No. 2 Seed Kentucky Edges Oregon State 3-2 To Win First Super Regional Title, Earn First Trip To Cws

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Nolan McCarthy doubled and scored the go-ahead run from second base on a wild pitch in the seventh inning and No. 2 seed Kentucky held on for a 3-2 victory over 15th-seeded Oregon State on Sunday night, sweeping the Lexington Super Regional and earning the Wildcats their first trip to the College World Series.

Kentucky (45-14) finished off its first super regional championship after winning the opener 10-0 with a one-hitter on Saturday for the school's first victory in a super regional. The Wildcats had never even had the lead in a game in two previous appearances. It was just the second time Oregon State (45-16) has been shut out in 128 NCAA Tournament games.

The Wildcats grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning when Ryan Nicholson singled with two outs and scored all the way from first on a double down the left-field foul line by McCarthy.

Oregon State trailed 2-0 before pulling even in the bottom of the fourth on bases-loaded walks to Wilson Weber and Brady Kasper.

The Wildcats took the lead for good in the seventh. McCarthy again doubled down the left-field line. He scored when Grant Smith struck out on a wild pitch.

The Beavers brought the winning run to the plate in the bottom of ninth after No. 9 batter Mason Guerro drew a two-out walk from Wildcats reliever Robert Hogan. Ryan Hagenow replaced Hogan to face leadoff hitter Travis Bazzana, sporting a .404 batting average with 28 homers. Bazzana singled to right field, sending pinch-runner Dawson Santana to third. Johnny Hummel entered to face Micah McDowell. Hummel struck out McDowell looking on three pitches to end the game with his seventh save.

Cameron O'Brien (3-0) earned the win for the Wildcats, allowing just one hit in three shutout innings in relief of starter Mason Moore. He struck out five. Moore did not surrender a hit in 3 1/3 innings, but he walked six and gave up two runs — one earned.

Jacob Kmatz (7-2) took the loss for the Beavers. He allowed three runs on four hits and two walks, striking out eight in six innings.

Kentucky has won 2 of its 3 regional titles in the last two seasons with the first one coming in 2017.

Oregon State has made seven CWS appearances, most recently in 2018 when it won its third championship with a 5-0 victory over Arkansas. The Beavers won back-to-back titles in 2006-07, beating North Carolina both times.

The only other time Oregon State was shut out in an NCAA Tournament game was a 14-0 defeat at the hands of the Stanford Cardinal in 1983.

Kentucky also shut out Indiana State in a regional victory. The Sycamores had not been blanked in 138 straight games.

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AP college sports: https://apnews.com/hub/college-sports