Freshman Kevin Abel threw a complete-game shutout, retiring the last 20 batters he faced, and Oregon State won its third national championship with a 5-0 victory over Arkansas on Thursday in Game 3 of the College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb.
Adley Rutschman had three hits and drove in two of the Beavers’ runs, and Michael Gretler had an RBI, competing a storybook 24 hours for Oregon State, which won back-to-back championships in 2006 and 2007.
After losing Game 1, the Beavers were down to their last strike in Wednesday’s Game 2, before rallying for three runs with two outs in the ninth inning to force a decisive Game 3.
They didn’t need any late-inning heroics Thursday, not with Abel on the hill. The freshman right-hander allowed only two hits — one an infield single — and struck out 10 while walking two. He struck out Luke Bonfield looking for the final out, threw his glove into the air, and the celebration began.
It’s a heartbreaking finish for the Razorbacks, who couldn’t get to a playable foul ball that would have been the third out in the ninth inning on Wednesday. Arkansas was in its second College World Series final and first since 1979. The Razorbacks have never won a baseball national championship.
Oregon State got to Arkansas starter Isaiah Campbell in the first inning, scoring on an RBI single by Rutschman and on a throwing error by Razorbacks third baseman Casey Martin that allowed Trevor Larnack to score for a 2-0 lead.
The Beavers’ lead grew to 3-0 in the third inning, with Rutschman delivering another RBI single.
Campbell left before recording an out in the third inning, after surrendering three runs (two earned) on two hits. He struck out two and walked one.
Zak Taylor had an RBI single in the eighth inning to push the Beavers’ lead to 5-0.
Arkansas left the bases loaded in the third inning and never threatened again.
—Field Level Media