Arkansas

Beavers win College World Series

Beavers win College World Series

For the first time since the school's back-to-back titles in 2006-2007, the Oregon State Beavers are national champions.

 

Oregon State pulled off a miracle on Wednesday to force a decisive Game 3, and all they did in that winner-take-all game was dominate from start to finish.

 

Adley Rutschman got the scoring starting for the Beavers, singling a run home in the bottom of the first inning and Kevin Abel pitched 9-innings of shut-out ball, surrendering just two hits to the Razorbacks.

 

The Beavers would put up four more runs before the game was done, but that single RBI from the catcher known as “Clutchman” was all the Beavers needed. 

 

Final Score: Beavers 5 – Razorbacks 0

 

 

 

Arkansas wins College World Series, except, they didn’t

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USA Today

Arkansas wins College World Series, except, they didn’t

The Arkansas Razorbacks beat the Oregon State Beavers in Game 2 to win the 2018 College World Series… in some alternate universe.

Twitter was on fire on Tuesday night when ESPN changed their webpage to congratulate the Razorbacks. The only problem - the game wasn't over yet.

At the time it was the top of the ninth inning and Arkansas had a 3-2 lead. However, in true Beavers fashion, Cadyn Grenier would hit a single to tie the ballgame with two outs and Trevor Larnach would follow him with a two-run shot to right field to give the Beavers the 5-3 lead.

The Beavers pulled off the miracle win to force a winner-take-all game on Wednesday. 

In baseball terms, if ESPN's homepage were a pitch it would be "just a bit outside"

Beavers pull off a miracle finish to stay alive at CWS

Beavers pull off a miracle finish to stay alive at CWS

OMAHA –  Oregon State, barely breathing and down to its last strike, finally got a break Tuesday night. And it was a monster one that led to the Beavers pulling out  5-3 win to stay alive in its College World Series quest for a national championship.

Cadyn Grenier, with two outs and the tying run at third base in the top of the ninth inning, hit a foul popup down the right field line. How many Razorbacks does it take to catch a foul popup with a national championshp on the line?

Well, at least four, I guess. The ball fell untouched and Grenier lashed a two-out, two-strike single into left field to tie a game that appeared lost.

The next batter, Trevor Larnach, boomed a line-drive, two-run homer into the right-field bullpen to give the Beavers a 5-3 lead.

Freshman Kevin Able, who struck out the side in the eighth in relief, allowed a leadoff single in the bottom of the ninth and gave way to Jake Mulholland. He finished it up with a strikeout and a double play.

BOOM -- series tied heading into a winner-take-all contest Thursday night.

It looked all evening as if Oregon State was just going to squander every chance it had to score. The Beavers had managed a total of only three runs in two games and Wednesday night was on its way to dropping its second straight game, and the College World Series, to the Arkansas Razorbacks – this time by a score of 3-2.

The Beavers squandered opportunities, including a bases-loaded situation with the heart of the order at the plate, a botched squeeze-play attempt and a runner at third with one out.

Oregon State got the lead-off man on in the eighth on Adley Rutschman’s single, sacrificed him to second and he moved to third on a passed ball but Arkansas lefty Matt Cronin came out of the bullpen to whiff Tyler Malone, who battled through an eight-pitch at bat. He then disposed of pinch-hitting Steven Kwan on a fly ball to left field to end the inning.

Then in the ninth, Zak Taylor worked Cronin for a walk on a 3-2 pitch and gave way to pinch-runner Zack Clayton. Andy Armstrong bunted him to second for Nick Madrigal -- the Beavers No. 4 pick in the recent MLB draft. Best spot for the best hitter, right? Madrigal grounded weakly to first for the second out of the inning and Cadyn Grenier hit a popup in foul territory that dropped untouched between three players.

New life, right? Well, YES -- and you know the rest of the story.

The Hogs got on the scoreboard with a run in the second inning on a single, hit batter and two walks, the latter with the bases loaded.

The Beavers had hit the ball hard in the first inning. Nick Madrigal and Cadyn Grenier flew out deep to straightaway center field and then Trevor Larnach and Rutschman belted line-drive singles. But Michael Gretler struck out to end the inning.

