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LSU beats Oregon State to force a rematch at College World Series

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    LSU’s Zach Watson slid past Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman to score on a sacrifice bunt by Beau Jordan during the second inning.

OMAHA, Neb. >> Alex Lange limited top-seeded Oregon State to two hits over 7 1/3 innings, and LSU ended the Beavers’ 23-game winning streak with a 3-1 victory today to set up a winner-take-all Bracket 1 final at the College World Series.

The teams will meet again Saturday, with the winner going to the best-of-three finals beginning Monday.

The Tigers (51-18), who avenged a 13-1 loss to the Beavers (56-5) on Monday, became the first team to knock off the Beavers since Southern California on April 29.

They did all of their scoring against national wins leader Jake Thompson (14-1). Max Engelbrekt relieved in the seventh after Josh Smith hit Thompson’s first pitch of the inning into the right-field seats for a two-run lead.

Lange (10-5), the Chicago Cubs’ first-round draft pick, ran into trouble in the third when he walked three batters and gave up a double. He escaped the inning by striking out Punahou alum KJ Harrison with the bases loaded.

Only one more batter advanced past first against Lange, and he retired eight in a row before he turned the game over to closer Zack Hess with one out in the eighth. Hess retired the last five batters, four by strikeout, for his fourth save.

LSU opened the second inning with a double and two singles and led 2-0 when Beau Jordan’s safety-squeeze bunt scored Zach Watson.

The Beavers got a run back in the third on a bases-loaded walk. They should have had another run score earlier in the inning when, with runners on first and second, Steven Kwan sliced a ball down the left-field line that bounced off the wall and was ruled foul. TV replays indicated it was a fair ball.

Oregon State did not protest, but national coordinator of umpires George Drouches said through an NCAA spokesman that crew chief Danny Collins should have called for a video review. Collins, who was working third base, made the original foul call. Kwan ended up popping out to shortstop.

The Beavers’ two hits were their fewest since they had four in their season opener against Indiana.

Harrison, drafted in the third round by the Milwaukee Brewers, went 0-for-4 and struck out twice. His only hit of the College World Series was a grand slam against LSU in a 13-1 victory earlier in the College World Series.

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