Beavers were ready and Abel was able as OSU captures CWS title

Beavers were ready and Abel was able as OSU captures CWS title

OMAHA – A legitimate star was born Thursday night as the Oregon State Beavers captured their third College World Series championship with a 5-0 win over Arkansas.

 

Kevin Abel, a freshman who came of age during post-season play, baffled the Razorbacks with his assortment of pinpoint fastballs, curves and changeups as OSU completed its rally from a 0-1 deficit to capture the best-of-three series by winning the final two games.

 

Abel became the first pitcher ever to win four games at the CWS and held Arkansas to just two hits -- both in the third inning -- over nine shutout innings. He fanned 10 and walked two just 24 hours after throwing an inning of relief against the Hogs Wednesday night. He retired the final 20 batters he faced.

 

It was a spectacular performance by a pitcher who was not a member of the team's weekend starting rotation for most of the season.

 

The Beavers wasted no time getting on the scoreboard. Cadyn Grenier was hit by a pitch with one out in the first and moved to third on Trevor Larnach’s single to right field.

 

Adley Rutschman bounced a single into left to plate Grenier and Larnach scored on an infield error to give OSU a 2-0 lead after just one inning.

 

The Hogs got a leadoff double and a wak in the top o the third, followed by an infield hit to load the bases. But Abel wriggled out of trouble in the meat of the Arkansas order with a strikeout and a line out to right.

 

Rutschman singled to drive in another run in the third, his 16th hit of the CWS . a single-series record. That made the score 3-0 and left runners at first and second with nobody out.

 

But with a chance to break the game open the Beavers left two runners stranded.

 

Rutschman blooped a single into left-center field with one out in the fifth, his 17th CWS hit and Tyler Malone followed with a walk.  With Michael Gretler batting, a wild pitch moved the runners up to second and third.

 

Gretler hit a sacrifice fly to right to hike the lead to 4-0. The Beavers would tack on one more run and Abel would finish the game, handing OSU the College World Series Title. 

 

 

 

 

Oregon State requests proposal to design westside of Reser Stadium

Oregon State requests proposal to design westside of Reser Stadium

Oregon State University took a major step towards renovating Reser Stadium Monday afternoon when they issued a request for design and construction proposals to modernize the westside of the stadium. 

“We are excited about this next step in evaluating the feasibility of completing Reser Stadium,” Oregon State athletic director Scott Barnes said. “We are seeking proposals from the nation’s best firms as it regards design, constructability reviews, concepts for value engineering, estimating, phasing the project’s completion and pricing.”

The side in question was constructed in 1967 and remodeled in 1991 but is in need of an upgrade to match the modern age. Both the north and eastside portions of Reser Stadium have been updated over the last 15 years and it shows. 

Oregon State athletic officials estimate the remodel of the westside will cost between $145 million and $175 million. If the proposal's put into action, none of the funds for the upgrade will come from student tuition, state appropriations or state-paid bonds. Instead, by donor gifts, revenue from premium seating, sponsorships, other stadium revenue, and a possible public-private partnership.

Barnes said if awarded the initial work would only be associated with design-build services and will be for design and pre-construction services.

“OSU officials are engaged actively in a comprehensive feasibility analysis to complete Reser Stadium into a best-in-class, year-round university facility. Our goal is to increase fan engagement, support all OSU athletics programs, and advance student success, faculty excellence, research and experiential learning opportunities at Oregon State University,” Barnes said. "We imagine that this project would ‘right-size’ seating within Reser Stadium.”

Barnes went on to state that other goals of the project include modernizing the westside of the stadium, including seismic upgrades; improving and adding concession and restroom facilities; constructing new premium seating spaces; replacing and modernizing media facilities; constructing a visitor’s locker room; and constructing space for a potential year-round public-private partnership.

The deadline for proposals to be received by the university is Feb. 20

Beavers fall three spots after getting swept this weekend

Beavers fall three spots after getting swept this weekend

Heading into the Civil War weekend the Oregon State Beavers (16-4, 4-4 Pac-12) had lost two of three games after starting the season 15-0, and looked to get back on the right track.

However, after getting swept by then-No. 4 Oregon (17-2, 7-1 Pac-12), the Beavers have lost four of five games.