OSU starter Bryce Fehmel walked the lead-off batter in the third and was removed in favor of Brandon Eisert, who struck out the side in that inning and pitched very well through the seventh,

Rutschman got the Beavers even in the top of the fourth when he lined a 1-0 pitch into the Arkansas bullpen for a solo home run.

In the top of the fifth, Zak Taylor grounded a single into left field and Preston Jones, starting in place of injured Steven Kwan, to set the Beavers up with runners at first and second with one out.

That was the end of Razorback starter Kacey Murphy, who gave way to right-hander Jake Reindl.

Madrigal worked him for a four-pitch walk to load the bases for Grenier, who bunted for a base hit to drove in the go-ahead run.

With the bases still loaded, Larnach took a first-pitch ball before another pitching change brought in right-hander Kole Ramage from the Hog bullpen.

Larnach then struck out to bring Rutschman to the plate.

The Beaver catcher rolled an easy grounder to first to end the inning and OSU got only one run out of the inning. At that point, they’d outhit Arkansas 7-1 and led only 2-1.

And Oregon State fell victim to some bad luck in the bottom of that inning as two bloops fell in front of Beaver outfielders, leading to the game’s tying run.

Carson Shaddy then smacked a two-out single into left field and the Razorbacks had the lead back.

In the sixth, the Beavers had runners at the corners with none out but chose to squeeze again – but pinch-hitter Jack Anderson popped the bunt into a double-play and OSU went scoreless in the frame.

 

 

A bewildering interference call hurt the Beavers

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USATI

A bewildering interference call hurt the Beavers

OMAHA – At the center of Oregon State’s 4-1 College World Series loss to Arkansas Tuesday night, there was a very strange, game-turning call in the bottom of the fourth inning that left OSU coaches and players befuddled.

As well they should have been.

The Beavers had Trevor Larnach at third and Adley Rutschman at first with nobody out when Tyler Malone scorched a hot one-hopper at Arkansas first baseman Jared Gates. Gates made a fine play on the ball and threw to second to try to start a double play.

He got Rutschman at second but there was no chance to get Malone at first, with Larnach trotting across the plate to give Oregon State a 2-0 lead.

But hold on – second base umpire Chris Coskey called interference on Rutschman, ruling not only him out but Malone, too. And on interference, the rule is Larnach had to return to third. It was almost like giving the 'Backs a triple play.

The Beavers didn’t end up scoring in the inning.

An argument ensued and OSU Coach Pat Casey was told by Coskey that Rutschman made contact with the infielder at second.

Except he didn’t. Replay showed no contact.

“He (Caskey) said he made contact with him and (Rutschman) wasn’t anywhere near him,” Casey said afterward. “All he was trying to do was duck and get out of the way. There were a couple of feet of separation.”

It was a ridiculous call made worse by the Razorbacks storming back for four runs in the top of the next inning.

Asked if the call was a gut punch to his team, Casey said, “You’re ahead 2-0 with a guy at first base. Pretty good momentum swing.

“(But) We had opportunities later in the game and didn’t take advantage of them.”

They had another chance later when Cadyn Grenier’s liner down the right-field line with Steven Kwan on first was originally called foul, only to be reversed on replay.

The umpires had no choice but to place the base runners where they thought they would be on a fair ball.

They put Kwan at third and Grenier on first. Grenier insisted later that he had an easy double on the ball and Kwan said, “I truly believe I would have scored on it.”

But that didn’t go OSU’s way either as Nick Madrigal lined out to end the inning.

On the other hand, the Beavers had plenty of blame to take for themselves.

“The key to the game is we put 10 runners on base,” Casey said  We walked seven guys and hit three. Pretty tough to win a game when you put 10 runners on base.”

 

 

Fifth-inning nightmare dooms Beavers in CWS

Fifth-inning nightmare dooms Beavers in CWS

OMAHA –  Just one inning -- one nightmare inning -- and Oregon State has its back to the wall again after losing Game 1 of the College World Series championship round to Arkansas Tuesday night in front of 25,321 fans in TD Ameritrade Park.

The Beavers scored first but only once and lost 4-1 in the opener of the best-of-three series.

Trevor Larnach hit the first pitch of the bottom of the second on a line to right field for a double, the first hit of the game for either side. After Adley Rutschman struck out, Tyler Malone reached base on a slow grounder to short that moved Larnach to third. Michael Grettler followed with a hump-back liner over shortstop to drive in the game’s first run and stake Luke Heimlich to a 1-0 lead.

