to score Ross Kivett. Kivett had reached on a single and was moved to third on a base hit and turned double play.
The win sends Oregon State to its fourth College World Series in the last nine years. It will face Mississippi State, fresh off a sweep of No. 5 Virginia, in the first game at 3 p.m. ET Saturday.
With seven of the eight Omaha teams set, we now await the winner of South Carolina and North Carolina, who square off at noon Tuesday in a weather-delayed game from Monday.
The up-to-date tournament bracket can be found on the NCAA's official website.