Posted Jun 25, 2007

THE WHITE HOT Oregon State baseball team completed another magical season on Sunday night. OSU posted a 9-3 victory over North Carolina at the College World Series in Omaha, capturing their second straight national championship. For a team that lost so many starters from last year and was on the bubble of even being selected to the CWS field, the word improbable isn't quite strong enough.

The Beavs, however, got hot at just the right time, becoming the first team in a decade to repeat as College World Series champion.

After completing their Pac-10 schedule with a losing record, Oregon State (then 39-17 overall, 10-14 Pac-10), simply stormed through the regionals and College World Series, winning ten of eleven games, including all five in the CWS, to cap the year a 49-18 mark.

It was nearly a polar opposite from last season's series title run, when the Beavers faced six elimination games on their way to the national championship.

OSU this year replaced all but two full-time starting position players from that team -- plus most of its starting pitching rotation, and their closer.

But those two position players -- shortstop Darwin Barney and catcher Mitch Canham -- were huge in the CWS -- as were the new faces on the pitching mound.

Canham hit .400 in the series and was rock solid defensively. In Sunday's clinching win, Barney went yard, and also was in on a defensive gem -- taking the relay from left fielder John Wallace and firing it in to Canham, who cut down a Tar Heel at the plate, stamping out any thoughts of a North Carolina comeback.

Jordan Lennerton hit his second dinger in two nights, a two-run monster shot to dead center in the eighth.

Freshman pitcher Jorge Reyes was just the fifth frosh to be named the MVP of the finals, the Oregon State hurler posting a 2-0 CWS record and a sub-3.0 ERA.

Oregon State trailed for only one of 45 innings in Omaha, on Sunday before Barney's two-run shot in the second inning put the Beavers up for good, as Oregon State defeated North Carolina in the finals for the second straight year.

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