The first two days of the 2017 College World Series were filled with optimism about starting strong. By Monday, the feeling slowly turns to a time of desperation.
And one team will endure a season-ending sadness.
Headlined by national No. 1 seed Oregon State challenging LSU on the winner’s side of the bracket, Group 1 will resume play Monday. On the less fortunate side, one of Cal State Fullerton and Florida State will be eliminated from the tournament.
While one program will move within a game of the championship, one school will soon be departing from Omaha.
College World Series Monday Schedule
Florida State vs. Cal State Fullerton: 2 p.m. ET on ESPN
Oregon State vs. LSU: 7 p.m. ET on ESPN
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Florida State Seminoles vs. Cal State Fullerton Titans
How quickly will these programs forget the past?
That’s the challenge for both Cal State Fullerton and Florida State. On Saturday, Oregon State stormed back from a four-run deficit to beat Fullerton 6-5.
Later that night, LSU scored a couple of late opportunistic runs to edge FSU 5-4.
Not that being familiar with elimination games is a good thing, but the ‘Noles do have useful experience playing under this pressure. They began regional play with a loss to Tennessee Tech before rattling off four straight wins to survive the opening round.
“We’ve obviously not been in this situation in regards to being in Omaha, but we’ve been in this situation with our backs against the wall,” said FSU first baseman Quincy Nieporte, per Wayne E. McGahee III of the Tallahassee Democrat. “I think we’ve done pretty well when we know it’s lose or go home.”
Florida State will count on Drew Parrish, a freshman southpaw with a 6-3 record and 4.40 ERA. He’s pitched well recently but must continue the personal hot streak in what is now the team’s biggest game of the season.
Fullerton will likely start John Gavin, who is 8-2 with a 2.67 ERA over 101 innings pitched this year.
Oregon State Beavers vs. LSU Tigers
Gerald Herbert/Associated Press
Both clubs have immense confidence in the middle of terrific seasons, but there is clearly mutual respect heading into the showdown between 55-4 Oregon State and 49-17 LSU.
As Creighton sports information director Rob Anderson pointed out, neither side has lost much lately:
Rob Anderson @_robanderson
Monday’s CWS Game 6 features 2 teams with the longest active NCAA Baseball win streaks: Oregon State (22) & LSU (17).
“It looks like a typo when you see they just have four losses, especially since they play in the Pac-12,” LSU shortstop Kramer Robertson said of the Beavers, per Danny Moran of The Oregonian. “They’re a very, very good team. But so are we.”
Oregon State coach Pat Casey offered his praise of the Tigers.
“They’re just so athletic,” he said, per Moran. “If there is one more talented, they’re as talented as anybody in the Series that I’ve seen, and I’ve seen them play a bunch.”
LSU will start Eric Walker, who enters the contest holding an 8-1 record and a 3.46 ERA. Oregon State will counter with Bryce Fehmel, a sophomore with a 5-2 mark and 3.80 ERA.
The winner will await whichever school navigates the loser’s bracket, though the loser of the nightcap would only need one victory to set up a rematch.
Follow Bleacher Report writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR.