OMAHA, Neb. -- Following their fourth straight elimination-game win, this time a 5-2 defeat of Mississippi State, Oregon State is headed to the College World Series national championship best-of-three series against Arkansas.
The Beavers got things going in the third inning, when they clubbed five straight two out hits, capped by Tyler Malone's three-run homer, which made it 5-0. That held as freshman Kevin Abel was masterful yet again, going seven innings, allowing just three hits and one run.
There was drama in the ninth as Mississippi State scored a run and loaded the bases with two outs, sending the winning run to the plate, but Jake Mulholland coaxed a ground out to short to end the game and send the Beavers back to the national championship series, somewhere they haven't been since 2007.
It is Oregon State's fourth straight win, and second straight over Mississippi State, after losing its opening game 8-6 to North Carolina. Only three teams in the last 37 years have won the College World Series after losing their opening game. The 2006 Beavers were one of those teams.
Now, the Beavers get set to square off with No. 5 Arkansas, who eliminated No. 1 Florida on Friday night and is undefeated in the tournament so far. Games 1 and 2 are on Monday and Tuesday. If the series is tied through two games, the teams will play a winner-take-all national championship game on Wednesday.