How'd they do it? Pitching. Defense. (Amazingly the Michigan team batted over .300 through their lineup, top to bottom. Until this super-regional series, where they hit below .200.)
And Small ball. (Read the same summaries below to see how they scored the last two games!)
The Oregon State Beavers are the defending national champions in NCAA baseball. But they lost all but four players from last year. Only two of those four were starters.
This year they went into a three week slump within their Pac-10 schedule, and slid way down those standings. No one really expected too much from them. Their overall record (and perhaps recent history) got them into the regionals as a three-seed.
But just as they clawed and scratched their way last year to the national championship up through the loser's bracket, this year they found their way back to the College World Series in Omaha for a third straight year. (Portland Tribune, ESPN)
Previous year champions often do not return to Omaha. The Beavers are clawers and scratchers.
They won three games in 24 hours to win their regionals. Then in the super-regionals against Michigan they won a *fantastic* game on Sunday 1-0, scoring in the ninth on their only hit, a single to the opposite field.
Today they just clobbered Michigan, 8-2. (Well, sort-of -- the Michigan pitchers gave up some really bad bases on walks, hit pitchers, and balks. And hits.) The College World Series starts on Friday. The Beavers are a long-shot, but last year they were as well.
Go Beavs! Thanks for all the great baseball. And thankfully there is more to come this season. If you want to watch fun baseball, watch the OSU Beavers in the CWS on ESPN.