CWS: Win or else for Beavs vs. Louisville

WIN OR ELSE. That's the scenario now facing the Beavs in their College World Series bracket. The high-wire act for Oregon State begins Monday at 12 noon PT against Louisville in an elimination game, (ESPN2). And on one hand, things look good for the Beavs on paper, and Louisville was also shut out in their game on Saturday. On the other hand...

Anything can happen when you're talking about a one game playoff.

Anybody can beat anybody when you get to this stage in the College World Series.

And Louisville will throw their ace against the Beavers on Monday -- hits figure to be scarce. If the Beavs win, they play again on Wednesday against the loser of Monday night's Indiana/Mississippi State game.

If not, their season is over.

This one figures, on paper, to be another pitching duel.

Louisville will send to the mound the Big East Pitcher of the Year in Jeff Thompson (11-1, 2.00 ERA). Oregon State will go with Ben Wetzler (9-1, 2.11 ERA).

Thompson leads the nation in the hits allowed category.

Wetzler has won nine straight since his one and only loss.

Louisville is hitting .241 in six postseason games. But when they get men on base, they do a great job of advancing without the benefit of another hit -- Louisville is second in the nation in steals this season (150).

OSU catcher Jake Rodrgiquez has thrown out 22 of the 36 runners (61 percent) who have tried to run against the Beavs.

Oregon State will be the home team on Monday and will be looking to buck an Omaha trend. Home teams have lost all four games so far at the College World Series.

The two hottest Beavs at the plate coming are LF Michael Conforto and 3B Kavin Keyes.

Conforto was 4-for-4 against Mississippi State with two singles and two doubles. That's as many hits as the entire Louisville squad had in their loss to Indiana.

Keyes leads the Beavers in batting in the postseason (.423) with a double, triple and three RBIs.


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