But, given three of those four losses were to top-ten teams, and the last was to now-No. 19 Arizona State on the road, the Beavers remain in the top-ten themselves at No. 10 in the latest AP Poll.

Let's recap the weekend.

@ Oregon: LOSS 76-64

The Beavers got off to a 10-2 lead early in the game, but that was as good as it got. By halftime, the Beavs trailed 45-29 despite 17 points from freshman Taylor Jones, who would finish with 21 points for the night. After trailing by 21 points in the fourth quarter, the Beavs cut the deficit to seven but that's as close as it got.

[RELATED: Three years ago, the Ducks grew up against OSU, now it's the Beavers' turn]

Versus Oregon: LOSS 66-57

In one of the more emotional scenes you'll see in college basketball, the Beavs and Ducks rematched in Corvallis on Sunday, less than an hour after hearing of the tragic passing of NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant. 

During warmups, the two teams came together to have a group prayer that ended with "Kobe".

The game itself went back-and-forth for awhile with the Beavers holding a 37-35 halftime advantage, but the third quarter was the difference in the game. The Ducks outscored Oregon State 18-8 to take a seven-point lead of their own into the fourth quarter. The Beavers would make it interesting in the fourth but could never get over the hump.

[RELATED: After losing four of five games, the Beavers still believe]

UP NEXT: It's a quick turnaround for the Beavers who will travel to play the Mountain schools. Thursday night they'll face off against the Colorado Buffaloes at 5:00 p.m. PT. Then, on Saturday they play at Utah at 11:00 a.m. PT. 

The scene at Gill Coliseum for the Civil War is one no one will ever forget

The scene at Gill Coliseum for the Civil War is one no one will ever forget

 

"Please don't tell me this is true......Not Kobe."

That is how I found out Kobe Bryant and eight others were killed in a helicopter crash outside of Los Angeles. I was standing outside the Oregon State Women's basketball locker room in Gill Coliseum waiting for my pregame radio interview with Beaver head coach Scott Rueck about 45 minutes before tipoff. I was waiting checking out Twitter when I saw the above tweet from CJ McCollum.

Quickly, I scanned other sites and there it was: TMZ Sports saying Kobe Bryant is dead at the age of 41.  Scott Rueck then appeared at the door and it was time for the interview. Scott didn't know and I was the one to tell him. We were both in shock and as we reacted, some of the players who were heading upstairs for pregame warmups had heard, and they were visibly upset. 

After the interview, I scrambled to my position on the court to edit the pregame interview, but stopped in my tracks. Both the Beavers and Duck players were at center court in a circle praying together. I then reflected: This will be a day none of us will ever forget.

The pregame included a moment of silence. When it was announced that Kobe Bryant had died in a helicopter crash, there were an audible gasps from the packed house at Gill from those who had not yet heard.  Despite the fact, there were a lot of folks were wondering if they should they play the game, at all. I am glad they did. Celebrating such an incredible player's life by playing the game he loved so much was a fitting tribute, even though shock still permeated the air in Corvallis and everywhere a basketball game was going on. 

The game was tremendous. The crowd was frenzied.

The Beavers had an impressive first half and showed the Ducks they can hang with them. The Beavers were in no mood to end their nine-game home winning streak over their rival and they led 37-34 at halftime. But the second half, and the game would go the Ducks way. The difference was their size and length inside. Ruthy Hebard and Satou Sabally were fierce and showed their experience against the Beavers talented Freshman bigs. Also, Oregon State got uncomfortable on the offensive end and Oregon won this one 66-57. Their lowest offensive output of the season for Oregon State, they were swept by Oregon for the first time since the 2009-10 season.

One thing I really admire about Oregon State head coach Scott Rueck is the fact that win or lose, he walks right over to me and conducts his postgame interview on the court just minutes after the horn sounds ending the game. This Civil War Sunday was no different. I asked Scott why he thought Oregon was able to edge his Beavers and he said it came down to the third quarter:

"When we got stops at the other end, and we did, they got the rebound. I thought that was a bigger story than our offensive woes. It was their offensive rebounds. We had such a hard time getting the ball at that end and that is something we've got to get better at. We also need to get better at our offensive efficiency, but offensive boards were the story in this one."

