WHO: Oregon State (55-4) vs. LSU (49-17)
WHAT: College World Series winners' bracket game
WHEN: 6 p.m. Monday
WHERE: TD Ameritrade Park, Omaha, Neb.
SEEDS: LSU is the No. 4 national seed. Oregon State is the No. 1 national seed.
RADIO: WDGL-FM, 98.1; WWL-AM, 870; KLWB-FM, 103.7
IN GAME UPDATES: @ByLukeJohnson, @RabalaisAdv
Oregon State So. RHP Bryce Fehmel
Stats: 5-2, 3.80 ERA, 71 IP, 45 K, 17 BB
Analysis: LSU coach Paul Mainieri couldn’t resist cracking a joke when asked about Fehmel starting the game for an Oregon State team that has only lost four games this season. “He’s having a really tough year,” Mainieri said, before delivering the punch line: “He’s got two losses.” Ha ha. Fehmel was outstanding in his most recent start against Vanderbilt in the super regionals, striking out 10 in a complete game that punched the Beavers’ ticket to the College World Series.
What they said: “He’s a right-handed pitcher that throws three pitches for strikes. It looks like his velocity is 88 to 90, a nice little curveball, a good changeup. He likes to pitch away a lot and then sneak one inside on your hitters when they don’t expect it.” — LSU coach Paul Mainieri
LSU Fr. RHP Eric Walker
Stats: 8-1, 3.46 ERA, 93.2 IP, 78 K, 23 BB
Analysis: It has been a couple of weeks since Walker pitched, but he has been lights out in the postseason. He started the Southeastern Conference tournament championship game and the NCAA regional championship matchup and shut down the opposing team each time. In 15.2 postseason innings, he has struck out more batters (16) than he has allowed to reach base (13), and he has only given up one run. If he is commanding his pitches like he was against Rice in the regional, when he did not go to a single three-ball count, he is as difficult to hit as anybody on LSU’s staff.
What they said: “I know it’s been said before that they’re not freshmen any more, and that’s true. When you’ve played the number of games we have in the (SEC), the tournament, the super regionals, the regional — all that — the experience that Eric Walker has gained by being in that environment puts him ready to compete in this environment. So, yeah, we feel very confident in Eric as we have all year in giving him the ball.” — LSU pitching coach Alan Dunn
Nothing illustrates just how good this Oregon State team is better than the number in its loss column. The Beavers will play their 60th game of the season Monday, and to this point, they only have four losses. To put that into perspective, LSU lost its fourth game of the season more than three months ago — on March 8. Oregon State owns the only sub-2.00 team ERA in the country, and it also has six regulars hitting better than .300. That said, the Beavers aren’t operating at full strength. Luke Heimlich, the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year, did not make the trip to Omaha after his need to register as a sex offender was discovered. Neither did starting left fielder Christian Donahue, who was suspended for a violation of team rules.