College World Series - Quick Hits
Paterson pitches in for Beavers
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
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
"What?" asked a clearly
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
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
"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
The Beavers had three
sacrifice flies, with Mitch Canham, John Wallace and Jason Ogata driving in
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).