Coach Rueck also reacted to the Kobe Bryant tragedy and how his team reacted to the shocking news:

"For these kids, Kobe was to them what Michael Jordan was for me. To imagine that happening to someone you have looked up to, you've watched, you've probably emulated your game after, at least the way you compete; to lose somebody like that, it hurts, its devastating."

So the Beavers drop to 16-4 on the season and 4-4 in conference play. I heard some folks afterwards wondering about the rest of the season. One thing is indisputable: The Beavers have played three games against Top Five teams in the past eight days. I call it a gauntlet.  I believe it will make them better and will get them battled-tested for the Pac-12 and NCAA tournament in March.  Coach Rueck said:

"I would like to have somebody dispute this when I say it. We are playing the toughest Pac-12 schedule anyone has ever been handed, this team this year.

We just went through a stretch playing Stanford, Oregon and Oregon back to back and playing three of the four games against ranked teams on their home floor."

Even though the schedule is daunting, Rueck believes the pain now will help come March:

"We gotta keep getting better, keep your heads up.We did a lot of good things this weekend, we competed. The fierceness. I heard a different huddle today that I have been waiting to hear. This team is starting to own this season and there is a lot of basketball to be played. But, we gotta get better."

No doubt, there is a ton of disappointment over the sweep by Oregon. And due to that tough schedule, they have one fewer day than normal to prepare for Colorado Thursday at 5:pm pacific time in Boulder. The Buffaloes lost to Oregon State 72-60 a couple of weeks ago. They will be ready for payback Thursday.

Now, we see how the Beavers react to the tough stretch. We will also spend the next few days mourning the death of those people who lost their lives in that helipcopter. I never really knew Kobe Bryant, but I was a part of many scrums with other reporters after Laker games, in Seattle and Portland. It is awful what happened and I was so proud the way everyone at Sunday's Civil War handled a horrific situation, and responded with a tremendous effort on and off the court.

Driving home from Corvallis yesterday afternoon after the game I received a text from a longtime colleague who has covered the Beavers for over a decade. She said," Dude, what a sh#$%ty day."  Yah, I guess that sums it up.   

After losing four of five games, the Beavers still believe

After losing four of five games, the Beavers still believe

Once the Oregon State Beavers found themselves off to their best start in program history: undefeated at 15-0 and ranked No. 3 in the country. Then, the two higher-ranked schools lost and the Beavers found themselves one win away over a then-unranked Arizona State from the No. 1 ranking in the nation.

They lost. 

Oregon State would rebound against Cal, routing the Golden Bears 81-44 on Friday, January 17. But that's their last victory. Heading into the second leg of Civil War weekend, the Beavers lost two consecutive games: versus No. 3 Stanford by three points (61-58) and at rival Oregon (76-64).

Today at Gill Coliseum, the No. 7 Beavers (16-4, 4-4 Pac-12) lost their third consecutive game and the fourth-of-five, this time losing again to the No. 4 Oregon Ducks, 66-57, in front of a sold-out Gill Coliseum. It was the first time a Scott Rueck-coached Beavers team lost to the Ducks in Corvallis.

However, the team is not panicking. 

Can't remember the last time Aleah [Goodman] and I have lost four out of five games but I think we just believe in this program, believe in our system, believe in each other, and we know there is going to be adversity along any journey. And so we'll be ready to continue growing and be the best we can be. -- Senior guard Mikayla Pivec

Pivec's backcourt mate junior guard Aleah Goodman preached solidarity with her teammates as they move forward. 

Just staying together. We're a family. We win together. We lose together. We learn together. It's just super important to keep our heads high and know that we're going to be fine. It's a game; we're going to learn. We still have a lot to do. -- Goodman

She's right. 

The Beavers have work to do to reach back their ceiling. The last eight days have shown right now this team cannot defeat other top-ten schools in the Pac-12 after they lost all three chances to do so; two of which happened at Gill Coliseum.

But, as head coach Scott Rueck has reiterated after each game whether they win or lose, this team is still growing. Hey, they're currently experiencing some growing pains and that's okay.

