Philadelphia, PA – Ben Wetzler threw a season-high 131 pitches as he helped guide the Oregon State Beavers to a thrilling 4-3 victory over the Kansas State Wildcats in the Corvallis Super Regional at Goss Stadium.
Wetzler allowed three runs on nine hits and five walks, striking out five over 7 2/3 innings. Matt Boyd, who pitched in the first game of the series, came on for the save as he gave up a pair of hits in 1 1/3 innings, sending the Beavers to Omaha where they will face Mississippi State in the opening round of the College World Series on Saturday.
Kansas State starter Jake Matthys lasted 4 1/3 innings, permitting four runs -- two earned -- on three hits. At the plate, RJ Santigate came up with three hits, while Ross Kivett and Blair DeBord accounted for two hits apiece in the losing effort.
Oregon State drew first blood in the top of the second inning as Danny Hayes crushed a two-run home run to right-center, plating Dylan Davis who led off the frame with a single, giving the Beavers a 2-0 edge.
The Beavers tacked on another run in the fourth when, with two outs, Ryan Barnes reached on an error and then came around to score when Kavin Keyes ripped a shot off the wall in right, although Keyes was gunned down trying to stretch it into a triple.
With two outs and Jake Rodriguez on third in the top of the fifth, the Wildcats appeared as though they would escape without any damage, but a roller to shortstop by Andy Peterson was mishandled, allowing the batter to reach safely and Rodriguez to score the fourth run of the game.
Finally, in the bottom of the sixth, Kansas State put together its first real threat as both Kivett and Tanner Witt stroked singles to open the frame. Shane Conlon then grounded into a double-play, but Kivett was able to advance to third on the play. With two strikes, Jared King delivered a single over second to score Kivett and prevent the shutout.
In the following inning KSU again put runners on first and second with none out, but consecutive force plays at third and a ground out to short put an end to that potential rally.
The Wildcats made it a game in the eighth when King walked and Austin Fisher delivered a single with one out. After a fly out by Jon Davis, DeBord doubled down the left-field line, scoring King and Fisher and cutting the deficit to just a single run at 4-3.
DeBord waved off a potential pinch-runner and that proved to be costly. Santigate singled to left and outfielder Michael Conforto attempted to make the diving catch, but instead trapped the ball, yet still managed to get up and easily gun down DeBord at the plate to end the inning.
After Lance Miles struck out to begin the bottom of the ninth, Kivett reached on an infield single, bringing the game-winning run to the plate in Witt, but after working the count to 3-2 he flied out to right.
The last hope for Kansas State was Conlon, but he fouled out to first to end the game.
Earlier in the day the Mississippi State Bulldogs clinched their ninth appearance in the College World Series when they captured a thrilling 6-5 victory over Virginia to claim the Charlottesville Super Regional.
The deciding game of the best-of-three series actually began on Sunday evening, but heavy rains caused it to be suspended until Monday afternoon, with the Bulldogs coming to bat in the home half of the seventh inning.
MSU led by a 5-3 score when play resumed, adding another run when Hunter Renfroe doubled to lead off and eventually came around to score on a single by C.T. Bradford.
Following a scoreless eighth, Virginia was able to draw to within a run in the top of the ninth thanks to Kenny Towns and Mike Papi who both scored, but the threat came to an end when Derek Fisher grounded out to third.
Chad Girodo (8-1) was credited with the win, allowing two runs on five hits and a couple of walks, while striking out 10 over 4 2/3 innings of work. Although he surrendered two runs late, Jonathan Holder came up with his 18th save of the campaign.
Scott Silverstein (10-2) was saddled with the loss after the Virginia hurler was touched for five runs -- four earned -- on seven hits and three walks over the course of just 3 1/3 innings.
The Chapel Hill Super Regional final set between North Carolina and South Carolina for Monday had to be postponed until Tuesday at noon due to inclement weather and a tornado watch in the area.
UNC, which will be the home team for the deciding game, sends sophomore right- hander Benton Moss (8-1, 3.27 ERA) to the hill, while the Gamecocks have freshman hurler Jack Wynkoop penciled in to counter.