The Beavers ran into trouble in the bottom of the fourth when they had runners at first and third and none out. Malone hit a one-hopper to first and Rutschman was charged with interference on a play at second. That meant Malone was also called out and the runner had to return to third base. It cost the Beavers a run and they didn’t score in the inning.

Then in the top of the fifth, disaster struck. Heimlich got the first out of the inning and couldn’t get another one. A couple of hits, an error by Madrigal and a couple of hit batters chased him before Christian Chamberlain came on to walk a run in with four straight balls.

Chamberlain snuffed out the rally with a pair of strikeouts but the Razorbacks got four runs in the inning. At that point Arkansas led 4-1 and Oregon State had outhit the Razorbacks 5-3. Chamberlain did a sensational job of finishing the game off for OSU, going the rest of the way while not allowing a run and fanning 11 over the final four and two-thirds innings.

The Beavers were involved in another controversial situation in the fifth when Cadyn Grenier’s liner down the right-field line was called foul but reversed upon review. The umpires were then put in a position where they had to place runners where they should have been had the ball been called fair. Then placed Steven Kwan at third, which was probably correct, but Grenier was sent to first when he should have been at second.

But Madrigal lined out to second to end that inning.

Oregon State faces its fifth must-win game of the Series Wednesday night at 4 o'clock (PDT) and right-hander Bryce Fehmel is the anticipated OSU starter.

 

 

Some sights and sounds from the College World Series

Some sights and sounds from the College World Series

OMAHA – A few of the sights and sounds from the College World Series…

  • TD Ameritrade Park, the CWS venue, is a beautiful downtown minor-league ballpark. But no minor-league team plays in it. The Triple-A Omaha Storm Chasers have their own 9,100-seat venue called Werner Park outside of town. TD Ameritrade is the home park for the CWS and Creighton Blue Jays and seats 24,000. See how important the CWS is to Omaha?
  • TD Ameritrade was a sea of red Monday night as fans got ready for the game that was eventually postponed between Arkansas and Oregon State. With just a six-hour drive to Omaha, the Razorbacks are going to make this series look like a homestand.
  • And make no mistake, the Arkansas fans are proud to be pigs. That “Sooey Pig” thing can be heard wherever a group of three or four of their fans are hanging out.
  • That doesn’t mean the Beavers don’t have a large contingent of fans on hand, too. Oregon State baseball fans travel well.
  • The area around the ballpark in downtown Omaha is alive. And busy. This town goes out of its way to be supportive of the event and the people who attend it. The hospitality is generous and genuine.
  • Oregon State will be the home team in Game 1 of the series and also Game 3, if necessary.
  • On the lineup card OSU Coach Pat Casey turned in for the postponed game Monday, he had Steven Kwan playing center field and batting leadoff and Luke Heimlich listed as the starting pitcher. Kwan is apparently recovered from a hamstring tweak and Heimlich ready for his third start in the CWS. There is no reason to doubt it will be the same lineup Tuesday night.
  • The weather forecast for Omaha looks fine through Wednesday but showing possible thunderstorms again Thursday. I’m thinking there are some messed up trip itineraries already for OSU fans because of Monday’s rainout.

 

The rain steps up to provide the Beavers a needed CWS day off

The rain steps up to provide the Beavers a needed CWS day off

OMAHA -- Throughout the College World Series, the best friend and biggest ally of the Oregon State Beavers has been the rain.

In the Beavers’ first win here, over Washington, it was a long rain delay that got OSU’s bats going. In the win over North Carolina, a late-game mist seemed to ignite the Oregon State offense.

And now, when needed most, the rain has stepped up and given the Beavers their biggest break yet. Of course it took a long time to get here as Game 1 of the championship round of the CWS was delayed for a couple of hours before finally postponed.

A rainout – another day off for this team’s tired pitching staff -- should be a huge break for OSU as it moves into its best-of-three national championship series against Arkansas.

It began raining early Monday and didn’t stop until a couple of hours prior to gametime. The teams took infield practice under mostly clear skies and the grounds crew actually watered the infield but the smart guys who run the tournament had their eyes glued to the local radar. And it didn’t look good.

When the rain hit, it brought thunder and lightning with it and it became apparent that the weather wasn’t going to allow a Monday night start to the series.

And thus beleaguered OSU starting pitchers Luke Heimlich and Bryce Fehmel will get an extra day’s rest. So will the OSU bullpen, which has had to work overtime because of the team’s lack of quality starts from its Big Two.

Heimlich will now get another day of rest before being the expected starter Tuesday night at 4 o'clock, PDT.

The forecast is bright for at least the next three days here and the rain has certainly done enough for the Beavers. The rest will be up to them.

 

Beavers face big challenge vs. Razorbacks in CWS

Beavers face big challenge vs. Razorbacks in CWS

OMAHA – Oregon State finally has that elimination-game monkey off its back as it opens the best-of-three championship round in the College World Series Monday (4 p.m.) against Arkansas.

But it’s not going to be easy to avoid defeat against the Razorbacks.

Arkansas survived the Southeastern Conference and won three out of five from defending national champ Florida, including eliminating the Gators last week.

Arkansas is deep, dangerous and rested – having had to play just three games to get to this point and with its talented pitching staff rested and rotated back around to the top.

The Beavers are expected to face the Arkansas ace, unbeaten right-hander Blaine Knight (13-0, 2.88 ERA) in the first game of the series. The Razorbacks have a 3.55 team earned run average that’s 29th in the country.

On top of that, it’s going to be difficult to keep their hitters in the ballpark. Arkansas was third nationally in home runs with 98, paced by sophomore outfielder Dominic Fletcher, who is 8 for 14 with two homers and eight RBIs in three games here. He is the only California recruit on the Razorback roster.

It could be an interesting series because the high-powered OSU offense is likely going to have to get a little more help from its starting pitchers in order to win.

The ‘Backs are 33-3 when they score six or more runs in a game but only 14-16 when they tally fewer than that.

The Beavers had to win four straight elimination games to make it this far and their pitching staff is showing signs of stress – especially the top two starters, Luke Heimlich (16-2) and Bryce Fehmel (10-1).

The Beavers have yet to get anything close to a quality start in the CWS and need at least one to give the over-used bullpen a rest.

So far, Coach Pat Casey has been coy about who will be his Game 1 starter but he needs someone to step up and give him at least five innings.

“Now we haven’t got one quality start out of our two best guys in four starts for them,” he said. “And so therefore – I’m being up front – that’s puzzling to me. I’m not positive how we got to that point to where we can continue to play when the freshman gives us the big start we’ve had.”

The way the Beavers have been scoring, the pitching hasn’t had to be flawless – but it’s going to have to be adequate in the final series.

And expect OSU to continue to score, especially if second baseman Nick Madrigal can snap out of a mild slump. The No. 4 pick in the recent big-league draft is hitting only .257 here – far below his season average of .395.

But don’t expect the Beavers to be the darlings of the home crowd. Arkansas Coach Dave Van Horn coached at Nebraska for five seasons and is still very popular in these parts.

GAME NOTES: Casey will likely choose between Heimlich, Brandon Eisert and Christian Chamberlain on the mound in the opener of the series. … Centerfielder Steven Kwan, who has been out with hamstring strain, got an at bat and played an inning in the field in the Saturday game vs. Mississippi State but Casey would not pronounce him ready to go Monday. “You know, last night I probably allowed my trust in the players to get to me,” Casey said Sunday. “He wanted to get an at bat and go into the game and he was 100 percent and it was probably against my better judgment that I allowed that to happen. And so thank God nothing was hit to him.”

Brackets Revealed for PK80

Brackets Revealed for PK80

The brackets for the much-hyped PK80 tournament have been released, and if you are a fan of college basketball you are in for a treat.

The tournament, boasted as one of the largest regular season tournaments in college basketball history, features 16 teams – a list that includes a combined 24 National Championships, three of last season’s Final Four teams, as well as five other teams that made the field of 64 last season.

PK80 will consist of two brackets, “Victory” and “Motion,” with each bracket crowning their own champion over the weekend. 

