Auburn denied Oregon State its eighth College World Series appearance Monday as the Tigers beat the Beavers 4-3 to win the Corvallis Super Regional at Goss Stadium.
Sonny DiChiara hit a two-run homer, and Auburn scored two runs on an error and a safety squeeze in the sixth to make the most of a three-hit attack. The Tigers turned to their bullpen, and particularly closer Blake Burkhalter, who set down the final eight hitters to end Oregon State’s season.
Auburn (42-20) advances to the CWS, where it plays Mississippi (37-22) at 4 pm Saturday (PDT) at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha.
Oregon State, which left Auburn 8-3 but left nine runners on base and went 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position, finishes the season with a 48-18 record.
Justin Boyd went 3-for-5 with a triple and a home run to lead Oregon State.
The No. 3-seeded Beavers were among three of the top four seeds who failed to reach the CWS, joining top seed Tennessee and No. 4 Virginia Tech.
Auburn had trouble with OSU starter Jaren Hunter, who pitched five solid innings of one-hit ball. That one hit, though, was costly. In the third, following a walk to Cole Foster, DiChiara hits a two-run homer to left-center for a 2-0 Auburn lead.
OSU sliced the lead in half during the bottom of the third when Justin Boyd tripled and scored on a ground out by Wade Meckler.
Reid Gebby relieved Hunter in the sixth, but it didn’t work out well. Auburn increased its lead to 4-1 on just one hit, as the Tigers scored runs on an error and safety squeeze bunt.
Oregon State’s bid to catch Auburn came in the seventh. Kyle Dernedde hit a leadoff single, and quickly scored when Boyd blasted a two-run homer to right, trimming the deficit to 4-3. With one out, Garret Forrester walked and moved to second on a single by Jacob Melton.
Auburn turned to Burkhalter, who mowed through Oregon State’s lineup with ease. He struck out Travis Bazzana and Jake Dukart to end the seventh. Burkhalter then set down OSU in order in the eighth and ninth to close out the win and help advance Auburn to the CWS.
–Nick Daschel | firstname.lastname@example.org | @nickdaschel