Nobody said it would be easy for Oregon State. For those that had those kind of thoughts, you don’t know college athletics very well. The Beavers took on LSU on Friday afternoon in a must win for the Tigers. LSU needed the win or they were headed back to Baton Rouge.
Oregon State came in with a 23 game win streak, hot bats, and a pitching staff that was second to none in the country.
Even though the Beavers routed the Tigers earlier in the week, nobody doubts the talent that LSU has. The Tigers are a program that routinely gets to the College World Series, so Oregon State needed to put the Tigers out of the misery by winning on Friday.
Yeah, about that misery thought.
Oregon State had to face Tigers ace Alex Lange. Lange is a talented young pitcher and showed that as he went 7 1⁄3 innings, allowed only two hits, and more importantly allowed only one run. By shutting down the potent Beaver offense the Tigers showed why they were not going to go easy into the Omaha night.
Once Lange came out of the game, the baseball was given to Zack Hess who proceeded to strike out four Beaver batters over 1 2⁄3 and the end result was a 3-1 LSU Tiger win.
The Beavers were looking to put the Tigers down with Jake Thompson, who was undefeated at 14-0 entering Friday’s game. Thompson wasn’t all that bad, but with the Beaver offense struggling there was much room for error with Thompson. In the end, Thompson gave up six hits, struck out five, walked one, but gave up three runs.
Max Englebrekt was brought in after Jake Thompson to pitch the rest of the game for the Beavers. Englebrekt kept the Tigers off of the scoreboard, but the bats for Oregon State never came alive.
As mentioned earlier, Zack Hess, LSU reliever, came in and looked every bit the reliever striking out four Oregon State batters and giving the Tigers some much needed mojo heading into Saturday’s win or go home contest.
The scoring damage for the Tigers took place in the second inning. Gregg Deichmann’s double got things started for LSU. Zach Watson and Josh Smith followed with singles. Smith’s single scored Deichmann and a bunt by Beau Jordan later in the inning scored Zach Watson.
Once Watson scored, it was a 2-0 LSU lead.
The Beaver offense scored when Trevor Larnach walked with the bases loaded. This gave the Oregon State fans something to start feeling good about. That was all the good feeling the Beavers could muster on this day.
The Tigers added a run in the seventh inning to make the game 3-1. That was all the Tigers needed.
Friday was one of those days where good pitching overcame good hitters. It happens. The Beavers will go back, look at the tape, and come out with a game plan for Saturdays high stake college baseball game.
Oregon State is the number team in the country still. They have one more game to prove why they are number one. I believe that the Beavers will.
Nobody said it would be easy Beaver Believers.