College World Series: Adley Rutschman's late-game double lifts Oregon State over North Carolina in thriller
The Beavers weren't ready to bow out. Down to their final six outs Wednesday in Omaha, the Pac-12's last standing College World Series team rallied — and received some typically clutch hitting from Adley Rutschman — to secure an 11-6 win against North Carolina.
Mississippi State awaits Friday at 12 p.m. PT in the Beavers' third straight elimination game.
Oregon State 11, North Carolina 6
Cadyn Grenier and Adley Rutschman got Oregon State off to an early lead with solo homers in the first inning. They were near indentical shots, according to ESPN Stats & Info. Grenier's blast measured 405 feet; Rutschman's was 404 feet.
The Beavers, playing as the away team, padded their lead again in the third when Trevor Larnach doubled to left to score Grenier.
North Carolina rallied to tie up the game and chase Oregon State starter Luke Heimlich in the third with a three-run burst. UNC used a run-scoring groundout for its first run and a double to score two more in the frame. Hemlich lasted 2 2/3 innings while allowing three runs (two earned). On the other hand, North Carolina's Cooper Criswell wasn't much stronger. He posted 2 2/3 innnings while surrendering three runs.
The Tar Heels took a 4-3 lead against Oregon State reliever Christian Chamberlain in the fifth after a walk and error by OSU first baseman Michael Gretler. Chamberlain eventually escaped the jam by coaxing back-to-back grondouts to end the inning.
North Carolina's Kyle Datres blasted a two-run homer off the left-field foul pole for a three-run cushion with nine outs left.
But that wasn't the end of the story.
Oregon State had the bases loaded with nobody out after Andy Armstrong and Nick Madrigal each recorded singles and Grenier drew a walk on the 11th pitch he saw. Trevor Larnach struck out, but not before Rutschman, known by many as "Clutchman," clubbed a bases-clearing, three-run double to deep center to knot the game up once again. His three RBIs give him 77 on the season and helped him reach a milestone. He broke Michael Conforto's school record for most RBIs in a single season.
Beavers goin' BONKERS! pic.twitter.com/sS0oMdqIGK
— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) June 21, 2018
Jack Anderson would then draw a six-pitch, bases-loaded walk to score Rutschman and put a bow on the four-run inning.
Not satisfied with just the one-run cusishon, Oregon State plated four more runs in the ninth when Nick Madrigal doubled, Grenier got him to third on a sac fly and Larnach brought him home with a hard-nosed single up the middle. Tyler Malone put an exclamation mark on the late rally with a two-run home run.