OMAHA, Neb. — Oregon State won its third national championship in baseball Thursday night with a 5-0 victory over Arkansas in the decisive third game of the College World Series finals.
Underclassmen Adley Rutschman and Kevin Abel powered the Beavers (55-12-1), who needed none of the dramatics on display Wednesday in a ninth-inning rally that denied the Razorbacks their first title in the sport.
Abel, a freshman right-hander, fired a two-hit shutout and struck out 10 to win his record-setting fourth game at TD Ameritrade Park this year and second of the championship series after throwing an inning of relief Wednesday.
Abel threw 129 pitches Thursday and told ESPN after the game that he wasn’t sure how he went the distance.
“I don’t know. I don’t know. I just kept making pitches and kept getting outs you know,” Abel said. “It felt better as the game went on and just kinda rode it out. You know I was gonna give it everything I had and I’m, I really appreciate that they let me go out there. It was a lot of fun.”
Rutschman, the sophomore catcher, was chosen CWS Most Outstanding Player. He pounded three more hits to set the single-CWS record with 17, batting at a .567 clip in Omaha as Oregon State became the second team in CWS history to win the title after losing the opening game of its stay and the first game of the finals.
The other team to do it? Oregon State in 2006.
That 2006 title was the first for coach Pat Casey in his second trip to the CWS. He won it again with the Beavers in 2007, a team that featured future big leaguer Darwin Barney. Oregon State made it back in 2013 and again last year, losing twice to eventual runner-up LSU in the semifinal round.
This group had unfinished business. It capitalized on a mistake Wednesday night as three Arkansas fielders allowed a Cadyn Grenier foul pop to fall on the warning track with two outs in the top of the ninth. Grenier followed with a tying hit before Trevor Larnach smashed a two-run homer.
Oregon State never looked back from that moment. It scored twice in the first inning Thursday on an RBI single by Rutschman and a throwing error by Arkansas third baseman Casey Martin.
Rutschman’s RBI single in the third was the Beavers’ 89th hit of this CWS, smashing a 30-year-old record held by USC. Oregon State finished with 93 hits in seven games over the past 13 days. Rutschman had 13 RBIs, tied for the second-highest individual figure in CWS history. And the Beavers’ 31 two-out RBIs were the most by any team at this event over the past 20 years.