Miami 2, Oklahoma State 1
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) _ Relief ace Ric Raether slammed the door on second-ranked Oklahoma State after Chris Magno singled home the go-ahead run in the eighth inning to lift Miami to a 2-1 NCAA College World Series win Thursday night.
Raether, who picked up his 20th save on the season, struck out Oklahoma State slugger Pete Incaviglia to lead off the ninth. He surrendered a two-out single to Jimmy Barragan before striking out pinch-hitter Bryan Kostishion.
Oklahoma State catcher Carlos Diaz broke the scoreless deadlock with a long homer, his ninth of the season, to right-center in the fifth inning off Miami starter Kevin Sheary, 6-4.
Miami countered when Rick Richardi tripled to lead off the sixth and scored on an infield error to even the score at 1-1.
Calvin James walked to lead off the Miami eighth and chase Cowboy starter Joe Giordanella, 6-1. Mike Fiore also walked before Magno singled in James with the winning run.
The victory sends Miami, 61-16, to Saturday’s elimination round against Mississippi State, fifth-ranked and 50-13 on the season. Mississippi State meets Texas, ranked third at 62-12, in the winners bracket finals at 7:10 p.m. CDT Friday.
Texas meets Arkansas, a 10-4 winner over No. 1-ranked Stanford, in Saturday’s other contest. Arkansas is 51-14 on the year and has beaten Texas in four of five meetings this year.
Friday’s winner will play the 7:10 p.m. game Saturday and would earn a berth in the championship game regardless of a win or loss Saturday.
Oklahoma State ended its season with a 58-16 record.