CORVALLIS — The crowd in the Toyota Club at Reser Stadium grumbled Monday morning when Stanford was introduced as the No. 2 overall seed in the NCAA college baseball bracket and then quickly cheered when Oregon State followed as the third seed.
Yet the biggest roar from Oregon State's players and fans came when the selection show filled in the final spot of the 64-team bracket with LSU in the Corvallis Regional. The Tigers, who gave Oregon State its final two losses last season at the College World Series, could face the Beavers on Saturday.
"Of course it brings back memories," OSU junior outfielder Trevor Larnach said. "They kicked us out last year in the end of the World Series. That is done and over with, so now our focus is on the new road ahead."
Oregon State defeated LSU 13-1 in the second round of last year's CWS to win its 23rd consecutive game. The Tigers responded with a 3-1 victory and followed up with a 6-1 win that sent the top-seeded Beavers home from Omaha with a record of 56-6.
"I don't see LSU as extra anything," OSU shortstop Cadyn Grenier said. "These are all good teams, that's why they are in the playoffs."
LSU is the only team in the nation to average more than 10,000 fans per game and some will try to find a spot in sold-out crowds at Goss Stadium.
"We can only hold a certain number, so I think it will be electric," OSU coach Pat Casey said of a potential matchup or two with the Tigers this weekend. "They might want to put in more seats. LSU is a great program and I happened to get a chance to see a bunch of the SEC Tournament and saw them play very, very well. They would certainly be a challenge, but we don't have to worry about LSU right now. We just have to worry about ourselves and the first game."
That comes at 7:30 p.m. Friday when the Beavers (44-10-1) play host to fourth-seeded Northwestern State (37-22), a neighbor of LSU in Natchitoches, La., which won the Southland Conference tournament to reach a regional for the first time since 2005.
"I've never heard of Northwestern State so having them come here will be cool and I'm sure they are looking forward to it as well," OSU pitcher Bryce Fehmel said. "LSU would be a cool matchup so if it gets to that point, I would definitely be looking forward to that as well."
LSU (37-25) will face third-seeded San Diego State (39-19) at 1 p.m. Friday to open the double-elimination regional. Friday's winners will face off Saturday evening.
"We have to get past the first game and if we play LSU, then great, it is what it is," Larnach said. "Our main goal is to get to the College World Series and finish the job."
As the No. 3 overall seed, Oregon State would stay home if it advances to a Super Regional June 8-11 against the winner of the Minneapolis Regional that features No. 14 overall seed Minnesota, UCLA, Gonzaga and Canisius.
Stanford and OSU gave the Pac-12 two of the top eight seeds for the first time since 2001. UCLA and Washington earned at-large bids on the same side of the bracket as the Cardinal and Beavers.
"I wish the NCAA would do what it does in basketball and seed every team 1-to-64 so all regionals have a balance in them," Casey said. "Some of the regionals look very strong and some don't look strong at all. Unfortunately, in our sport they do a lot of things based upon money and things like that, but it doesn't matter to me who is in our regional. We have to play well and all we can do is control how we play the game and not worry about who is here. LSU just payed for the SEC championship and San Diego State won its conference tournament, so everybody in the field earned their way here."