UC Irvine has offered a resounding answer to critics who wondered why a team that had lost eight of its last nine regular-season games was included in the NCAA baseball playoffs.
The Anteaters knocked off Oregon State, the top-seeded team in the 64-team tournament, on the Beavers' home field.
Irvine defeated Oregon State, 4-2, in the decisive game of the Corvallis Regional late Monday night. The Anteaters routed the Beavers, 14-3, earlier in the regional, but Oregon State forced a deciding final game by shutting out Irvine, 4-0, on Sunday.
Next up for the Anteaters is Oklahoma State, which swept through a regional on its home field, defeating Binghamton, 8-0, and Cal State Fullerton, 13-7 and 6-4.
Irvine (38-23) and Oklahoma State (48-16) will open their best-of-three Super Regional on Friday at 6:30 p.m. PDT in Stillwater, Okla.
Pepperdine (42-16), the only other Southland team still alive, opens a Super Regional series against Texas Christian (45-15) on Saturday at 1 p.m. PDT in Fort Worth.
"Coaches ask two things of their teams — to give the full max of what they have and to do the things we train and practice so much for," Irvine Coach Mike Gillespie told reporters after Irvine's regional-clinching win. "If we were asked if we did those things, I'd have to say we did."
The Anteaters used two starters on short rest to shut down the Pac-12 Conference champion Beavers. Andrew Morales, pitching on two days of rest after starting Irvine's regional opener Friday, pitched 41/3 innings and limited Oregon State to three hits and one run.
The save went to left-hander Elliot Surrey, making his first relief appearance this season after pitching seven strong innings against Oregon State on Saturday. Surrey gave up a hit and a walk in the ninth inning, but then induced a game-ending double play.