Barney Homers, Leads Oregon State To Second Straight Title
June 25, 2007
OREGON ST 9, NORTH CAROLINA 3
OMAHA, Nebraska (Ticker) -- Darwin Barney homered and drove intwo runs while Scott Santschi recorded a pair of RBI as OregonState defeated North Carolina, 9-3, to win its secondconsecutive College World Series title on Sunday.
It was the second straight season that the Beavers defeated theTar Heels in the CWS, but it was a different scenario than lastyear. Oregon State lost the first game last season beforewinning the next two.
This time around, freshman Jorge Reyes threw 6 1/3 stronginnings and Jordan Lennerton homered to lead the Beavers to an11-4 win on Saturday. Reyes, with two wins in Omaha, was namedthe outstanding player of the CWS, and the Beavers had sixplayers named to the All-Tournament Team.
Mike Stutes (12-4) followed that by throwing 5 1/3 innings,allowing three runs and seven hits, as Oregon State became thefirst team to win back-to-back titles since LSU accomplished thefeat in the 1996-97 seasons. OSU has gone 22-3 over the lasttwo NCAA Tournaments, 11-2 with seven straight wins - in theCWS.
'We're the defending national champions and we're put on apedestal,' Barney said. 'We have a bullseye on our back. Theway this team responded is special. We're a good team on thefield, and together. (Coach Pat Casey) knew, and always hadtrust and belief in our club.'The Beavers joined Texas (1949-50) and Southern California(1970-71) as the only teams to follow up consecutive sub-40 winregular seasons with back-to-back national championships.
Casey was a firm believer the comparison's were already in orderwell before Sunday night.
'We felt like that already,' Casey said. 'I don't have toconvince this team that it's Texas or USC. We don't need to beanybody but who we are and, tonight in Nebraska, we're the bestteam in the country.'Mark Grbavac threw two scoreless innings, struck out KyleShelton for the final out of the game and was mobbed byteammates who formed a massive dog pile on the mound.
The third-seeded Beavers became the first team seeded in thelower half of the original NCAA Tournament field to win the CWSin the 20 year-history of the event.
They overcame their seeding by going 11-1 in the NCAA Tournamentand winning their last 10 consecutive games, by an aggregatescore of 68-26, since a 7-4, 13-inning loss at Virginia June 2.
Oregon State (49-18) also became the first team in history towin a national championship in a season during which they posteda losing conference record (10-14, tie-6th, Pac-10).
The Beavers chased Tar Heels starter Luke Putkonen in the secondinning as Barney blasted an 0-1 pitch for a two-run homer toleft field for a 3-1 lead after Mitch Canham led off with asingle.
The fact that North Carolina coach Mike Fox called on his closershowed desperation with his team facing elimination and OregonState knew it.
'Any time you can get to the bullpen in the second inning that'sgood,' Wallace said. 'We figured he (Andrew Carignan) couldn'tgo 7 1/3 innings. We got him out of there in the fifth andpoured it on from there.'Carignan struck out designated hitter Mike Lissman to end thethreat. However, Santschi added an RBI single in the third for a4-1 lead.
Oregon State scored another run on a throwing error by thirdbaseman Chad Flack, and Putkonen (8-2) issued a walk beforecloser Carignan was called on to put an end to a two-out,first-and-third threat.
North Carolina pulled within 4-2 with an RBI single from TimFederowicz in the third, but the Beavers put away the contestwith two runs in the seventh, stretching a two-run lead to 7-3with RBI singles from Santschi and Chris Hopkins.
Wallace, who had three RBI, led off the frame with a triple andSantschi plated him with a single through the right side.
Lennerton left no doubt about the outcome by blasting a two-runhomer off Rob Wooten in the ninth for a 9-3 lead, the firstbaseman's team-leading fourth home run of the NCAA Tournamentand third of the CWS.
Meanwhile, Dustin Ackley homered and drove in two runs for NorthCarolina (57-16), which was outscored, 20-7, in the two games.
The Tar Heels became the fifth team defeated in back-to-back CWSfinals.
The Tar Heel offense damaged its own chances by failing to hitwith runners in scoring position. North Carolina was 1-for-10with runners in scoring position each game against Oregon Stateand batted .194 (14-72) over seven games in Omaha.
'It seemed like we couldn't get that big hit with runners onbase,' Fox said. 'We didn't take advantage when we needed to.
Whenever we did hit the ball hard it seemed to be right atpeople.'