Back in Oregon-- I had some time to burn on the flight home, so here's a look at what the Beavers did individually last night:
Chris Hopkins: Chris led off in center field. He grounded out to the third baseman on a tough dribbler down the line in the first inning, but Chris got even in the second inning when he hit a ball to almost the exact same spot. The North Carolina third baseman threw the ball away, allowing John Wallace to score on the play. In the fourth, he grounded out to Garrett Gore at second base. In the sixth, he popped up to the first baseman on a bunt attempt, something that the Beavers had some trouble with in the Championship Series. Towards the end of the game he found his touch, and hit a single to center field in the seventh. Scott Santschi scored on the play, and Chris would get his only RBI of the day. In the ninth, he doubled to left field. He ended up 2-for-6 on the day, with an RBI.
Joey Wong: Joey, hitting second and playing second, flew out to Seth Williams in the first. It was the farthest I think I've ever seen Joey hit a ball, but it was recorded as an out. He walked in the second, struck out in the fourth, and walked again in the sixth. He flew out to center again in the seventh, and grounded out to the pitcher in the ninth. Joey went 0-for-4 in the game, but he still had a great College World Series. Coming into the game, Joey had the third best batting average of any player in the tournament, but I imagine he slipped a little bit after this game. He still was voted to the all tournament team at second base, and after all, is only a freshman.
Mike Lissman: Mike DHed for the Beavers in both championship games, but went 0-for-5 in Game 2. He flew out to Seth Williams in center in the first, struck out to end a rally in the second, and was hit in the fifth. In the sixth, he grounded out to Josh Horton at shortstop, and in the seventh, he struck out looking, his second strikeout of the game. Mike had the last at bat of the 2007 season for the Beavers in the top of the ninth, and he flew out to first base. You hate to see a guy like Mike go out in a slump, but he was second only to Mitch Canham in overall batting average. He ended the year in a three-way tie for home runs with Canham and Lennerton. All three of them had at least one homer in Omaha, and they all finished with 10 on the year.
Mitch Canham: Canham, one of many MVP's of this year's team, singled to third base in his first at bat which came in the second inning. He hit another single up the middle in the third, then walked in the fifth. He was eventually thrown out at second on a 6-4-3 double play off the bat of Darwin Barney. He struck out looking in the sixth, and flew out to left in the eighth, making him 2-for-4 on the game. Defensively, he was on the receiving end of a 7-6-1 relay that ended with Josh Horton thrown out at the plate. He blocked the plate perfectly, and thanks to Darwin's amazing relay, most of the remaining life was taken out of North Carolina. The Tar Heels were threatening at that point, but after the play at the plate, North Carolina would not get another base hit.
Darwin Barney: Darwin, playing his final game at shortstop for the Beavs, took the second pitch he saw from Luke Putkonen about 366 feet over the fence marked 365 in left field. The line drive shot, Barney's fifth of the year, put the Beavers on the board in the second inning. Mitch Canham had just singled to third base, so Darwin picked up two RBI's. The home run was his 237th hit during his Oregon State career, breaking a record set by Jacoby Ellsubury between 2003 and 2005. After breaking the record, Barney was retired three times in a row: a groundout to the first baseman, a double play, and a strikeout in the seventh. In the eighth, Darwin doubled down the left field line, his final swing in a OSU uniform. The double brought Barney's all time career hit total to 238, a record that will be hard to beat. He finished the day 2-for-5 with two RBI's and a run scored.
John Wallace: John, starting the game in left field, started things off in the second with a single to right field. He was walked in the third, and to left in the fifth, driving in Mike Lissman from third. In the seventh he ripped his third triple of the year of the right field wall. North Carolina right fielder Tim Federoff went do-or-die on the ball, which caromed off the wall, giving John the triple. He would fly out to right in the eighth, capping a 3-for-4 day for Wallace.
Scott Santschi: Scott, also playing in his final game at OSU, went 3-for-3. He walked in the second, and singled to center in the third. He drove in Mitch Canham on the play, his 12th RBI of the year. He singled again to center field in the fifth, and singled to right in the seventh, driving in John Wallace. In the ninth, he walked before being replaced by Braden Wells as a pinch runner. Scott's performance in Omaha raised his batting average to .309 on the season, fourth best on the team. He didn't get nearly as many at-bats as some of the people that surround him on the list, but still, a great post-season performance by Scott.
Jordan Lennerton: Jordan went 1-for-5 in the National Championship game, including a a flyout to center, grounding into a double play, flying out to right, and the crazy bunt he laid down that turned into a North Carolina error. But by far the most exciting of Jordan's at bats was the home run off the wall in deep center field. I clearly remember watching the ball hoping the ball would go out, and then hearing the response of Beaver Nation as the ball hit the green wall beyond the center field wall, about half way up. Jordan, appropriately nicknamed "Moose", got his 10th home run of the season with that blast, and put the icing on Oregon State's second national championship.
Lonnie Lechelt: Lonnie Lechelt finished the game 0-for-4, ending what had to be a frustrating season at the plate. He struck out in the second, popped up to the second baseman down the right field line in the fourth, was hit in the sixth, failed to execute a safety squeeze attempt in the seventh and grounded out in the ninth. He did make some great plays at third base, the one that comes to mind is the ball he snagged off the bat of Josh Horton to record the first out of the ninth inning.
On the hill, Mike Stutes went five and a third and picked up the victory. I thought he looked a little bit shaky at the beginning, and his curve wasn't working as well as I've seen it, but he got the job done. He gave up seven hits and three runs, walked three, and struck out five.
In relief, Anton Maxwell recorded two outs before Mark Grbavac came in for an inning and two thirds. He allowed two hits, and struck out three. Once he got settled down, he was very effective.
Joe Patterson finished the game off, going one and a third, and striking out one. He pitched in all five games the Beavers played in Omaha.
I feel bad for Eddie-- he was warming up in the bullpen for most of the time JoePa was throwing. The only work he got was a few pitches in Game 1 against Cal State Fullerton. I would have liked to see Eddie finish this game off, but JoePa was hot, and I can see why the coaches stuck with him.
All in all, a great Beaver victory all around. Back to back, baby!