Now a ninth-round Major League Baseball drafted junior playing what likely will be his final games for LSU at the College World Series, Papierski showed his ability to hit from both sides of the plate while on the biggest stage in the game. The switch-hitting catcher hammered a pitch from Oregon State starter Bryce Fehmel over the right-field field fence to give the Tigers a 3-0 lead.
Beau Jordan added a solo home run in the sixth inning, and Antoine Duplantis delivered an RBI single in the third for the Tigers, who will face the Florida-TCU victor in the CWS Finals.
LSU pitchers held number one national seed Oregon State to five hits and two runs in a two game sweep of the number one national seed. LSU has played at a high level ever since, and it has looked better and better with each game - starting with a 7-4 win against Florida State in Wednesday's elimination game, then continuing with Friday's 3-1 win against OSU.
Gilbert allowed an infield single and walk before Michael Gretler homered in the seventh.
"I wish I could tell you that I went to bed last night and dreamt that Caleb Gilbert would give us seven shutout innings on one-hit ball", Mainieri said, "and that [Michael Papierski] was going to launch one out each side of the plate and Beau [Jordan] was going to tomahawk a 97-mile-per-hour fastball into the stands". He became the first batter to homer twice in a CWS game since Bryan Holaday hit two homers for Texas Christian in 2010.
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With that, Gilbert and the Tigers thought they had a game plan for their third College World Series elimination game. If you would like to discuss another topic, look for a relevant article. "And now is not the time to really think about that or talk about it, but I know there will be a time when they get to sit back and reflect and realize what they accomplished". It was in Surprise, Arizona, against Ohio State, a 6-1 defeat that led pitching coach Nate Yeskie to print up a list delivered to each player on a piece of paper.
"To me, the key of stopping Oregon State was to keep those two guys off base as much as possible", LSU coach Paul Mainieri said.
The Beavers managed only a season-low two hits on Friday and the three against Gilbert and Hess today. "Our kids embraced the challenge". Antoine Duplantis singled home Robertson to put LSU up 4-0 and chase Fehmel.
Oregon State's postseason was tainted by the revelation that Pac-12 pitcher of the year Luke Heimlich had pleaded guilty to molesting a 6-year-old female relative when he was a teenager.
The Beavers had made up a four-run deficit in a 6-5 win over Cal State Fullerton last Saturday, but Gilbert and Hess made that a almost impossible task. Heimlich didn't pitch in super regionals, and he didn't accompany the team to Omaha because he said he didn't want to be a distraction.
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Details about the molestation came to light June 8 in a story published by The Oregonian/OregonLive.
Fehmel, who took time off in May after struggling the first half of the season, made his third postseason start since the rotation was adjusted to account for the loss of Heimlich.
"We kind of took it personal", says shortstop Kramer Robertson, who went 3-for-3 Saturday. They followed up Friday's 3-1 victory with a 6-1 win Saturday, propelling them to the CWS Finals for the first time since 2009. Michael Byrne finished for his 18th save. Gilbert had only started four games this year, and five the year before.
LSU is two wins away from its seventh national championship in baseball. He has 11 home runs on the year. He struck out Greg Deichmann looking before walking Zach Watson and striking out Smith to end the inning.
But as the stakes were raised and the competition stiffened, the Beavers came up one victory short of playing for their third national title.
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