The chalk held firm for the opening day of the College World Series. However, it wasn’t easy for either the LSU Tigers or the Oregon State Beavers. Both had to overcome late-inning deficits in order to secure one-run victories and advance to the winner’s bracket. The winner of this game won’t have to play again until Friday and will get the chance to reset its rotation, while the loser gets thrown back into the grinder to play on Wednesday.
This game will take place at 7 p.m. ET on Monday, June 19, 2017. It will be broadcast on ESPN.
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Bryce Fehmel will head to the mound for the Beavers in this one. Fehmel was supposed to be used in long relief or in certain situations, but the Luke Heimlich situation changed all of that.
Unlike the other Oregon State starters, Fehmel has been very hittable this season. He isn’t a strikeout pitcher with only 45 K’s in 71 innings and gives up way too much contact. He has allowed 30 percent of the Beavers’ home runs this season.
Fehmel is unlikely to go more than five or six innings in this one. With the arms available to coach Pat Casey, Fehmel will be pulled somewhat quickly if he finds himself in a pickle.
LSU is going to give the ball to freshman Eric Walker and trust that this stage isn’t too big for him. The Tigers used Jared Poche’ in relief against the Seminoles on Saturday night, so the moment belongs to Walker.
On the season, Walker was solid with an 8-1 record and a 3.46 ERA. However, power hitters will be able to find some success against him. Walker allowed 19 doubles and 12 home runs in 16 starts and is likely to give up some extra-base hits.
Walker has had some control issues too. He has hit 12 batters on the year because of his propensity to pitch inside and the Beavers will likely be able to get a baserunner or two if they don’t mind giving up a piece of the body for the team.
Hitters to Watch
Jack Anderson was one of the heroes for the Beavers in their opening game. The light-hitting right fielder went 3-3 from the plate and was able to keep innings alive with his ability to get on base. He’ll never kill you with his power, just seven extra-base hits on the year, but he can make contact and doesn’t strike out.
Nick Madrigal is another bat that the Beavers will be counting on. He went 2-4 in the first game, but didn’t hit with the power that we are accustomed to seeing. This game could have some fireworks and Madrigal is the most likely OSU player to bring the wood.
The best hitter on LSU this season was Antoine Duplantis and he showed why in the opening game. Duplantis went 2-3, drew a walk, and was able to manufacture runs. He has great speed and is a threat to steal if he gets on base.
Greg Deichmann can go yard against anyone. LSU’s primary power-hitter had a slugging percentage over 100 points higher than any of his fellow starters and Oregon State will have to be careful with him. Although Omaha typically hasn’t been a great spot for power-hitters, the last few seasons have seen upticks in power and Deichmann can send one over the fences with ease.
College World Series ATS Pick
It will be interesting if this one is close. LSU has a virtually untouched bullpen with Zack Hess facing just one batter against FSU, while Oregon State has already used one of its top arms in long relief. The Beavers bullpen has put up better numbers on the whole, but in a conference that doesn’t have as many quality hitters. LSU could find some real success if it’s close late.
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