CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Oregon State has been eliminated from the Corvallis Regional.
Talk about a quick exit for the defending national champions.
Isaac Collins hit a solo homer in the top of the third inning, giving No. 2 seed Creighton a lead it would not relinquish in a 4-1 victory Saturday.
“That was huge,” said Collins, a junior second baseman. “Yesterday (a 6-0 loss to No. 3 seed Michigan) we had some hard times scoring runs. We just needed something to get on the board.”
The orange and black-clad home fans had little to cheer about in the four-team, double-elimination regional.
After losing to No. 4 seed Cincinnati 7-6 in their first game Friday, No. 1 seed OSU (36-20-1) was in the difficult position of needing four straight wins to advance to next week’s super regional.
Creighton (39-12) outplayed OSU in Saturday’s elimination game.
The Bluejays play the loser of Saturday’s second game between Cincinnati (31-29) and No. 3 seed Michigan (42-18), Sunday in another elimination game.
OSU, the No. 16 national seed, was the first national seed sent home in the 2019 NCAA Tournament.
″“It was a matter of us not playing good baseball, bottom line,” OSU interim head coach Pat Bailey said.
After seven innings, the Beavers trailed 4-1 and had as many errors (three) as hits.
OSU fans gave junior catcher Adley Rutschman a standing ovation after his deep fly out to center leading off the bottom of the eighth, acknowledging what was almost certainly his last plate appearance in a Beavers uniform. The Pac-12 Player of the Year has been projected as the No. 1 overall pick in next week’s Major League Baseball draft.
“It’s all been said about him. You can’t say enough good things,” OSU sophomore designated hitter Alex McGarry said.
The Bluejays, who won the Big East regular season and conference tournament championship, added two more runs in the third after Collins’ homer, helped by two OSU errors, to extend the lead to 3-0.
OSU sent the potential tying run to the plate in the bottom of the ninth, but Tyler Malone grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to end the game.
“I’m really impressed with how our team responded,” Creighton coach Ed Servais said.
Despite hitting several balls to the warning track, OSU managed just four hits — two apiece from McGarry and senior first baseman Zak Taylor — and stranded nine base runners.
It was a disappointing ending for the Beavers, who lost six of their last nine games and had the lead for just one-half inning in two regional games. They committed five errors.
“That’s not how any of us wanted to end,” Taylor said. “Our goal every year is to win a national championship.”
That won’t be happening this year.