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Oregon State gave up a slugfest loss to LSU on Friday after trouncing the Tigers earlier in the week, 13-1. That certainly lit a fire under the collective ass of Paul Mainieri’s LSU outfit, because the Tigers stormed back for a 3-1 victory behind strongarm pitcher Alex Lange.

Now the Tigers and Beavers will meet for a bracket-deciding rubber match on Saturday.

In the bottom of the third inning, with the Beavs trailing, 2-1, center fielder Steven Kwan stepped up and laced a high looper down the third base line. It curved left, then more left, before eventually striking the left field wall right at the yellow painted foul line on the padding of the fence. This is a very, very close call.

A wild affair went down in the College Station super regional, where Davidson got up on Texas A&M, 6-2, until the top of the eighth when a bonkers collision plated two Aggie runners to cap off a disastrous inning for the Wildcats. The darlings of this year’s tournament were dispatched with relative ease in the super regional round, an unfortunate if not altogether unforeseen outcome. Still these Wildcats should feel encouraged at the run of success they had this year, and hopefully they’ll see tournament play again.

Down in the Gainesville super regional, rain blasted through north-central Florida soon after first pitch, delaying play a full four hours. The resulting nearly eight-hour marathon session couldn’t be decided in nine innings, as the Gators and Demon Deacons took a 1-1 tie into two extra innings before Ryan Larson banged a bases-loaded single to walk off for the Gator win.

This game’s ending also gave us one of the best celebrations of the tournament so far, and why not: Florida hit its first walkoff of the season.

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Catching a baseball is hard. Catching a baseball with your bare hand is harder. Catching a baseball with your bare hand while worrying about the sawed-off barrel of a bat that’s helicoptering toward your ankles? Absurdly difficult.

Upon closer inspection, the ball hits the freaking barrel of the bat again right before Song has to field it, which means it’s the spiritual successor to this famous play:

It might not be as good, but Smith didn’t have to dodge a splintery death, either. What a fine, terrifying play.

Or what about Yonder Alonso or Justin Smoak? Both of them were picked in the top half of the first round in 2008. Both of them were disappointments relative to expectations. For years, they seemed like busts. And now … they’re All-Stars?

Does that mean the Reds and Rangers, respectively, were right to draft them after all?

Does it mean those teams were right to trade them before their value plummeted?

Does it mean that it really didn’t matter where they were drafted because they were going to wait nine years to reach their potential?

Back in Omaha for the first time since 2012, FSU is currently averaging 7.4 runs per game, the highest scoring rate in the remaining tournament field. The ‘Noles are particularly troublesome to pitch against, since their lineup has four switch-hitters, including power man Jackson Lueck, who knocked in the walk-off RBI that won the Tallahassee super regional. The ‘Noles aren’t the most powerful hitting team out there by any stretch, but they’re patient and lead the nation in walks with 380 on the season. They will get on base.

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The 2017 NCAA college baseball tournament kicked off Friday, commencing the regional round at 16 sites across the country. The Kentucky Wildcats are hosting their first-round tilt in Lexington, and they have the early game against the Ohio Bobcats. Bobcats vs. Wildcats is what we’re dealing with here.

Lewis immediately adds upside to the Twins’ farm system. He’s a 6’2, 190-pound combination of tools that leaves scouts drooling. At the plate, he offers impressive power, and in the field his speed stands out. Arm strength may be his biggest question mark as a young shortstop, but it’s not expected to prevent him from sticking at the position.

The Twins did not pick the consensus No. 1 player in the class, however. Baseball America and MLB Pipeline both rate Lewis as the fifth-best prospect this year behind McKay, Greene, Kyle Wright, and MacKenzie Gore. Lewis is an undeniably good prospect, but it’s a little bit of a surprise that the Twins passed on McKay and Greene.

If there’s an Achilles’ heel here, it’s the Aggies defense, which has been at times a liability to an otherwise sound ball club in other departments. A&M had a few costly errors in the super regionals opener, which allowed Davidson to get on top of them in the early going.

As for the pitching staff, it appears that big-time ace, Brigham Hill, has been moved into the bullpen in favor of Corbin Martin. But that shouldn’t trouble Aggie fans, since Martin is more than capable of eating innings and holding the score down. Closer Cason Sherrod can touch into the 90s with his fastball, as can right-hander Mitchell Kilkenny.

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David Ortiz isn’t coming back. Let’s just get that out of the way.

I … look, that’s not the point. He retired. He’s found every shrine in Breath of the Wild, and he’s watched every episode of John from Cincinnati. But there’s still so much left to do. He’s not coming back, and it’s irresponsible for anyone to suggest as much.

On Saturday, McKay won the Dick Howser Award, given annually to the top player in college baseball.

In the nightcap, junior right-hander Alex Faedo, drafted on Monday by the Detroit Tigers in the first round with the 18th overall pick, will start for the Gators against TCU.

Not every game is perfect, but we’re finding ways to win,” Faedo told reporters on Friday. That’s exactly how our season’s been. It makes it that much sweeter.

The College World Series is a double-elimination format until the top two teams are determined. Then things shift to a best-of-three championship final. Sunday’s winners will do battle again on Tuesday night, while the losers on Sunday will play an elimination game on Tuesday.

Since Bartlett’s 2007 season, the Twins have had 13 different seasons from players who spent more than 75 percent of their time at short. They’ve combined for two-and-a-half wins in those 10 seasons, with almost half of that total coming from Jorge Polanco this season. Sheesh.

This is all compounded by the fact that the Twins traded Johan Santana, one of the best pitchers in baseball at the time, for Carlos Gomez, who was then flipped for J.J. Hardy, who could have solved this problem for most of the last decade. Except he was flipped for Brett Jacobson and Jim Hoey after a season. They played the worst game of One Red Paperclip I’ve ever seen.

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With the No. 1 pick in the 2017 MLB Draft, the Minnesota Twins selected high school shortstop Royce Lewis. The team passed on Louisville two-way star Brendan McKay, high school pitcher Hunter Greene, and others to add Lewis to its farm system.

This is the third time ever that the Twins have had the top overall pick. They also selected pitcher Tim Belcher in 1983 and catcher Joe Mauer in 2001.

Kentucky carried a commanding 4-0 lead over Ohio into the top of the sixth inning, with starting ace, Sean Hjelle, dominating the Bobcats lineup from the get-go. Ohio needs to win if it wants to avoid the losers bracket in the Lexington regional, and so the Bobcats bench brought out a RALLY PENGUIN to help spur a comeback:

Nigel is a good penguin, what with him traveling to Lexington in early June to aid Ohio’s tournament run. Nigel is certainly feeling the heat here in the northern hemisphere, especially so since temperatures are reaching up into the mid-80s in Lexington on Friday.

Here then is our first instance of college baseball bench shenanigans in this year’s tournament and a kindred spirit to Wright State’s mounted deer head during 2016’s CWS. Never change, college baseball bench antics.

For me, though, I’m going to look at this as the Curse of Matt Bush because it’s a little more recent. The Padres could have selected any amateur player in the country, and they passed over Justin Verlander to select Bush, who only found success after traveling to Hell and back to reemerge as a reliever. But if you want to say true to the theme of the post, the Padres also passed on one of the consensus top talents, Stephen Drew, because of money and borasophobia. It’s not like they missed out on a Hall of Famer, but note that the Diamondbacks squeaked into the boring category. The Padres would kill for the boring category.

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