By way of LSU’s 7-4 win against Florida State on Wednesday night, the Beavers will take on the Tigers for the second time in five days with a spot to the CWS championship round on the line.
The Beavers offense exploded for 13 runs and Bryce Fehmel tossed another masterful performance to lead the Beavers to a perfect 2-0 record in the CWS. OSU was in control of the game early and often as they combined timely hitting and superb pitching to defeat the Tigers 13-1.
By way of the two straight wins, the Beavers have found themselves with some time off for much needed rest. OSU was able to visit the Omaha suburb Boys Town, and also found time to take in the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha.
Jake Thompson: 1.84 ERA, 14-0 W-L, 122 IP, 114 K, 39 BB, .186 opp avg
Alex Lange: 3.08 ERA, 9-5 W-L, 117 IP, 142 K, 44 BB, .237 opp avg
We will get an opportunity to see the battle of the aces in Omaha. The Tigers will most likely go with their most established pitcher in a do-or-die situation. The Beavers on the other hand are in a position where they can really play with house money. The only pitcher on the roster who won’t be available to pitch is Bryce Fehmel. Pat Casey told the media on Wednesday morning that Drew Rasmussen or Jake Thompson will start Friday’s game.
Given how things have gone so far in Omaha, I anticipate the Beavers giving the ball back to Thompson. Ever since that first game against Cal State Fullerton, you know he has been itching to come back and prove that his performance against the Titans was just a fluke.
This matchup will be an all out kind of performance where both guys leave everything out there on the field, and I think this game could very well be a pitchers duel. However, I have to give the nod to Thompson here. He hasn’t had two straight bad performances all season and I don’t expect him to start now.
The Beavers shellacked LSU 13-1 last time the two teams met, but I can’t imagine a similar result happening in the second time around. LSU is a much better team then they showed against OSU and they won’t make it easy on the Beavers.
However, the Beavers have the key advantage of being off since Monday, while also being undefeated in CWS play. In order for LSU to advance, they would have to beat OSU on Friday and Saturday. That’s a lot to ask for a team that has used quite a few number of pitchers in the past few games. LSU used eight pitchers in Monday’s game against Oregon State, and used one of their best pitchers in Jared Poché in order to stave off elimination against the Seminoles.
Because of how LSU has had to fight and claw since their blowout to the Beavers, I think they will be plenty motivated to punch OSU right in the teeth to start the game. However, I believe the Beavers will be able to absorb the first punch and fire back even harder to clinch a trip to the championship series.
Beavers win 3-2