— Oregon State Baseball (@BeaverBaseball) June 29, 2018
Facing elimination after losing their opener at the College World Series, the Oregon State Beavers ripped off four straight victories to stay alive.
Once they reached the championship round, the Beavers did it the hard way — again.
They lost the opener, and then rallied with a vengeance to take two straight from the Arkansas Razorbacks, claiming the school’s third NCAA Division I title.
Oregon State, champions in both 2006 and 2007, climbed to the top of the college baseball world again after beating Arkansas 5-0 Thursday night behind freshman Kevin Abel’s masterful pitching.
Scoring two runs in the first inning to take charge early, the Beavers turned it over to Abel, a freshman from San Diego.
Abel responded by throwing a two-hit, complete-game shutout. Mixing a fastball, a curve and a devastating changeup, he struck out 10 and retired the last 20 batters he faced.
Facing television cameras after the game, he couldn’t hide his emotions.
“Unbelievable,” Abel told ESPN in front of cheering fans at TD Ameritrade Park. “Thank you, Beaver Nation, for everything you do. You guys are awesome.”
Adley Rutschman produced three hits and two RBI for the Beavers. With 17 hits in the CWS, he was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
Oregon State lost 8-6 to North Carolina in the CWS opener. In response, the Beavers knocked off Washington, North Carolina and Mississippi State (twice) to get to the finals.
Once in the title round, OSU stumbled again, falling 4-1 to Arkansas on Tuesday night. On Wednesday, the Razorbacks moved to within one out of their first national title.
Arkansas had a chance to win it but misplayed a pop foul ball. Given a second chance, the Beavers didn’t let it get away. They rallied from a one-run deficit to win 5-3.
The Game 3 clincher wasn’t nearly as dramatic. But it was efficient, with Rutschman coming up big, driving in runs in first and third innings.
“We’ve got a special group,” Rutschman told ESPN.
Oregon State 55-12-1
— Razorback Baseball (@RazorbackBSB) June 29, 2018