 Obviously we feel we have grown a bunch but we still have so much more to grow that it's honestly exciting; just the potential this team has. - Aleah Goodman

Oregon State will get their chance to prove themselves against other ranked opponents soon. Despite finishing what Rueck claims is the "hardest stretch of [the Beavers'] season, it barely gets any easier. They'll travel to Colorado and Utah this weekend, before hosting No. 18 Arizona and No. 16 Arizona State the following weekend. After that, they travel to the LA schools including playing at No. 10 UCLA before traveling to Palo Alto for a rematch at No. 6 Stanford. 

If the Beavers grow like they believe they can, they'll compete and win most of, if not all of, those games. The next stretch of the season heading into the Pac-12 Tournament will determine if the Beavers can snag a high seed in the NCAA tournament or if they'll have a harder road to New Orleans to play in the Final Four. 

We all have the same goal in mind, we all have the same mission so we're going to come in Tuesday, we're going to be hungrier. We're going to know what it takes to win these games. - Aleah Goodman

 

Three years ago, the Ducks grew up against OSU, now it's the Beavers' turn

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USA Today Images

Three years ago, the Ducks grew up against OSU, now it's the Beavers' turn

Friday evening was rough for the No. 7 Oregon State Beavers (16-3, 4-3 Pac-12).

They fell 76-64 to their arch-rival, the No. 4 Oregon Ducks (16-2, 6-1 Pac-12) at Matthew Knight Arena and don't have any time to dwell. The two teams will play again on Sunday in Corvallis at Gill Coliseum. 

Despite trailing by 21 points in the fourth quarter, the Beavers were able to mount a 16-2 run to cut the deficit to just seven points, and appear to have something to build upon ahead of Sunday's rematch. 

"This is still a team that's forming. Anytime you have two freshmen on the floor as much as we do it's going to be a journey and we've played pretty well," said head coach Scott Rueck. "This was an opportunity for us to take some huge strides forward."

Oregon State as a whole struggled most of the night, but a bright spot was the stellar play of freshman center Taylor Jones who finished the first half with 17 of the Beavers' 29 points.  She ended the contest with 21 points shooting 10-of-12 from the field, and grabbing three rebounds. 

Her frontcourt mate freshman Kennedy Brown grabbed 12 rebounds but was held scoreless in the contest. 

After the game, Rueck made an interesting parallel with the play of his freshmen and two seniors from Oregon: Sabrina Ionescu and Ruthy Hebard. 

And I look back to Oregon...three years ago in particular and even [Sabrina Ionescu and Ruthy Hebard's] freshman year, the Civil War weekend is where they changed. They had to elevate to play against us and they did and they learned a lot about themselves and took their games to a new level...and that created momentum for them. Well, I think we're having to rise because both of these teams are so good, the margin of error is small and we're competitors. I think we did a lot of things well tonight just not quite well enough to win here.

Rueck is right.

When Ionescu and Hebard were freshmen, the Ducks got swept by Oregon State but both contests were close (43-40 in Eugene, 67-60 in Corvallis). The Ducks would end up making the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2005; now they're on pace to win three-straight regular-season Pac-12 Championships. 

Now it's the Beavers' turn. More specifically, Brown and Jones. Brown cannot go scoreless if the Beavers want to defeat an Oregon team that's among the most talented in the country. Jones will need to continue being in the right places so guards Mikayla Pivec and Destiny Slocum can find her good looks. If the pair can take advantage of their size advantage, then they stand a chance of evening the season series with Oregon.

And who knows, perhaps in a few seasons it'll be Oregon head coach Kelly Graves' turn to say his team needs to grow up against Oregon State once again.

Beavers blow late lead, fall to UCLA

Beavers blow late lead, fall to UCLA

Another tough loss for Oregon State.

After battling back from a 13-point deficit in the second half, the Beavers (12-7, 2-5 Pac-12) couldn't finish the game against UCLA (10-9, 3-3 Pac-12), ultimately losing 62-58 at Gill Coliseum. 

With the loss, the Beavers fall to eleventh in the Pac-12 and the goal of returning to the NCAA Tournament appears more unlikely. As a bubble team, Oregon State cannot lose to subpar teams in the conference, especially in Corvallis. 

Here are some takeaways from the contest.

