Thousands Welcome Home Repeat National Champion Beavers
June 26, 2007
CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) -A fan hoisted a sign that said it all: Sweet Repeat.
Oregon State's baseball team returned home on Monday after winning its second straight College World Series. The Beavers were greeted by some six thousand fans who gathered on campus.
'How sweet it is,' catcher Mitch Canham said. 'How sweet it is.'
The Beavers swept North Carolina to become the first team since LSU in 1996-97 to repeat.
Oregon State (49-18) was so dominant, the team trailed only one of 45 innings at Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Neb.
Things didn't look as positive for the Beavers late this season, when they had lost seven of nine games and were looking at the possibility that they wouldn't get selected for the tournament.
'Something special happened,' shortstop Darwin Barney said. 'We had our backs against the wall and something special happened.'
The Beavers finished the season with 10 straight wins. After sneaking into the 64-team NCAA tournament with a sixth place finish in the Pacific-10 Conference, Oregon State became the first team to win four CWS games by six runs or more.
A year ago, Oregon State lost its CWS opener 11-1 to Miami and then staved off elimination four straight times to make it to the finals against North Carolina. The Beavers came back from a loss in Game 1 to win the title.
It was sunny and warm on Monday, when the Beavers arrived for the rally outside the football stadium. Freshman pitcher Jorge Reyes, named the Most Valuable Player in Omaha, carried the trophy.
'It feels pretty good right now,' coach Pat Casey told the crowd.
Barney and Canham, the only two position players that returned from last year's championship team, were both drafted by major league clubs and are expected to forgo their senior years. The crowd nevertheless implored them by chanting' 'One more year!'
The rematch from last year was the first since 1972-73, when Southern California beat Arizona State twice in a row during a string of championships from 1970-74.
Oregon State is the fifth repeat champ overall. Texas (1949-50) and Stanford (1987-88) also won consecutive titles.