CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Sonny DiChiara hit his 22nd home run, Blake Burkhalter pitched 2 2/3 innings of hitless relief for his 15th save, and Auburn beat No. 3 national seed Oregon State 4-3 on Monday night to secure the final spot in the College World Series.
Auburn (42-20) won the Corvallis Super Regional to advance to the CWS for the second time in the last three tournaments. The Tigers, the fourth SEC team to make the NCAA tournament’s final eight, will play Mississippi (37-22) on Saturday. Oregon State (48-18) was looking to advance to the CWS for the eighth time in school history, and seventh since 2005.
DiChiara opened the scoring in the third inning with a two-run homer. It was Auburn’s first hit, and DiChiara’s second — both homers — of the super regional.
Auburn added two runs in the sixth after two errors by Oregon State. Brooks Carlson reached on a fielding error by second baseman Travis Bazzana, scoring DiChiara. Bobby Peirce added a double in the inning and later scored on Brody Moore’s bunt.
Auburn reliever Carson Skipper (6-3) retired five straight batters, including three strikeouts, before Burkhalter entered in the seventh with two on and one out. Burkhalter struck out two to preserve Auburn’s lead and retired the next six to earn the save.
Justin Boyd hit a triple in the third and later scored on Jacob Melton’s groundout to pull Oregon State within 2-1. Boyd added a two-run homer in the seventh, his ninth of the season, to make it 4-3. Boyd was 3 for 5.