1. This team will go as far as Tres Tinkle takes them

Tinkle scored 17 points against the Bruins but shot only 4-of-14 from the field, which isn't good enough. The fifth-year senior should be dominating each game he plays in a weaker Pac-12 conference and had just an alright game. His shooting was poor but he was a perfect 9-of-9 from the free-throw line which saved his night. Alas, it wasn't enough to defeat a subpar Bruins team.

2. Reichle needs more looks

Zach Reichle got the scoring started early with three three-pointers to give the Beavers an 11-9 lead.

He finished the game with only four three-point attempts total, which is far too little. That he only took five shots total is insane especially considering every other Beaver struggled shooting tonight. When he's hot like he was tonight, the Beavers should run him off multiple screens to at least make the defense react to him, rather than make him a nonfactor the rest of the night.

3.  The Beavers cannot come out flat

Oregon State lost this game because once again they went an extended stretch without scoring a basket. UCLA, who held just a three-point halftime advantage, opened the second half with a 13-2 run. The Beavers did fight back to take a 44-43 lead with 6:30 remaining off a Tres Tinkle three-point play but it was too little, too late as the Bruins ultimately outlasted the Beavers.  

FSU WR Tre'Shaun Harrison officially transfers to Oregon State, along with two others

FSU WR Tre'Shaun Harrison officially transfers to Oregon State, along with two others

Following leading receiver Isaiah Hodgins declaring for the NFL Draft, the Oregon State offense is going to have a lot of targets to redistribute next season.

We may have an idea of who will be catching them.

Florida State wide receiver Tre'Shaun Harrison has officially enrolled in Corvallis the university has announced, in addition to Washington wide receiver Trey Lowe and Air Force offensive lineman Joe Quillin. 

Harrison seems excited to be in a new area.

 As a sophomore this past season, Harrison recorded 27 receptions for 289 yards and two touchdowns for the Seminoles. As a freshman, he had had ten catches for 66 yards and an impressive touchdown.

Coming out high school, 247Sports rated Harrison as a four-star recruit and the nation's No. 4 athlete. The Seattle native originally committed to play at Oregon but followed Willie Taggart to Tallahassee when he accepted the Florida State head coaching gig.

Lowe played high school football at Jesuit where he was the 2017 Gatorade Player of the Year recipient for the state of Oregon after totaling 2,316 all-purpose yards at Jesuit High School. As a senior, he ran for more than 1,700 yards and scored 35 touchdowns. He was named 6A All-State as both a junior and a senior. At Washington, he appeared in just two games his true freshman season and did not appear in a game as a redshirt freshman.

Lineman Joe Quillin also attended Jesuit High School where he was a 2018 6A All-State selection on the offensive line in addition to being named second-team on the defensive line. Quillin was chosen as an all-league selection on the offensive line as both a junior and senior and helped Jesuit to three league championships. 

Oregon State has Tyjon Lindsey, Kolby Taylor, Trevon Bradford, Jesiah Irish, I'Shawn Stewart, Anthony Gould, Champ Flemmings, Aaron Short, Nahshon Wright, Rweha Munyago Jr., Cam Stoudamire, and Job Dockery returning at wide receiver and has signed incoming freshman Zeriah Beason, Silas Bolden, and Trevor Pope.

What to expect from Part I of Oregon vs. Oregon State WBB showdown

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NBCSNW

What to expect from Part I of Oregon vs. Oregon State WBB showdown

Firiday marks part one in a two-part Civil War series between the No. 4 Oregon Ducks (15-2, 5-1 Pac-12) and No. 7 Oregon State Beavers (16-2, 4-2 Pac-12). The first of a two-game series between the Ducks and Beavers tips off tonight at 7 p.m. (PT) at Matthew Knight Arena. Part two will tip off 40 hours later and 45 minutes North in Corvallis at Gill Coliseum at 1 p.m. (PT). 

Two games separated by less than 48 hours. Two teams separated by 45 minutes of one another. Both teams ranked inside the Top-10. A Civil War weekend series that will have major implications in national rankings, Pac-12 conference standings as well as future NCAA tourney seeding. This should be a good one.

