You read that headline right, it happened. Freddie Mercury said it best, “We are the champions, my friends.”
After a deflating 2017 visit to Omaha, the Oregon State Beavers defeated the Arkansas Razorbacks to become the 2018 College World Series National Champions.
After the electrifying result of game 2, Oregon State had their work cut out for them against the #5 ranked Razorbacks. Yet the Beavs managed to find a way to get it done behind one of the best pitched games in college baseball history. Here’s how it all went down...
The Beavers raced out to a quick 1-0 start in the bottom of the first inning off the bat of Adley Rutschman (of course) and the legs of Cadyn Grenier. That 1-0 in the first quickly expanded to a 2-0 lead after a throwing error committed by Arkansas 3rd baseman Casey Martin which allowed Michael Gretler to reach first base safely while Trevor Larnach scored from 3rd base.
CLUTCHMAN.@BeaverBaseball picks up right where it left off last night! On the board first!#CWS pic.twitter.com/rNh6GuNUY4— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) June 28, 2018
The Beavs then struck again in the 3rd thanks to a single to left from, you guessed it, Mr. Adley Clutschman. This gave the Beavers a quick 3-0 after 3 innings. The scoring was not done for Oregon State, however. The Beavers would score from a sac-fly off the bat of Michael Gretler in the 5th and a single in the 8th from Zak Taylor to drive in Gretler. This gave Oregon State a 5-0 lead, which would go on to be the final score.
The hero of this game, without question, was freshman Kevin Abel. After throwing 23 pitches in last night’s epic thriller, Abel decisively shut down the Razorbacks the entire game. Arkansas only threatened once in the 3rd inning on a 1-out bases-loaded situation. The freshman struck out 1 batter and induced a fly out to retire the side with no score. Arkansas had no answer for Abel the entire night.
When it was all said and done, Kevin Abel went 9 scoreless innings while allowing just 2 hits with just 2 walks. And for those curious, yes, that is the least amount of hits allowed ever in a shutout in the College World Series. A truly masterful performance when Oregon State needed it most.
FIRE— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) June 29, 2018
The FRESHMAN on the bump sets a new #CWS standard. pic.twitter.com/wr7vcDctr5
Adley Rutschman would go on to win the Series’s most outstanding player, and deservedly so. In the entirety of the College World Series, he finished with 17 hits and 13 RBIs. The 17 hits set a new CWS record while the 13 RBIs came in at 2nd-most in a single CWS. Needless to say, Clutschman was dominant. Rutschman and Larnach were the catalysts of the Oregon State offense and managed to get it done in almost every game.
Not to sound cliche, but Oregon State saved their best for last.
This win is undoubtedly sweetened after last year’s CWS trip was cut short in addition to sloppy play in the first several games of this year’s series. Behind some gutsy individual performances, the Beavers managed to put it together when it mattered most, and that resulted in a trophy for Beaver Nation. Every player managed to rise up at some point this season, and that culminated in this national championship.
Over the course of these season, we at BTD had been hoping to deliver this article to you all, and we are proud to wrap up a National Championship season behind this incredible team that will go down as one of the all-time greats. Thank you for sticking with our baseball coverage this season. We loved providing recaps for you all.
Enjoy the win, Beaver Nation. And don’t ever forget, go beavs.
THEY DO IT.— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) June 29, 2018
OREGON STATE IS ON TOP OF COLLEGE BASEBALL ONCE AGAIN!#CWS pic.twitter.com/6RhvmrIUVx