OMAHA, Neb. — The top-seeded Oregon State Beavers (54-4) were already without ace pitcher Luke Heimlich for the College World Seires after it was reported he sexually molested a young female cousin when he was a teenager. Heimlich decided not to travel here with the team.
Now the Beavers have to contend with the loss of starting left fielder Christian Donahue, at least for the CWS opening game at 2 p.m. Saturday against Cal State Fullerton.
Oregon State coach Pat Casey confirmed Friday that Donahue has been suspended for a violation of team rules but did not elaborate. CSNNW.com, the website of the sports TV network Comcast Sports Net Northwest, cited unnamed sources saying Donahue also did not travel with the team.
Donahue, who has started 40 games, is batting .258 with 32 RBIs.
Oregon State is in LSU's half of the CWS bracket. The Tigers open at 7 p.m. Saturday against Florida State.
Opening ceremonies canceled
The threat of inclement weather canceled the College World Series opening ceremonies at TD Ameritrade Park even before teams took the field.
Stadium workers started to set up chairs and a temporary stage near home plate but rushed to pack up everything when lightning began flashing near TD Ameritrade Park, pulling out a large white tarp to cover the infield instead.
A smaller version of the event was moved indoors to nearby Creighton University.
LSU took their team photograph and practiced in their gold jerseys, but team officials confirmed the Tigers will wear all white for Saturday’s game.
The NCAA assigns teams their hotels for the CWS, but LSU coach Paul Mainieri couldn’t have been happier to find that his team had been assigned to the Embassy Suites downtown near the Ole Market area.
LSU stayed at that hotel the last time it won the CWS in 2009 but was sent elsewhere in 2013 and 2015.
No Bryce, says Beau
Designated hitter Beau Jordan said his twin brother Bryce wasn’t able to make the trip to Omaha. Bryce, LSU’s projected starting designated hitter coming into the season, injured his knee in a preseason scrimmage and has missed all of the 2017 campaign.
“He’s in summer school right now,” Beau said. “But I’ve got a lot of family here.”
Each CWS player gets six tickets, but Jordan said he has at least seven folks coming for the CWS.
“Those tickets go quick,” he said.