If you're fearful of omens, your favorite team may want to avoid the third-base dugout at TD Ameritrade Park.
Next to the CWS logo on the third-base dugout Saturday, the word “college” in “COLLEGE WORLD SERIES” had a third “L.”
Perhaps that extra consonant stands for “loss,” as Oregon State and Louisville both lost while occupying the third-base dugout.
Deadspin was among the websites that had already posted a photo of the sign on Saturday, and it also was trending on Twitter for a time.
“It will be fixed tomorrow,” said J.D. Hamilton, NCAA media coordinator.
Feeling at home
Cody Ege pitched like he was right at home.
In many ways, he was. Through the years, the Cherokee, Iowa, native made the two-hour, 15-minute trip from his hometown to the College World Series about a dozen times with his father, John.
The Louisville junior pitched a career-high 413 innings Saturday, allowing no runs on three hits and matching his career high with six strikeouts. He kept the Cardinals in contention, but they couldn't solve Joey DeNato in the 2-0 loss to Indiana before a record 27,122 at TD Ameritrade Park.
Ege was asked if being in the venue before and making so many trips to Omaha helped him find his rhythm.
“I think it did,” the 6-foot-1, 182-pound lefty said. “Coming into the game, I think right away I wasn't shocked by what I was seeing, with the amount of people behind home plate or anything like that. I honestly do think that helped.”
Walk pays off
Even though it meant putting the potential winning run on first base, Mississippi State coach John Cohen had already made up his mind.
Oregon State's Michael Conforto was not going to tie Saturday's game with his fifth hit of the contest. Cohen made that clear when he took a trip to the mound to talk with closer Jonathan Holder.
“I made the visit with Jonathan and I said, 'The next guy's our guy, because this guy's not going to beat us. Do you understand me?' He goes, 'I gotcha,'” Cohen said.
Holder walked Conforto, who had been 4 for 4 to that point. With runners at first and second, Holder struck out Dylan Davis and then got Danny Hayes to fly out at the base of the right-field wall to preserve Mississippi State's 5-4 victory.
“I wasn't really going to let him get off a good swing,” Holder said. “I was all right with the walk there.”
Beavers' Moore regroups
Oregon State freshman Andrew Moore hadn't allowed four earned runs in an outing all year. That's how you go 14-1, tying for the national lead, and earn second-team All-America honors.
But Moore allowed four on Saturday, and he took a no-decision in the Beavers' 5-4 loss.
Moore took the mound in front of 24,473, about 20,000 more than had seen an Oregon State game all year.
“That's something pretty special,” he said. “There was definitely some jitters there in the first, but I got over that.”
Moore gave up three runs in the second, but regrouped to work 713 innings, allowing six hits and four earned runs while striking out two and walking two. He said he wasn't able to make that decisive pitch often enough.
“That was my biggest problem today,” the Pac-12 freshman of the year said. “I got two strikes on people and just didn't make pitches to get people out.”
— Kevin White