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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Beavers By Damn!


The Oregon State University Beavers are your 2006 NCAA Baseball National Champions, completing an improbable, but dominating, march to victory the likes of which we have not seen since Sherman’s March to the Sea. The Beavers became the first team in the storied history of the College World Series to face six elimination games during the CWS and win them all.

In the course of their run, the Beavers eliminated two perennial powers, the University of Miami Hurricanes and the Rice University Owls, before upsetting a well-rested and seemingly unstoppable University of North Carolina Tarheels squad loaded with a pitching staff that some Major League clubs (say, the Chicago Cubs) would gladly take. By virtue of a Bill Buckner-type error by Tarheels second baseman Bryan Steed, the hungry Beavers scored the go-ahead run for a remarkable 3-2 victory.

The Beavers were told they would not recover from the 11-1 loss to the Hurricanes. They were told that they had no chance to beat a dominating Rice Owls squad. And many, including yours truly, told them that they would be hard pressed to find a live arm in the pitching staff and enough offense to overcome the Tarheels' star-studded rotation. We were wrong, and the angry Beavers chewed and clawed their way to a championship built on a couple of heroic efforts (and a four error defensive meltdown by the Tarheels).

Beaver Jonah Nickerson (RHP, 12-4) pitched in three elimination games in eight days at Omaha logging a total of 21 1/3 innings work, allowing just four runs and notching two wins with a total of … wait for it … wait for it … 323 pitches in just eight days. Nickerson was the clear choice as the tournament's Most Outstanding Player, despite strong efforts by his teammates Dallas Buck (RHP, 13-3) and Bill Rowe (1B, going 12 for 27 with a HR in the CWS). Nickerson may never bowl again, but he will always have his national championship ring.

Congratulations to the scrappy, angry Beavers on a well deserved and gritty championship!

4 Comments:

Blogger Scott said...

What an incredible game that was! The UNC 2B sure made a Knoblauchian throw, but the 1B sure did not do much to bail him out. Terrible positioning and zero effort, though, in his defense, I'm sure he expected a routine throw. Still, if the 1B had come off the bag and kept the ball in play, the runner would not have come around to score from second base, right? What a terrible way to lose the game, but OSU's pitchers sure deserve a lot of credit. Buck, Nickerson and Gunderson were nails.

Tue Jun 27, 02:22:00 PM  
Blogger Ted Bosquez said...

The Beaver pitchers as a whole were warriors. I was listening to the game on webcast over here (time difference is six hours) and the game was (as was the series) was fantastic.

The broadcasters seemed to put more of the blame on the first baseman for what, while not exactly routine, was a play that could (and given the situation)should have been made.

Watching the highlights today, I thought the throw was off, but you have to make the play when the game is that tight and its for the national championship - hero or goat - simple choice.

Still a fine game to end the CWS.

Tue Jun 27, 02:54:00 PM  
Blogger Bert said...

Your Cubs comment was not lost on me. I'm not arguing the accuracy of the statement just surprised that one Poncherello fan would kick another while they're down. Thats all I'm saying.

Tue Jun 27, 03:48:00 PM  
Blogger Ted Bosquez said...

I had intended to put the Angry Pirates in the text, but felt that it would have been one too many teams with the adjective "angry" attached to it ... and a new pitching staff might not help that program given its leadership.

Tue Jun 27, 06:02:00 PM  

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