KJ Harrison

Beavers' magical season continues with Super Regional win over Vandy

Beavers' magical season continues with Super Regional win over Vandy

CORVALLIS – Next stop on Oregon State’s magic carpet ride of a season is Omaha and the College World Series.

The Beavers found some magic Saturday night as they blew past Vanderbilt 9-2 to capture their Super Regional in two straight games and hike their latest winning streak to 21 games.

The tourney's top seed will take an eye-popping season record of 54-4 into the eight-team World Series and meet the winner of the Long Beach State-Cal Fullerton Super Regional in their first game.

Heroes? How about sophomore right-hander Bryce Fehmel, making his first start since May 6? He went the distance, allowed five hits, just one earned run, fanned 10 and didn't walk a batter. It was an amazing performance from a pitcher who had been all but forgotten over the latter part of the season.

And what about KJ  Harrison, who hammered a three-run homer to get the Beavers going in the third? It was his second three-run big fly in two nights.

The Beavers got four runs on five hits in a marathon third inning, capped by Harrison’s three-run clout into the high bleachers in left field.

Adley Rutschman opened the inning with a sharp single to right and moved to second on Christian Donahue’s groundout. With two out, Steven Kwan lined a single to center to score Rutschman with the first run of the game.

Nick Madrigal followed with an infield single to set up Harrison. The OSU first baseman then crushed a 2-1 pitch for his second three-run homer in as many nights.

Donahue actually may have provided some momentum for that inning with a spectacular catch leaping against the left-field wall in the second. It was a terrific play with the ball and Donahue arriving at the fence at the same crashing moment.

Fehmel allowed a lead-off double to open the bottom of the third, but pitched his way out of the inning without allowing the runner to advance –- a shutdown inning.

The Commodores got to Fehmel in the sixth for two runs, one of them unearned and by then the Beavers were lacking in baserunners. After getting five hits in the third, they got only one more over the next three innings.

But OSU came back in the top of the seventh to load the bases on two infield hits and a walk, getting Harrison to the plate with two outs. The Oregon State first baseman fell behind on the count 0-2 but worked a walk to force in OSU’s fifth run. That was the end of the line for Vanderbilt’s much-heralded starter Kyle Wright, who has been tabbed as a possible No. 1 pick in Monday’s baseball draft.

Trevor Larnach then grounded a single up the middle to plate two more runs and the Beavers had a 7-2 lead -- a three-run, two-out rally immediately after the Commodores had put two on the board.

But the Beavers weren't done. Cadyn Grenier smacked a triple to deep right-center field in the eighth to drive in two more runs and the lead was 9-2.

Pac-12 honors: Beavers, Beavers everywhere

Pac-12 honors: Beavers, Beavers everywhere

It has been a busy day in Beaver Nation, as a record-setting season was rewarded with numerous individual accolades.

The Pac-12 conference announced its season awards today, and it was littered with Beavers.

Oregon led the conference with six players named to the All-Pac-12 Team: RJr. OF Jack Anderson, So. SS Cadyn Grenier, Jr. 1B KJ Harrison, Jr. LHP Luke Heimlich, So. 2B Nick Madrigal, and RJr. RHP Jake Thompson. Arizona had the second most selections, with five players making the team.

Oregon State also was one of only two schools, Utah being the other, to have multiple players named to the Pac-12 All-Defensive Team: So. 2B Nick Madrigal and So. OF Steven Kwan.

Oh, but the Beavers weren’t done. Oregon State also won four of the six individual awards.

Madrigal added to his accomplishments this season by being named both the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, and the Pac-12 Player of the Year. Madrigal batted .377, with 77 hits, four home runs, and 31 RBIs this season.

Madrigal was among the top five in the conference in multiple offensive statistics including batting average, slugging percentage, on base percentage, hits, doubles, and stolen bases.

Defensively Madrigal committed just four errors on the season, good for a .981 fielding percentage, and was named to the All-Defensive team for the second year in a row.

Moving to the mound, star Pitcher Luke Heimlich was named Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year. Not only is Heimlich the best pitcher in the conference, he is one of the best in the entire nation. His .81 earned run average is the best in the country, he boasts the fourth best WHIP (.80), and his 10 victories tie him for third most on the season. He is also one of five finalists for the College Baseball Hall of Fame’s National Pitcher of the Year award.

The final individual award the program took home went to a very deserving Pat Casey, who was named Pac-12 Coach of Year.  The man who helped put OSU baseball on the map takes the award for the fifth time in his career, first winning it in 2005. Behind Casey the Beavers set a Pac-12 record with 27 conference wins, and are on pace for the greatest single-season winning percentage in history.

But wait, there’s still more.

Heimlich and fellow pitcher Jake Thompson were named First-Team All-Americans, and Madrigal was named a Third-Team All-American. The All-American selections are a first for all three players.

The future may bring some more hardware the Beavers’ way. Both Heimlich and Madrigal have been named semifinalist for the 2017 Golden Spikes Award, an award given annually to the top amateur player in the nation. The finalists for the award will be announced on June 14.

The Beavers get to put all this talent to good use on Friday when they host Holy Cross in the first game of the NCAA Regionals. First pitch is set for 8:00 at Goss Stadium.