CORVALLIS — There was no pile of humanity on the field this year.
The Beavers were all handshakes and hugs Saturday night as they booked tickets for a business trip to Omaha, Neb.
Adley Rutschman hit a 1-2 pitch up the middle for a two-out, two-run single in the ninth inning to lift third-seeded Oregon State to a 6-3 victory over No. 14 Minnesota in front of a crowd of 4,025 at Goss Stadium.
The Beavers (49-10-1) swept the Corvallis Super Regional to advance to the College World Series for the sixth time since 2005 under coach Pat Casey and the seventh time in program history.
Oregon State, seeking its first national championship since winning back-to-back titles in 2006 and 2007, will play North Carolina in the opening round of the CWS.
“They’re a very unified group, and I’m very proud of them,” Casey said of his tight-knit team. “That’s a really good team we beat. To get to go back to Omaha is an honor for us. I don’t think it matters who you play, you’ve just got to be ready to play. …
“Crazy things happen there, so let’s go there and play.”
The Golden Gophers (44-15), the Big Ten champions, played well after Friday’s 8-1 defeat but were unable to extend the best-of-three series to a Sunday showdown.
“It was an outstanding baseball game. I’m proud of our guys, they got themselves reset and prepared tonight,” Minnesota coach John Anderson said. “Well played game, lots of emotion and energy in the stadium. I’m proud of our guys.”
The Beavers, who had not trailed in the postseason and outscored the opposition 43-5 in the previous five games, needed to rally against reliever Max Meyer.
Oregon State, the designated road team, started to figure out the freshman as his pitch count reached 50 in the top of the eighth inning.
Kyle Nobach’s two-out RBI single down the right-field line tied the score 3-3, but Meyer fanned Jack Anderson to strand two base runners.
Steven Kwan singled, Cadyn Grenier hit a bloop single and Nick Madrigal walked to load the bases with one out in the ninth to chase Meyer (2-3), who threw 81 pitches over 3 1/3 innings.
“Just being able to see (Meyer’s) stuff and get multiple (at-bats) against him helped,” Rutschman said.
Jackson Rose came out of the bullpen and struck out Trevor Larnach before Rutschman’s clutch hit.
Rose then hit the next two batters, which allowed another run to come home for the Beavers.
“I was struggling with that decision in the ninth,” Anderson said. “I didn’t want to use (Meyer) past 75, 80 (pitches), and he got past that. … I thought Jackson came in and handled himself well on a really big stage. We’re maybe one out from still playing out there.”
Jake Mulholland struck out the side in the bottom of the ninth to finish off the four-hour game.
Oregon State starter Bryce Fehmel allowed six hits and three runs over six innings. The junior threw 101 pitches before taking a seat in the dugout after getting ahead of Ben Mezzenga 0-2 with no outs in the seventh.
Christian Chamberlain (3-0) struck out Mezzenga, star shortstop Terrin Vavra and Micah Coffey to keep the Beavers within one run. The freshman lefty picked up the win after allowing one hit over two pressure-packed innings.
“Fehm did a great job of keeping us in the game. He didn’t have his best stuff tonight but he’s a fighter,” Madrigal said. “We were fortunate enough to get some runs across in the end.”
The Beavers improved to 27-5 at home this season and 58-6 at Goss Stadium over the past two seasons.
“Our club, I have unbelievable trust in what they’re doing,” Casey said. “I knew they were going to battle. …
“We don’t care how we win, we just want to win.”