Saturday, 30 May, 2020


Razorbacks defeat Oregon State in first game of College World Series Finals

F0rnpnnv7mrs6thowglv UA Media Relations
Noah Ferguson | 02 July, 2018, 07:40

Experiencing the heartbreak of falling just short of immortality past year made it that much sweeter when the Beavers finally reached the pinnacle of the college baseball world on Thursday night, with an utterly dominant 5-0 win over Arkansas in Game Three of the CWS Finals.

Arkansas led the series 1-0 and had a 3-2 lead with two outs in the ninth in game two but a pop foul behind first base landed between three Razorback defenders.

Kevin Abel, completing in essence a 10-inning shutout he began by striking out the side in the bottom of the eighth in Game 2, closed the door emphatically in Game 3 Thursday night. The Razorbacks win more often than not in the major sports, but it is hard to be the very best in any collegiate sport. I'm super proud of him and it's just unbelievable. "You know, I've bled red my whole life and that ain't going to stop now, so hopefully I'll be able to catch them up here again here on down the road", said Knight. "It was a lot of fun".

Coach Pat Casey watched it all with the same gratification his players felt. Casey thought of going to the bullpen, but Abel wouldn't hear of it. "I'm just so thankful for all the support they've given me in my five years and letting me be very passionate about the Hogs".

"I'm not going to call it a devastating loss", Van Horn said. So, you know. hats off to that kid, he just competed his tail off.

Then came what should have been the final play of the season but became one of the most rueful memories in Razorback sports history.

Wednesday's victor in a 23-pitch relief outing in Oregon State's 5-3 victory that Arkansas led 3-2 before the Beavers scored three runs after they were given a reprieve when Cadyn Grenier's pop fly in foul ground with two outs eluded the triple pursuit of Razorbacks second baseman Carson Shaddy, first baseman Jared Gates and right fielder Eric Cole, Abel came back and threw a two-hitter and struck out 10, as the Beavers prevailed 5-0 in the winner-take-all game for the national championship.

Sometimes the other team is just better.

The Razorbacks and their traveling band of red-clad fans overwhelmed Omaha and almost overtook an Oregon State team that held almost every statistical advantage in the matchup.

That 2006 title was the first for Casey in his second trip to the CWS.

Oregon St. wins CWS Finals, 2-1, for 3rd CWS title.

Jake Mulholland closed the game for Oregon State with a come backer 1-4-3 double play to notch his 16th save, the relay from Nick Madrigal getting the speedy Casey Martin on a head-first slide at first base.

This group had unfinished business.

It was there on Thursday night that the Beavers captured their third national title in 13 years.

In a three-game set crammed with Bermuda-triangle popups just beyond a fielder's reach, the most critical extended the ninth inning of Game 2 Tuesday night, sending Arkansas to a shattering defeat.

"There was probably still that "What if?' and disappointment. It's human nature", Razorbacks coach Dave Van Horn said about the emotional hangover". "We had a good hitters" meeting, we let them sleep in, pregame was good.

It was the moment that Kevin Abel, and the rest of the Beavers, had been envisioning since they bounced their way to the locker room one day earlier. "We won a lot of games, a lot of close games, and we learned how to get here". "Unbelievable", said Rutschman, the Beavers' catcher. "If Abel hadn't thrown so well, maybe it's a little different story, but he didn't give us a chance".

Van Horn said his team, which has been out-hit by Oregon State 21-12 through two games, must get more offensive in the finale.

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