According to a press release, the names were chosen to pay tribute Nike and Phil Knight –

- “Victory”: In Greek mythology, Nike was considered the goddess of Victory

- “Motion”: The swoosh logo is not only meant to represent motion, but to also resemble the wings of the goddess Nike

Here is a quick breakdown of both:

VICTORY:

The “Victory” bracket will play host to local teams Oregon and Portland, 2017 National Champions North Carolina, as well as UConn, Georgetown, Oklahoma, Michigan State, and Arkansas.

Round 1 will see North Carolina vs Portland, Arkansas vs Oklahoma, Georgetown vs Michigan State, and UConn vs Oregon.

MOTION:

“Motion” will be headlined by 2017 runner-up and Northwest favorite Gonzaga, along with fellow local school Portland State. They will be joined by Coach K and the Duke Blue Devils, Texas, Stanford, Ohio State, Florida, and Butler.

Round 1 will see Duke vs Portland State,  Butler vs Texas, Florida vs Stanford, and Gonzaga vs Ohio State.

Click here to view a printable bracket

The two brackets will run simultaneously at Moda Center and Veterans Memorial Coliseum from Thursday, Nov. 23 to Sunday, Nov. 26, with no games being played on Saturday.

Note: The champsions of the individual brackets will not play eachother, instead the brackets are being treated like two individual tournaments. 

For more information visit pkinvitational.com

 

 

 

PK80: 16-Team college hoops tournament comes to Portland in 2017

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PK80: 16-Team college hoops tournament comes to Portland in 2017

Next November the Rose Quarter will play host to one of the largest regular season tournaments in the history of college basketball. Welcome to PK80 – The Phil Knight Invitational.

Held in honor of the Nike co-founder’s 80 birthday, PK80will see 12 teams from around the nation and four local schools converge on the Rose City. 

Portland’s own University of Portland and Portland State University will carry the torch for PDX, while Gonzaga and the University of Oregon will also help them represent the northwest.

The four northwest school will be joined by 12 of the best college basketball programs in the nation; Arkansas, Butler, Connecticut, Duke, Florida, Georgetown, Michigan State, North Carolina, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Stanford and Texas.

The invitational consists of two eight team brackets, with each bracket only having one school from each conference. The the winners of each bracket playing in a championship game.

In total the participants have combined for 23 national titles, 89 final four appearance, and 391 NCAA Tournament Invitations. Needless to say, this tournament is sort of a big deal.

The invitational starts on Thursday, November 23 and ends on Sunday, November 24(with no games played on Saturday).

Here are what some of the participating coaches are saying, via the official press release:

“It’s an honor to be included in this prestigious group of college basketball programs and to get the chance to participate in an event as exciting as the PK80. The level of competition, as well as the college basketball atmosphere, will make it a tremendous experience for everyone involved, especially the student-athletes. After all he’s done for college basketball, there is no more appropriate way to help Phil Knight celebrate such a special birthday.” – UConn head coach Kevin Ollie

“Phil Knight has been a visionary and an innovator for a long time. PK80 is a unique way we can honor him and the contributions he has made not just to the game of basketball, but to all of sport.” – Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski

“What a great way to celebrate Phil Knight and all that he and Nike have done for college basketball and the Florida Gators. We’re excited and honored to be part of this field that features so many excellent programs.” – Florida head coach Mike White

It's exciting to be a part of this tournament. It is a privilege to be involved in an event that honors Phil Knight.  Mr. Knight has not only been pivotal figure in college athletics, but he has been a driving force in the entire sports industry. We are proud to participate in an event that celebrates him. – Georgetown head coach John Thompson III

“We’ve been fortunate to play in some incredible preseason events, but we’ve never been a part of something this amazing – both in terms of quantity and quality of the teams. This is sure to be an incredible experience for all the student-athletes. It’s only fitting to pay tribute to a one-of-a-kind man with a one-of-a-kind event. Phil Knight has revolutionized modern day fitness, while setting the gold standard for shoes and apparel, not just in basketball, but across all other sports and activities as well.” – Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo

“What a thrill for North Carolina Basketball to be playing in such a special event to honor a truly special man. PK80 not only brings together some of the top basketball programs in the game, it honors a giant in business and sports. Mr. Knight has a wonderful ability to touch people’s lives and do great things, both in and out of the sports world. I’ll always cherish my friendship with him.” – North Carolina head coach Roy Williams

For more information, visit pkinvitational.com