Day 1 of the 2017 College World Series saw a rally from both the number one team in the nation and from the number four team, as LSU and Oregon State play to advance in the bracket while Florida State and Cal State Fullerton fight to stay alive on Monday.
Game 1: Oregon State 6, Cal State Fullerton 5
WP: Mulholland (7-1) LP: Workman (6-3) S: Rasmussen (2)
In Game 1 of the afternoon, Cal State Fullerton jumped out to an early lead over Oregon State, with Senior shortstop Timmy Richards launching his fifth home run, a three-run drive over the left-center field wall, off Oregon State starter Jake Thompson. Oregon State was able to get one back in the bottom of the second, but the Titans responded in the form of Chris Hudgins, who drove in two off Thompson with a two-out single to left. That ended the day for Thompson, who allowed 5 earned runs, a season-high.
Oregon State made their move offensively in the bottom of the sixth, once Connor Seabold was lifted. Seabold threw five innings of one-run baseball, but reliever Colton Eastman proceeded to walk the bases loaded, and by the end of the sixth, the Beavers had tied the score at 5 and knocked Eastman out of the game. Oregon State continued to ride reliever Jake Mulholland, as the freshman provided 4.1 innings of scoreless and hitless relief through the top of the eight inning.
In the bottom of the eighth, Sophomore designated hitter Trevor Larnach singled with two outs, and after Junior left fielder Jack Anderson was hit by a pitch, Freshman catcher Adley Rutschman singled up the middle to score Larnach, and the Beavers took their first lead, 6-5. Sophomore reliever Drew Rasmussen took over for OSU in the ninth, and struck out two of the three batters he faced to close things down and save the game for Oregon State. Oregon State Head Coach Pat Casey highlighted the work of reliever Mulholland and Rasmussen after the game.
“Mully was really good. He just carved, goes in, out, soft, firm. And then he’s a really — a contrast to the velocity of Jake — Jake Thompson, and I imagine that Drew looked like he was throwing 200 when he got in the game after Mully’s stuff,” said Casey.
Game 2: LSU- 5, Florida State- 4
WP: Jared Poche (11-3) LP: Tyler Holton (10-3) S: Hess (2)
In game two, similar to game one, the road team got off to a fast start, as Senior second baseman Dylan Busby cranked his 15th home run to center field off LSU Junior RHP Alex Lange, and the Seminole grabbed the quick 2-0 lead. LSU responded in the bottom of the first, as Sophomore left fielder Antoine Duplantis scored from first on a strikeout, stolen base, and wild pitch, making the score 2-1 after the first inning. Both teams added single runs in the third innings, with FSU gaining a tally on another Busby RBI base hit, and LSU adding theirs on a Duplantis RBI single.
While both pitchers threw scoreless fourth innings, Lange ran into trouble for the third time with the top of FSU’s lineup. Walls walked to begin the innings, advanced to third on a single by Sophomore left fielder Jackson Leuck, and then scored on an RBI single by Quincy Nieporte, extending FSU’s lead to 4-2. Again, LSU responded quickly, this time from Junior catcher Michael Papierski’s solo home run. After 5, the score was 4-3.
Both Lange and Holton turned in scoreless sixth innings, and Lange began the seventh before being lifted for reliever Jared Poche, who completed the seventh without allowing a run. Holton, even though he allowed two baserunners in the seventh, was able to get Junior designated hitter Beau Jordan to roll a double play ball to send the game to the eighth with FSU leading 4-3.
In the bottom of the eighth, following a Cole Freeman single, Duplantus singled to right, where Junior outfielder Steven Wells committed both a fielding and throwing error, allowing Freeman to score and Duplantis to advance to third. There was also an error on the catcher Cal Raleigh that allowed Duplantis to advance to third. Holton was removed from the game for Senior lefty Alec Byrd, but Byrd offered little relief, as Junior right fielder Greg Deichmann singled through the drawn-in infield to give LSU their first lead, 5-4 in the bottom of the eighth.
Poche remained in the game for the ninth inning, allowing a leadoff single to Senior second baseman Matt Henderson. Poche struck out both pinch-hitters Nick Derr and Kyle Cavanaugh, although Henderson took second on a wild pitch on the second strikeout. Poche was lifted with two outs in the ninth for Freshman RHP Zack Hess, who struck out Busby on a breaking ball to end the ball game.
Day two of CWS action continues tomorrow. See the schedule below for games and times.
Sunday, June 18th at 1:00 pm: Texas A&M vs. Louisville
Sunday, June 18th at 6:00 pm: TCU vs. Florida
Monday, June 19th at 1:00 pm: Cal State Fullerton vs. Florida State (Elimination Game)
Monday, June 19th at 6:00 pm: LSU vs. Oregon State