Below you’ll find a list of Civil War historical facts, how each team has earned its ranking as well as specific matchups to watch this weekend.

FAST FACTS

- Oregon State head coach Scott Rueck is 15-3 all-time against the Ducks.

- Last year, the Civil War series was split with each team winning on their respected home court.

- Sabrina Ionescu is one assist away from becoming the Pac-12 leader in assists. 

- Mikayla Pivec leads the Pac-12 conference in rebounds per game (9.6).

- The Beavers are averaging 5.4 blocks per game.

NUMBERS TO KNOW

POINTS PER GAME:

Oregon - 87.5

Oregon State - 71.4

ASSISTS PER GAME

Oregon - 21.5

Oregon State - 18.3

REBOUNDS PER GAME

Oregon - 11.3

Oregon State - 13.4

OPPOSING POINTS PER GAME

Oregon - 56.5

Oregon State - 53.4

OREGON

It started with an empathetic win over Team USA. You knew Oregon was going to be good coming into this season, but a win over the best professionals in women’s basketball? That’s pretty impressive. The Ducks went 10-1 in non-conference play and their only loss came to top-10 opponent Louisville on neutral grounds.

Oregon out-scored its opponents 192-110 this past weekend including a 32-point win over the No. 3 Stanford and then a 50-point win over Cal. 

OREGON STATE

Started off this season with a perfect 15-0 record, the best start ever in program history. These past few weeks, the Beavers have been tested and have now lost two conference games: an eight-point loss at Arizona State and a three-point loss to then to top-10 ranked Stanford. 

MATCHUPS TO WATCH

Sabrina Ionescu and Minyon Moore vs. Destiny Slocum and Mikayla Pivec

This guard matchup will feature four of the top guards in the nation. The Ducks love to push the pace with Moore and Ionescu. These two have played once before for the Cal Stars, an AAU team in California. Moore and Pivec have similar styles of play in regards to pushing the pace and not being afraid of contact. One key that Oregon must do when guarding Pivec is limit her rebounds. Pivec currently leads the Pac-12 conference in rebounds and she does it from the guard spot. Ionescu and Slocum are also similar in terms of knowing how to score, choosing your shots wisely and the ability to take over games.

Ruthy Hebard and Erin Boley vs. Taylor Jones and Kennedy Brown

How this forward play turns out may decide how the rest of the game plays out. The Beavers have two outstanding freshmen forwards in Jones (6-foot-4) and Brown (6-foot-2) that will be a problem for the rest of the Pac-12 for the foreseeable future. Both are a tough matchup in terms of rebounding while Brown also has the capability of hitting the outside shot. Senior Ruthy Hebard brings her own dynamic play down low and holds the third best field-goal percentage in the nation (68.5). 

GAME INFORMATION

WHO: No. 4 Oregon vs. No. 7 Oregon State

WHEN: Friday night, 7 p.m. (PT)

WHERE: Matthew Knight Arena, Eugene, OR

TV: Pac-12 Networks

RADIO: Oregon Sports Network

Ron Callan previews the match-up in the Talkin' Beavers Podcast

Oregon State's Mikayla Pivec named to Naismith Trophy Midseason Defensive Team

Oregon State's Mikayla Pivec named to Naismith Trophy Midseason Defensive Team

Is there anything Mikayla Pivec can't do?

After being named to the midseason watch list for the Wooden Award, and the preseason watch lists for the Wade Trophy and Miller Award, Pivec has found herself on yet another prestigious list. 

The Oregon State senior guard was named to the Naismith Trophy Midseason Defensive Team on Thursday. 

She is one of two Pac-12 players to be Naismith Trophy Midseason Defensive Team. Arizona junior guard Aari McDonald also made the list.

Oregon State forward Kylor Kelley represented the men's team on the Naismith Trophy Men's Midseason Defensive Team released Wednesday. 

Pivec is one of the reasons the Oregon State women's basketball team began the season 15-0, the longest winning streak in program history. She leads the Beavers in rebounds, assists and steals and has scored in double-figures in 49 of OSU's last 52 games, including all 18 this season. 

The Beavers are now 16-2 and heading into back-to-back Civil War games against rival Oregon. The two teams have split the series each of the last two seasons, each winning on their home court.