June 23, 2007

College World Series Capsules

College World Series Schedule and Recaps


College World Series - Quick Hits

Paterson pitches in for Beavers


By Sean Ryan

CollegeBaseballInsider.com Co-Founder


OMAHA, Neb. - Last year, Oregon State relied on little, lanky, lefty Kevin Gunderson to either close out games or snuff out rallies when the game was on the line. Although "The Vulture" - as teammates called Gunderson for swooping in and getting credit for wins early in his career - has moved onto the Atlanta Braves organization, another lefty has become the go-to guy for the Beavers.


Joe Paterson, not as little nor lanky as his southpaw predecessor, tossed all of 30.2 innings in last season's run to the national title. Saturday night, Paterson came on in the seventh inning with runners on first and second and one out. Although he walked the first batter he faced and allowed a sacrifice fly, Paterson struck out Josh Horton, the Tar Heels' top hitter to end the threat and preserve a 6-3 Beavers lead.


Although he wasn't as sharp as he has been throughout the postseason - Benji Johnson hit a long homer off Paterson in the eighth to make it 10-4 - he picked up the save in what has been a remarkable run for the junior, who played a year at Division III Linfield before arriving in Corvallis in 2006. In helping the Beavers to a 10-1 postseason record, Paterson had thrown 20.1 innings entering last night, going 3-0 with a save and a 0.89 ERA. On the year, he had logged 125.2 innings in a 10-win season.




Beavers starter Jorge Reyes, on the other hand, was pretty sharp. The freshman right-hander tossed 6.1 innings with eight hits, three earned runs and three strikeouts.


"He was lights out, and we defended for him," Beavers coach Pat Casey said.


The rookie also provided the most humor in the post-game press conference, when he didn't understand a reporter's question of whether posting wins in the postseason was becoming "old hat."


"What?" asked a clearly confused Reyes.


After the reporter asked again and shortstop Darwin Barney leaned in to give guidance, Reyes countered: "Sorry, I'm a freshman."


The reporter rephrased the question and the good-natured Reyes replied: "It's not getting old at all, I love winning."




Sunday's starters are expected to be Mike Stutes (11-4, 4.03 ERA) for Oregon State and Luke Putkonen (8-1, 4.44) for North Carolina. Stutes has struck out 124 batters (more than a quarter of the Beavers' total on the year) and allowed opponents to hit .224. Putkonen allows opponents to hit .272 and has 59 Ks.




Trailing 5-2 after the normally steady Matt Danford faltered a bit, the Tar Heels elected to bypass fellow workhorse Rob Wooten, turning to Rob Catapano (13.2 IP) and Tyler Trice (19.2 IP).


"Those guys have pitched a lot out here," North Carolina coach Mike Fox said of Wooten and closer Andrew Carignan. "When we were behind, we just felt like it probably wasn’t the best move to go to those guys."




Before Saturday night, the Tar Heels had allowed double-digit runs in only three games all season. The Beavers had scored in double digits 17 times.




North Carolina tied the College World Series record with five double plays, which set a championship series mark.




The Beavers had three sacrifice flies, with Mitch Canham, John Wallace and Jason Ogata driving in runs.




North Carolina starter Alex White left the game in the bottom of the sixth because of a blister. White took a tumble while covering first on a grounder to first before allowing a first-pitch single to Mitch Canham. He chatted briefly with third baseman Chad Flack, who summoned the coaching staff to take a look. The freshman left without making another pitch, allowing five earned runs on eight hits. But it wasn't the fall. "I had a blister, it just kind of got ripped open on the very next pitch," White said.




The fifth inning started innocently enough for OSU’s Jorge Reyes. The right-hander got two quick outs on a grounder and jam shot to short. But Kyle Seager fisted a ball just over a diving Joey Wong at second base, and Garrett Gore looped a ball just inside the right-field line. Reyes had a 1-2 count on leadoff man Reid Fronk and thought – along with several other Beavers who started toward the dugout – he had a strikeout to end the inning on an inside fastball at the knees. He didn’t get the call, and Fronk doubled in two runs to make it 3-2 OSU a couple pitches later.




North Carolina avoided a couple of big innings early by turning four double plays in the first five innings. A come-backer from Mitch Canham with men on first and second ended the first. In the third, Canham again found tough luck as he hit a ball to deep center for a sacrifice fly, but Mike Lissman broke from first and didn’t stop. The Tar Heels doubled him off first. In the fourth, second baseman Garrett Gore made a nice backhand play on Scott Santschi’s grounder and flipped to Josh Horton for a 4-6-3 DP. In the fifth, Joey Wong grounded into a routine 6-4-3 DP.




The Tar Heels were either anxious or aggressive early, thanks in large part to Jorge Reyes pouring it in the strike zone. UNC swung at 7 of the first 10 pitches of the game. The in the fourth inning, after Tim Fedroff singled and moved to second on left fielder John Wallace’s error on the play, Reyes retired the next three batters – all on fly balls – on five pitches to cap the inning with six pitches and 44 (30 strikes) after four innings.




Tar Heels pitcher Alex White got out of a jam in the first by using his glove. After allowing a pair of hits to lead off the game, White chased down Mike Lissman’s bunt attempt, which was popped up in foul territory up the third-base line. White made a sliding, sno-cone catch. He then speared Mitch Canham’s hard grounder and turned a 1-5-3 double play to end the inning.




The game-time temperature was 76 under partly cloudy skies. The attendance was 26,887, a championship series record and the seventh-largest in College World Series history. The total for 2007 is 275,690 (average of 22,974 per game).