Oregon State fans may be having flashbacks to 2006.
Once again the Beavers have won a national championship after losing their first game of the College World Series.
Oregon State shortstop Cadyn Grenier said that to be compared to that team “is the best compliment you can get.”
The Beavers beat Arkansas in a best-of-three matchup, clinching the title in the final game with a 5–0 win. Adley Rutschman, who broke the CWS record for hits (17) and had three hits and two RBIs in the third game, was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.
Beavers outfielder Steven Kwan, who was recently drafted by the Cleveland Indians, called the win bittersweet. “The last couple innings, I was definitely thinking that was the last innings with my brothers,” he said.
Shortstop Cadyn Grenier, who was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles, said he was happy to end his college baseball career on a big win. “This is the only way I would want to go out,” he said. “Being able to hug my teammates and celebrate my last college game is the best ever.”
How did Oregon State win it all? Let’s look back at this year’s CWS championship series.
Game 1: Arkansas 4, Oregon State 1
Arkansas scored all of its runs in the fifth inning with two hits, two hit batters, and three walks. That inning won the game for the Razorbacks.
“We put together one good inning,” Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said afterward.
When asked what the win felt like, Razorbacks infielder Hunter Wilson said kids should first imagine a game that they won.“Take that win and multiply it by one-thousand, in front of 25,000 people,” he said.
Arkansas third baseman Casey Martin called the win “a dream come true.”
Game 2: Oregon State 5, Arkansas 3
It was the top of the ninth, and it seemed like Arkansas was taking home the championship trophy. The Razorbacks were winning 3–2, and Oregon State was down to its final out.
Grenier was up, with pinch runner Zach Clayton on base. Grenier fouled off a pitch. If Arkansas had caught it, the game would have been over.
But as Grenier described afterward, the ball “landed in the perfect spot between three of the guys.”
Grenier then got a single, allowing Clayton to make it home and tie the score.
Next up was rightfielder Trevor Larnach. He hit a long ball with topspin over the rightfield fence to put the Beavers up 5–3. Arkansas got a runner on in the bottom of the inning but couldn’t convert.
Larnach said he is well-known for his top-spin. “I'm kind of famous for that at Oregon State,” he said. “I hit it. I just said get going, get going, and it went.”
Game 3: Oregon 5, Arkansas 0
Although Arkansas had more fans in the crowd, Grenier said he could hear Beavers supporters. “Our smaller group of Oregon State fans trumped their noise,” he said.
Arkansas catcher Grant Koch was amazed by the Razorbacks’ fan support, though. “I don’t think I could have come into college, asked for anymore from a fan base,” he said.
Oregon State went up 2–0 in the first inning and added runs in the third, fifth, and eighth innings. Meanwhile, Beavers pitcher Kevin Abel went nine innings and tossed 10 strikeouts. Then the orange and white confetti began to fall.
Said Beavers second baseman Nick Madrigal, “We worked all season long for that moment.”