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College World Series 2017: Oregon State, LSU Grab Tight Wins on Saturday

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJune 17, 2017

Oregon State second baseman Nick Madrigal, left, tags out Cal State Fullerton's Dillon Persinger (19) who was caught stealing second base in the third inning of an NCAA mens College World Series baseball game in Omaha, Neb., Saturday, June 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
Nati Harnik/Associated Press

The 2017 College World Series started Saturday at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska, with two games featuring the Nos. 1 and 4 teams in the country.     

The No. 1 Oregon State Beavers began their journey in the double-elimination tournament against the Cal State Fullerton Titans, while the No. 4 LSU Tigers squared off against the Florida State Seminoles in the nightcap.

The College World Series features eight teams divided into two brackets. The second bracket—consisting of the No. 7 Louisville Cardinals, Texas A&M Aggies, No. 3 Florida Gators and No. 6 TCU Horned Frogs—starts play Sunday.

Saturday's two losers fall to the elimination-bracket showdown Monday, while the two victors advance to the winners' bracket. The full College World Series bracket is available on NCAA.com.

With that in mind, here is a look at the results from Saturday's matchups.

                       

Saturday Results

Oregon State Beats Cal State Fullerton, 6-5

LSU def. Florida State, 5-4

            

Recaps

LSU 5, Florida State 4

Jun 16, 2015; Omaha, NE, USA; LSU Tigers pitcher Alex Lange (35) throws against Cal State Fullerton Titans during the seventh inning in the 2015 College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park. LSU won 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports
Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

LSU continues to roll after a come-from-behind 5-4 victory over Florida State to get its 2017 College World Series off to a strong start. 

The Tigers scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to take the lead. Florida State made three errors on a single play, including two by right fielder Steven Wells, though D1Baseball.com's Aaron Fitt noted it was possible to avoid disaster:

Aaron Fitt @aaronfitt

Even after those two errors on one play by RF Steven Wells, Florida State could have gotten the out at the plate if Raleigh held onto ball.

After LSU tied the game thanks to those Florida State miscues, Greg Deichmann greeted Seminoles reliever Alec Byrd with an RBI single to give the Tigers the lead. 

NCAA Baseball @NCAACWS

LSU WITH THE LEAD! Deichmann with the big swing for the Tigers! #CWS https://t.co/SsTJGGCuqn

Florida State attempted to make a comeback in the top of the ninth inning when Matt Henderson led off with a single and later advanced to second with two outs on a wild pitch by Jared Poche. 

LSU coach Paul Mainieri went to Zack Hess to close things out. The right-hander walked Taylor Walls before getting Dylan Busby, who homered in the first inning, to strike out looking on a curveball. 

Neither starting pitcher was particularly sharp. Florida State's Tyler Holton allowed five runs (three earned) on eight hits in 7.1 innings. LSU's Alex Lange, who was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the first round on Monday, allowed seven hits and four runs and walked four in six innings. 

The win sets LSU up for a showdown with Oregon State in the winner's bracket on Monday, and Florida State will look to keep its season alive in an elimination game against Cal State Fullerton. 

Oregon State 6, Cal State Fullerton 5

Nati Harnik/Associated Press

Oregon State steamrolled plenty of opponents to amass a head-turning 54-4 record heading into Saturday's contest, but it demonstrated its comeback mettle in a 6-5 victory over Cal State Fullerton.

Adley Rutschman's single in the bottom of the eighth scored Trevor Larnach and completed a two-out rally that gave the Beavers the lead for good after they fell behind 5-1 in the fourth. The effort extended their winning streak to 22 games, which is the longest active one in the country.

NCAA Baseball shared the winning hit:

NCAA Baseball @NCAACWS

THE LEAD IS THE BEAVS! Adley Rutschman does it all... This time coming up with the go-ahead RBI single in the 8th!! #CWS https://t.co/GYQzGPu1GS

While Rutschman played the role of offensive hero, relief pitcher Jake Mulholland did the same on the mound. He relieved starter Jake Thompson—who entered the game with a 14-0 record and 1.52 ERA—and silenced the Titans after they scored five on a three-run homer from Timmy Richards and two-run single from Chris Hudgins.

In all, Mulholland didn't allow a single hit or run in 4.1 innings after Thompson allowed five in 3.2. Drew Rasmussen closed the door with a shutout ninth to give the No. 1 team in the nation its first win in what it hopes is a championship run in Omaha.

Despite his team's loss, Cal State Fullerton starter Connor Seabold deserved better after allowing just one run in five innings.

Relief pitcher Colton Eastman allowed four runs without giving up a single hit in the fateful sixth for the Titans. He walked four and was charged with the runs when Larnach and Jack Anderson drove in three with back-to-back singles after Blake Workman had replaced him on the mound.

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