The OSU baseball team overcame the odds to win the NCAA College World Series and finish No. 1 in all major polls.
When they lost the opening game of baseball’s College World Series, people wrote them off.
When they lost the opening game of the best-of-three championship series, people wrote them off.
In true Horatio Alger fashion, the Oregon State Beavers overcame the odds and captured the NCAA national championship and the affection of many new fans nationwide.
The team that many people didn’t think could win a game in the College World Series ended up finishing No. 1 in all final polls. And the head coach, Pat Casey, was named national coach of the year for leading the team to a 50-16 mark, setting a school record for wins.
At the world series with the Beavers were teams from Florida, Texas, California, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina—all warm weather states where spring baseball flourishes, unlike the rainy and cool Willamette Valley.
To get the title, the Beavers faced six games in which they had to win or go home—four in the first round and then two against North Carolina in the final series.
And the Beavers did it with a team that featured homegrown talent. Surprisingly, 60 percent of the players on the OSU roster grew up in Oregon.
And, whether or not people around the nation realized how good these players were, the major leagues did. Nine players were selected in the Major League Baseball amateur draft this year.
On the first day of the draft, right-handed pitcher Dallas Buck (Newberg, Ore.), outfielder Cole Gillespie (West Linn, Ore.), left-hander Kevin Gunderson (Portland, Ore.) and right-hander Jonah Nickerson (Oregon City, Ore.) were selected.
The second day’s selections were outfielder Tyler Graham (Great Falls, Mont.), second baseman Chris Kunda (Philomath, Ore.), third baseman Shea McFeely (Federal Way, Wash.), catcher Mitch Canham (Lake Stevens, Wash.) and right-hander Jon Koller (Carlsbad, Calif.).
OSU’s College World Series results:
June 17: Miami (Fla.) 11, BEAVERS 1
June 19: BEAVERS 5, Georgia 3
June 20: BEAVERS 8, Miami 1
June 21: BEAVERS 5, Rice 0
June 22, BEAVERS 2, Rice 0
June 24: North Carolina 4, BEAVERS 3
June 25: BEAVERS 11, North Carolina 7
June 26: BEAVERS 3, North Carolina 2