Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Hard to kill a Beaver

Update: 12:15PM

Beavers Win!!!

If you're not following the Oregon State Beavers baseball team, you should be, because it is one of the best good news stories to come out of Oregon in a long time.

Last year's improbable national championship was incredible enough. But that team lost nine players to the Major League Draft, and all the smart people thought it would be a rebuilding year for the Beavs. In a pre-season poll of the top forty teams, OSU was not even listed.

Then they ran out and won about 25 of their first 30 games, getting ranked as high as second in one poll.

During Pac-10 league play, they stumbled. But a gutsy road series win against a good UCLA team in the last weekend of the season secured them a berth in the regionals, which is at UVA.

The playoffs work like this: there are 16 regional sites, each with 4 teams who play a double elimination tournament to get the field down to 16 teams. The next weekend, those 16 teams are matched up into 8 three game series, and the winner of those 8 series go to the College World Series in Omaha.

This weekend the Beavers (who were seeded #3 in the four team regional at UVA) beat a good Rutgers team, then lost a marathon 13 inning game to UVA. That put them in the losers bracket, where in order to win the regional, they would have to beat the winner of the game between the two first round losers, then beat UVA TWICE.

The first two of those games were supposed to happen Sunday, but it rained all day, so the team had to sit around. They played them yesterday. They dispensed with Rutgers again, then in the afternoon came back from a 3-0 deficit in the 8th inning to take the lead 5-3 and win the game.

That forced the final game, which starts about an hour and a half from the time I write this.

This team showed so much heart yesterday. Their pitching staff is weary, but the team just won't go down easy. Just like last year in the College World Series when they won SIX elimination games on their way to the national title. That had never been done before.

If they win today, they will make it to the "Super-Regional" round for the third straight year. And the good news is that the series will be in Corvallis! That itself is serendipitous: The Beavs thought they would have to go throught the #1 team in the country, Vanderbilt, at the Super-Regional. But Vandy got upset by Michigan, and Michigan did not put in a bid to the NCAA to host the Super- Regional, so it goes the Beavs!

Think how key that is: not only do they NOT have to play the #1 team in the country at their place, but they get to host the series!

Starting to look like another Cinderella story - but can the reigning national champs be a Cinderella story?

Win or lose today, Coach Pat Casey has established OSU as one of the elite college baseball programs in the country. Not an easy thing for a northern school to do. Better yet- he's done it with a lot of northwest talent.

It's a great story, and it's great for Oregon.


Anonymous said...

Bevos win!!!

So they play next in Cornvalley on Saturday?

How does one get tickets?

OregonGuy said...

check here


Go Beavs!