June 24, 2007

College World Series Capsules

College World Series Schedule and Recaps


OSU Found Sparks Down the Stretch


By Sean Ryan

CollegeBaseballInsider.com Co-Founder


OMAHA, Neb. - Oregon State may have been down to its final out when it traveled to Los Angeles for a crucial conference series with UCLA. There was no margin for error. Play well, or call it a season.


One out into the first game with the Bruins, John Wallace hit a chopper on the infield and was banged at first.


"I hit a chopping ground ball that everyone thought I beat out," Wallace said. "Coach Casey was out there and within 2 seconds, he was already thrown out of the game. I think that did kind of spark everybody. From there on out, everyone was fired up and that was a series we needed to be fired up for. It got us going. Luckily we were able to win those two games and get us into the Regional, and we just took it from there."


All the way to their second straight national title.


In a season of many ups - and many downs - Oregon State had a couple of "sparks" that seemed to get them on the road to Omaha. One was the UCLA series, the other was the Charlottesville Regional.


First things first.


"We went down there knowing that we had to win at least two of three," said OSU right fielder Scott Santschi. "The second out of the entire weekend, coach Casey got tossed. There was a terrible call at first. He was livid, and he got tossed. I don’t know if I’d say that was the point, but that game definitely, we came together. That was when we started our flex thing on 3-2-1."


Fast forward a week and the Beavers were in Charlottesville, Va. They had lost a 13-inning, five-hour game to host Virginia, a top-10 team for much of the year. After eliminating Rutgers as Jorge Reyes and Daniel Turpen combined on a seven-hitter in a 5-2 win, Oregon State trailed the Cavaliers 3-2 entering the eighth. Chris Hopkins hit one of his two homers all year to lead off what turned to be a three-run inning of a 5-3 win. The next day, Jason Ogata drove in four, and the OSU pitchers gutted through a 7-3 win to send the Beavers into the Super Regional round.


"They definitely helped us get on this run," shortstop Darwin Barney said of Virginia. "That first game against them that we came back in the eighth really sparked us. It gave us the belief that hey, this can happen again."


Added Wallace: "It all seemed like it clicked for us. From there on, it was almost like we had that magic back from last year."


The Beavers didn't lose again, winning 10 straight to claim their second straight national title.