June 24, 2007

College World Series Capsules

College World Series Schedule and Recaps


College World Series - Quick Hits

The Breaks of the Game


By Sean Ryan

CollegeBaseballInsider.com Co-Founder

OMAHA, Neb. - Lots of things have to go your way to win a national championship.

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."

Joe 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 Tuesday.

For 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."

While 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," Santschi said.


Oregon State placed five guys on the all-tourney team in 2006; it nabbed six spots this year.


All-Tournament Team:

Catcher: Mitch Canham, Oregon State

First Base: Dustin Ackley, North Carolina

Second Base: Joey Wong, Oregon State

Third Base: Diego Seastrunk, Rice

Shortstop: Darwin Barney, Oregon State

Outfield: Bryan Petersen, UC Irvine

Outfield: Tim Fedroff, North Carolina

Outfield: Scott Santschi, Oregon State

Designated Hitter: Mike Lissman, Oregon State

Pitcher: Jorge Reyes, Oregon State

Pitcher: Andrew Carignan, North Carolina

Most 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 plate.

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."


Quoting them:

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."

OSU 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."

OSU 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 tumble.


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 inning.

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 at 3-1.


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.