Wes Rea delivered a two-run double with two outs in the top of the eighth inning to lift Mississippi State to a 5-4 victory over Oregon State as the 2013 College World Series got underway at TD Ameritrade Park.
With the Bulldogs trailing 4-3 after seven innings, Alex Detz and Hunter Renfroe reached on one-out singles to begin the rally. Beavers reliever Matt Boyd bounced back to strike out Brett Pirtle, but Rea came through with a clutch hit into the right-center field gap to plate both runners and put Mississippi State ahead.
Oregon State threatened against Bulldogs closer Jonathan Holder in the ninth, getting the tying run to second with one out on a single and a walk. After Dylan Davis struck out, Danny Hayes belted a deep fly ball to right that Renfroe hauled in just in front of the fence to end the game.
Holder and winning pitcher Ross Mitchell combined for 4 1/3 scoreless innings in relief of starter Kendall Graveman, while Rhea and Adam Frazier each went 2-for-4 to help the Bulldogs advance to Monday's winners bracket against the winner of Saturday's Game 2 matchup between Louisville and Indiana.
Oregon State, the No. 3 national seed in this year's NCAA tournament, will take on the loser of the Louisville-Indiana game in an elimination contest also scheduled for Monday.
Mississippi State scored three times in the second inning to erase an early 2-0 deficit, but the Beavers drew even on Kavin Keyes' RBI triple in the fourth and went in front an inning later.
Andy Peterson singled with one out in the bottom of the fifth, took third on a Michael Conforto double and came home on Davis' groundout to give OSU a 4-3 edge.
Conforto finished 4-for-4 with an RBI double in the loss, while OSU starter Andrew Moore worked 7 1/3 innings and was charged with four runs allowed on six hits.