One night after staving off elimination in surreal fashion, Oregon State completed its comeback and beat Arkansas 5-0 for its third College World Series title in program history.
In their winner-take-all game against the Razorbacks on Thursday, it was a pair of underclassmen in freshman pitcher Kevin Abel and sophomore catcher Adley Rutschman who led the way for the Beavers.
Abel entered history while shutting out the Razorbacks, allowing a College World Series-record two hits and retiring 20 straight batters to end the game. The 19-year-old struck out 10 while throwing 129 pitches, just a day after pitching an inning during the Beavers’ wild win in Game 2.
THEY DO IT.
— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) June 29, 2018
Adley Rutschman led the Beavers on offense, going 3-for-4 with two RBI. His RBI single in the first inning opened the scoring and that would be all the Beavers needed as Abel went to work. Rutschman, a sophomore catcher, became the first player to notch 17 total hits in College World Series history, per ESPN Stats & Info.
That performance was enough to earn Rutcshman the title of Most Outstanding Player at the College World Series.
— Oregon State Baseball (@BeaverBaseball) June 29, 2018
How Oregon State reached its College World Series title
After going 20-9-1 in Pac-12 play, Oregon State cruised through its NCAA regional by going undefeated and outscoring its opponents 49-8 (good for an average score of 9.1 to 1.6). The Beavers fell to UNC during their opener in Omaha, but reeled off four straight wins, again with a dominant offense, to reach the championship series.
Fast forward nearly two games, and the Beavers were on the brink of elimination. After falling in Game 1 to Arkansas and undefeated ace Blaine Knight, the Beavers were down 3-2 with two outs in the ninth inning. One more out and the Razorbacks would win their first College World Series.
However, an incredible mistake on a foul pop-up from Oregon State Cadyn’s Grenier gave the Beavers a reprieve, one they would take full advantage of when Trevor Larnach hit a game-winning home run. The loss left Arkansas deflated, and history correctly indicated the Beavers had an edge in the decisive Game 3.
Could this be the last we see of Luke Heimlich?
Luke Heimlich might have been one of the biggest stories in college baseball this season, but he wasn’t a significant part of Oregon State’s triumph in Omaha. The senior allowed 11 earned runs in 9.1 innings across three CWS starts, not exactly the level he’s exhibited over the last couple years for the Beavers.
But nevertheless, Heimlich will get a ring to close out his college baseball career. And possibly his entire baseball career, given the landmines any MLB team would encounter by signing him.
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