Oregon State's great season comes to a close

THE BEAVS HIT the ball hard, but too many of them were right at Mississippi State fielders as Oregon State lost 4-1 and was eliminated from the College World Series. Oregon State went on a great ride this year and set a program record for wins -- and Michael Conforto made the catch of the year against MSU -- but it just wasn't enough to extend their season.

Oregon State won a school-record 52 games and advanced to the College World Series for the fifth time, but Mississippi State (51-18) strung together five consecutive two-out hits in the fifth inning - a rally that began with two gone and nobody on base - and that was more than enough.

Oregon State (52-13) tried to rally in the ninth with back-to-back singles by Dylan Davis and Danny Hayes but a flyout and groundout ended the game and send MSU to the CWS final for the first time in their history.

In the second inning, MSU 1B Wes Rea crushed a ball to left but Conforto, in full stride with his arm outstretched, snagged the ball a milisecond before crashing into the wall.

It was an incredible grab that became a footnote to the Beaver batting woes.

As the pitching got better in the postseason, OSU struggled to get the one big inning (or more) that had been their trademark this season. In the last two games, OSU managed only two runs.

The Beavers got their lone run of the game against MSU in the sixth inning on an RBI single by Andy Peterson that scored Max Gordon.

It ended an 0-for-16 OSU streak with runners in scoring position.

Oregon State freshman pitcher Andrew Moore escaped some trouble here and there but he just didn't have his best stuff.

Mississippi State rapped out eight hits and all four of its runs in the fourth and fifth innings to hand Moore only his second loss of the season to go with his school-record tying 14 wins.

The Bulldogs got on the board first in the fourth with a one-out single to right field off the bat of Brett Pirtle. Rea followed with a double to the gap that put runners on second and third. With a drawn in infield, junior C.T. Bradford smacked a hard grounder to the right of Hayes at first, who gloved the shot and looked at the plate but ultimately decided to try to get the out at first. Bradford beat Hayes to the bag for a single and RBI.

On an 0-1 pitch, Mississippi State's Trey Porter lofted a foul pop to the edge of the stands in left, which was tracked down by Conforto. Rea tried to tag up, but was gunned down at the dish by the Pac-12 Player of the Year.

The outfield assist was Conforto's second of the CWS.

Hunter Renfroe's fifth-inning home run, which proved to be the difference, was only the third of the 2013 College World Series at windswept, cavernous TD Ameritrade Park.

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