Adley Rutschman hit a tie-breaking single in the eighth inning, Jake Mulholland pitched 4 1/3 innings of no-hit relief, and Oregon State rallied to beat Cal State Fullerton 6-5 in the College World Series opener Saturday.
The top-ranked Beavers (55-4) extended their winning streak to 22 games after falling behind by four runs as starting pitcher Jake Thompson, who leads the nation in victories, scuffled.
Mulholland (7-1) settled things down for Oregon State, retiring 12 of 13 batters after taking over for Thompson, who came into the game with 14 wins but lasted 3 2/3 innings in his shortest outing of the season.
The Beavers tied it with four runs in the sixth inning, and Rutschman put them ahead with his single up the middle off Blake Workman (6-3). Drew Rasmussen pitched the ninth for his second save.
Timmy Richards’ three-run homer in the first and Chris Hudgins’ two-run single in the fourth gave the Titans (39-23) a 5-1 lead, the largest deficit the Beavers have faced since losing 7-1 to UCLA on April 22.
Fullerton starter Connor Seabold worked a strong five innings, but his pitch count ballooned to 97 and he was relieved by Colton Eastman to start the bottom of the sixth.
Eastman, who was spectacular in a seven-inning start in the super regional-clinching win over Long Beach State last Sunday, couldn’t find the strike zone. The Beavers were content to wait him out. He got only two batters out, walked four and threw 40 pitches, including 13 to KJ Harrison during an at-bat that ended with a bases-loaded walk.
Workman came on, and Trevor Larnach singled up the middle for two runs. Jack Anderson followed with another base hit to center to tie it at 5-all.
The Titans lost their eighth straight CWS game over five appearances. They went 0-2 in 2007, 2009 and 2015.
Oregon State will play Monday night against the winner of the Florida State-LSU game Saturday night. Fullerton will play the loser of that game Monday afternoon.
Howser Trophy: Pitcher-first baseman Brendan McKay of Louisville won the Dick Howser Trophy as the top player in college baseball.
McKay, the fourth overall pick in the major league baseball draft, was honored at a ceremony Saturday by the Howser Trophy committee and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.
The Darlington, Pa., product was chosen as national player of the year by Collegiate Baseball newspaper and Baseball America. He is also a three-time winner of the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award.
McKay, who will be the starting pitcher in Louisville’s College World Series game against Texas A&M on Sunday, is 10-3 with a 2.34 ERA and 140 strikeouts in 104 innings. He’s batting .343 with 17 home runs and 56 RBIs.