College World Series - Quick Hits
Breaks of the Game
OMAHA, Neb. - Lots of things have to go your way to win a national
It was no different for Oregon State.
For starters, go back to the Charlottesville Regional. The Beavers had
dropped a 13-inning, five-hour game to homestanding Virginia. Mother Nature
intervened, forcing the cancellation of games Sunday, when Oregon State would
have had to meet Rutgers and Virginia in the hopes of forcing a deciding game
that Monday. Instead, the Beavers got a day off - to recover from the damaging
loss, to rest up and to refuel their pitching staff.
"That next morning, I woke up,
not even having been a pitcher…and I was tired and kind of sore," said
outfielder Scott Santschi.
Fellow outfielder John Wallace
added: "That rain definitely helped. Because when you play a 13-inning game like
that and lose a heartbreaker, it’s always hard. And we would have played a
doubleheader the next day. We were able to get a day’s rest and relax."
Paterson, who started the first game on Friday, was able to come back and get a
win and a save, thanks to the day off. Mike Stutes, who started the 13-inning
marathon Saturday, was able to come back to provide 4.1 quality innings that
Super Regionals, the Beavers drew Michigan, which had shocked top-ranked
Vanderbilt in the Nashville Regional, at home. After another rainout that
allowed the Beavers to rest their arms again, OSU was being no-hit in the opener
until two outs in the bottom of the ninth, when freshman Joey Wong, who earlier
saved at least one run by backing up first base on a ball hit to pitcher Jorge
Reyes, singled in the game's only run.
"Breaks help everybody," Santschi
said. "Everybody who was in this tournament had breaks along the way. At the
same time, you make your own breaks."
the breaks surely went their way at times, the Beavers also proved to make the
most of them.
"When this team plays the way
we’re playing and we play for each other, it’s tough for anyone to beat us,"
placed five guys on the all-tourney team in 2006; it nabbed six spots this year.
Canham, Oregon State
Dustin Ackley, North Carolina
Joey Wong, Oregon State
Diego Seastrunk, Rice
Darwin Barney, Oregon State
Petersen, UC Irvine
Fedroff, North Carolina
Santschi, Oregon State
Hitter: Mike Lissman, Oregon State
Reyes, Oregon State
Carignan, North Carolina
Outstanding Player: Jorge Reyes, Oregon State
In a game that featured
several highlight-reel plays, the biggest came in the bottom of the seventh when
Seth Williams doubled down the left-field line with the Tar Heels trailing 7-3.
John Wallace scampered after the ball and fired a strike to shortstop Darwin
Barney, who fired a strike to catcher Mitch Canham to nail Tim Fedroff at the
Tar Heels coach Mike Fox said
he "got caught up" in trying to score a run on one of the few UNC clutch hits.
Two of the key components of
the play saw things a little different.
"I didn’t think that they were
going to send him in that situation," Barney said. "I think the highlight of the
play was Mitch staying in there. That ball tailed around that guy and was
probably hard to see…Mitch hung in there."
Countered Canham: "It was a good throw. I had the
easy part, all I had to do was catch the ball."
OSU outfielder Scott Santschi:
"We stopped chanted 'Beaves' in the huddle a little while ago and went with
'Family.' The team slumped as a whole, and we picked it up as a whole."
coach Pat Casey, when asked about joining the ranks of back-to-back champs
like Texas and Southern California: "I don’t have to convince these
guys that they’re Texas or USC because they’re Oregon State."
outfielder John Wallace,
when asked if it felt long a long season, since OSU played the first and last
games of the year: "It feels complete. Every season
seems to get long at certain points…it wasn’t too long."
Tar Heels center fielder Seth
Williams made a brilliant catch to end the seventh, racing back to toward the
track and extending fully before grabbing the ball and taking a somersault
Miscues on bunts hurt North
Carolina in last year's championship series against Oregon State. And they hurt
again this year, with two mistakes leading to four runs in the seventh inning of
Game 1 and another error directly resulting in one run and leading to another in
the seventh inning of Game 2.
UNC missed another
opportunity in the bottom of the third when they loaded the bases with nobody
out on two walks and a single. Tim Federowicz bounced to short for a force out
to drive in a run, but Mike Stutes struck out Tim Fedroff and got Seth Williams
to pop out to left to end the threat with OSU up 4-2.
Darwin Barney's two-run homer
in the second inning broke the school record for hits. With 237 hits, he moved
past current Triple-A player Jacoby Ellsbury (2003-05). It also gave the Beavers
12 postseason homers after totaling only 33 during the regular season.
The Tar Heels ended the
Beavers' streak of never trailing at 61 innings by scoring one in the top of the
first. But they missed a chance to get more. After Dustin Ackley singled in Reid
Fronk to put runners on first and second, Tim Federowicz bunted both runners up.
Tim Fedroff hit a sharp grounder to first baseman Jordan Lennerton, who was
playing a little deeper than halfway. Lennerton fired home to get a head-first
sliding Josh Horton. Seth Williams hit a solid shot to left-center to end the
OSU, which hadn't been behind
in Omaha or since June 5 against Virginia, didn't trail for long. Shortstop
Darwin Barney hit a two-run missile that just got over the fence in left for a
2-1 lead. The Beavers added a run when John Wallace singled, moved to second on
Scott Santschi's walk and to third on a long fly by Jordan Lennerton. Luke
Putkonen struck out Lonnie Lechelt on a nasty slider and appeared as if he would
escape without further damage when Chris Hopkins bounced a slow grounder to
third. Chad Flack fielded and fired low to first, where Dustin Ackley scooped
the throw just as his foot was coming off the bag.
After walking Joey Wong to
load the bases, Putkonen was relieved after 45 pitches. Carolina closer Andrew
Carignan came on and struck out Mike Lissman on four pitches to keep the score
North Carolina fiddled with
its batting order, moving Josh Horton from 3 to 2, Dustin Ackley from 5 to 3,
Tim Fedroff from 2 to 5, Chad Flack from 6 to 8 and Seth Williams from 8 to 6.
North Carolina was trying (again) to become the first Atlantic Coast Conference
team since 1955 to win college baseball's national title. Wake Forest is the
only ACC team to take home the title.
OSU baseball SID Kip Carlson reported that since the start of the 2005 season,
the Beavers are 145-46 (.759).
The rematch for the college baseball title is the first since USC and Arizona
State played each other in 1972 and 1973.
Entering Game 2, Oregon State had allowed four or fewer runs in 40 of its 66
games; North Carolina had allowed four or fewer in 46 of 72 games. The Beavers
lost consecutive games twice all year – a three-game sweep at Arizona and a
three-game sweep vs. Arizona State after a loss to Washington State. The Tar
Heels also lost consecutive games twice, dropping two in a row to Virginia and
two to Florida State after a loss to Campbell.
The game-time temperature for
Game 2 was 85 balmy degrees under clear skies. The attendance of 25,012 pushed
the series total to 300,702, an average of 23,131 per session.