Oregon State Tops Arkansas to Claim the 2018 CWS Championship

Doug Mendoza
July 2, 2018

Abel was so effective against Arkansas that the next guy was never needed.

The freshman right-hander pitched an unexpected, complete game shutout Thursday as the Beavers stopped Arkansas cold 5-0 and won the College World Series championship in front of 19,323.

Coach Pat Casey also led the Beavers to back-to-back national titles in 2006 and 2007 and had them back in the College World Series for the second straight season. 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. However, Oregon State starter Kevin Abel got his team out of the jam with a strikeout and fly out to right field.

Rutschman, the Beavers' catcher who was named the MVP of the CWS, went 3-for-4 with two RBIs. "I think just the strides he's made mentally are unbelievable and that's the toughest part of baseball to improve", Rutschman said.

"To see how he's progressed and the outing he had today was nothing short of unbelievable". "For them to get an opportunity to finish up big like they did, I was so happy and proud for them". Sometimes you just have to live it to know how it feels a little bit.

Zach Clayton, who pinch ran for Zak Taylor after a walk leading off the ninth, was on third when Grenier came up to bat with the entire stadium on its feet. The final hit Arkansas mustered came on Casey Martin's dribbler up the third base line in the third.

Kjerstad, the SEC Freshman of the Year, gave Abel his due.

Campbell faced 1 batter in the 3rd.

"That was always the wildest dream I could have had", Anderson said.

And even if Abel doesn't suffer injury or reduced performance from this wear and tear, Major League Baseball organizations are very aware of the pitches and innings he's thrown. Casey said after the win. "To go out there and make pitches and get as many outs as I could and hand it over to the next guy". "I'm relaxed. Loose. I have no stress'".

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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.

And Arkansas had no answers.

"I said in the 7th let's make a change and he said, 'No way coach".

The Razorbacks now have been nine times to the CWS in Omaha, the last four under Van Horn in 2004, 2009, 2012 and 2015 with this first national runner-up since '79.

Brown noted that Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson had come through with the edible goods from their friendly wager on the outcome of best-of-three championship series - six pounds of it, to be exact.

"You couldn't predict what he was going to do", Carson Shaddy said. "He had command of all three pitches, and you've got to credit him". Biggers said he would give anything just to do this season over again.

Abel (8-1) ran into trouble in the third when Arkansas loaded the bases with one out.

After a four-run rally by the Razorbacks, Oregon State lost 4-1 in game one of the best of three series.

Hitting coach Nate Thompson thought his offense would naturally break through against Abel. You've got to be able to grind through stuff, and that's what's going to be at the next level as well.

Parker noted that the Beavers had the highest GPA of any team in this year's College World Series, and at one point he turned over the microphone to Jack Anderson, the senior outfielder from Lake Oswego High who was the Pac-12 Baseball Student-Athlete of the Year.

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