A season for the ages came to an unceremonious end amid the thunderous chants of "L-S-U".
Caleb Gilbert took advantage of a generous strike zone in 7⅓ magnificent innings while reliever Zack Hess again put it away, sending the fourth-seeded Tigers to a 6-1 victory on a pleasant Midwest Saturday afternoon.
The first game of the CWS title series-also known as the SEC Invitational-is Monday night at 7 p.m. ET at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska.
I think back to what LSU coach Paul Mainieri and TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle said when the CWS began, which by the way, seems like an eternity.
"We had thought about it yesterday after the game, and we thought we'd go with Ras", Casey said. "But that's why you have to play the games and our kids embraced the challenge".
The Beavers (56-6) had two 23-game winning streaks and finished the season with a.903 winning percentage - the best since Texas' mark of.908 in 1982.
"Their pitchers came right after us, and we were behind in counts and taking some defensive swings for most of the game", Gretler said. "To have it come to an end is just too bad".
Casey originally indicated the Beavers would start Drew Rasmussen, the first-round Major League Baseball draft pick and team co-captain whose April return from Tommy John surgery gave OSU a late-season spark. The righty never settled in Saturday, allowing four runs on four hits with two walks a strikeout in 2⅓ innings.
LSU players celebrated after Michael Papierski hit a three-run home run against Oregon State in the third inning. The switch-hitting junior catcher later hit a solo shot off Eisert, his 11th of the year, for a 5-0 lead in the fourth.
"The leg kick really helped me staying behind the baseball and not lunging and trying to go get it", says Papierski.
"Obviously we're both different clubs", O'Sullivan said. They are really a scrappy team.
On the dais between them sat the NCAA national championship trophy - a relatively plain-looking tower of lucite and wood they have nevertheless spent the past several months working and yearning for.
In his fifth start of the year, Gilbert (7-1) surrendered just two hits with seven strikeouts and a walk.
Fehmel surrendered four earned runs on four hits in 2 1/3 innings of work.
Gilbert was almost unhittable in the longest start of his career.
"I just lived there the rest of the way", Gilbert said.
Hess, a freshman, got the final five outs for the second straight day.
Saturday's game was similar to Friday's, with the Beavers giving up runs early and LSU pitchers keeping them off balance.
"It was amusing for the first day, maybe first day or two", he said, "and then you wake up day three, day four, and you're like, 'I still got blond hair.' I look at the board after a play, and I'll see myself and kind of jump. Now, we move on with a chance to play for a championship". "Without getting the lead-off man, it's hard to do a lot".
Michael Gretler was the hero for the Beavers on Saturday in the sense that he was the only one who was able to break up the shutout for the Tigers.
If there was another factor that caused OSU to be on edge Saturday, it was definitely the home plate umpire. It's going to be a tall task ahead of us, but we're excited to be here.
Because baseball is LSU's sport, even more so than football; the Tigers have a legit shot to make a national title run about every other year.
"Just like SEC weekend, just more at stake", Tigers' senior shortstop Kramer Robertson said.
After retiring the first two batters of the second, Fehmel just missed on a pair of outside fastballs and issued a two-out walk to Josh Smith. The Tigers broke loose for three runs in the bottom of the second thanks to Papierski's homer.