A clutch two-out bases loaded single was exactly what Oregon State was looking for late Saturday’s elimination game, as a sharp Adley Rutschman hit snuck by a diving Luke Pettersen to put the Beavers up by two in the 9th inning and secure what would be a 6-3 victory in the elimination game of the NCAA Super Regionals. With the loss, the Gophers were eliminated from the tournament.
Minnesota went toe to toe with the Beavers throughout the game, and the teams traded leads throughout, with the Gophers taking a 3-2 lead into the eight inning.
Freshman starter Patrick Fredrickson was effective, going five innings and giving up only two runs while registering three strikeouts. But he wasn’t at the top of his game and was pulled fairly early in favor of freshman closer Max Meyer.
Meyer, a reliever who is used to going more than one inning, was asked to pitch far more than he’d done all season, and was his usual dominant self through three full innings, striking out five and giving up only one run. But a late rally by the Beavers put Minnesota in a tough position and Meyer, after throwing a season-high 81 pitches was lifted for senior reliever Jackson Rose.
Rose looked poised to escape the jam of his career after striking out first-round Twins pick Trevor Larnach, but Rutchsman snapped a single up the middle to give Oregon State it’s final lead.
With the loss, Minnesota’s magical season is over, having made it further than any team has since 1977 when the Gophers made the College World Series.
Dropping a three-game series on the road to Oregon State is nothing to be discouraged about. The Beavers are arguably the best team in the nation and are loaded with players that were drafted in the first ten rounds of the MLB draft this year. In fact, they’re one of the favorites to win it all in Omaha.
Congratulations to the Gophers baseball team on an incredible season.