An interesting article comes to us today from the Arizona Daily Star, written by former Corvallis citizen Greg Hansen.
This article was written before the Arizona series, so you will find references to the series as not yet started. We all know what happened in that series, but hopefully you will be able to take something away from this. Here's an excerpt:
By 2005, Oregon State won the Pac-10 and played in the College World Series.
By 2006, it was the NCAA champion.
Tonight, opening the Pac-10 season against Arizona at Kindall/Sancet Stadium, the Beavers are ranked No. 2 nationally. They have won 12 games in succession. This is all true.
Their coach, Casey, has a new contract worth about $290,000 a year (roughly triple that of Arizona coach Andy Lopez's $98,000), and Goss Stadium on the OSU campus is in the process of a $5 million expansion.
Oregon State's baseball program is the best story going in college sports.
Better than Boise State drawing up trick plays at the Fiesta Bowl. Better than George Mason at the Final Four.
Articles like this just make you stand back and look at the magnitude of what Oregon State has accomplished. You don't really realize how great of an accomplishment last year was until you take a step back and take it all in.
Greg brings up a good point-- this was not easy to do. Pat Casey & Co. won the 2006 College World Series the hard way. They were facing elimination in six of the eight games they played, and won every one. They lost their first game in Omaha-- and one could only imagine that they would follow in the footsteps of the 2003-2004 team, and lose their first two games and be eliminated from the tournament.
But they didn't. They rallied back. Past Georgia. Past Miami, the team that beat them in the first game. They beat Rice twice to advance to the Championships. Here they got new life-- a best of 3 series. They lost the first game of the series by one run. They were down 5-0 going into the Bottom of the Fourth in the second game against North Carolina. One could only assume that they were done, turn off their television, and return to eating dinner. But no. With the help of Bill Rowe's three run homer into the right field seats that I bet all of you (that were still watching) remember clearly, the Beavers scored seven runs in the fourth, giving them a 7-5 lead. They padded their lead with four runs in the sixth, and went on to win 11-7.
In game three, for all the marbles, here's what took place:
With the game tied at 2 in the eighth, first baseman Bill Rowe drew a two-out walk and Tyler Graham hit a blooper into left for a single. Tar Heels ace Andrew Miller, who was the 5th pick in the draft by the Detroit Tigerse, came on in relief of Daniel Bard and got pinch-hitter Ryan Gipson to one-hop a grounder to second base.
The second baseman, Sneed, who came in as a defensive replacement in the fifth, threw wide and past first baseman Tim Federowicz for the Tar Heels' fourth error of the game as Rowe slid into home with the go-ahead run. The Beavers stormed Rowe at the plate, and would go on to maintain the 3-2 lead and win the game.
Catch all these moments and more below: