Beavers Pound Way To Regional Title, 19-3
June 5, 2005
CORVALLIS, Ore. - Over a lifetime of watching baseball, the average baseball fan will typically see everything the game has to offer. Sunday night, however, second-ranked Oregon State showed something new.
A 13-run second inning propelled the Beavers (44-9 overal) to a 19-3 victory over St. John's (41-18) at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field, clinching the championship of the NCAA Corvallis Regional. The Red Storm had advanced to the regional final with a 7-1 win over Ohio State on Sunday afternoon.
The victory in front of 2,532 fans on a cool, damp evening moved the Beavers into next weekend's Super Regionals, one step from the College World Series.
"We're one step away from every college baseball players dream," said first baseman Andy Jenkins, who had four of the Beavers' season-high 22 hits. Danny Anderson had a pair of home runs as OSU matched its season-high of 19 runs that had been set on Opening Day against New Mexico State.
Shea McFeely drove in five runs for the Beavers, all in that 13-run second inning with a three-run double and a two-run single, and added another double later in the game. Mitch Canham, named the tournament's Outstanding Player, and Jenkins also had a pair of hits in the inning and Anderson had a three-run homer to leftfield.
During the second inning, OSU used 10 hits, three walks and a hit batter with the first nine hitters of the inning reaching safely.
"They played great baseball," St. John's head coach Ed Blankmeyer said. "They can't play any better. If they play like that, they're going to go far. It was outstanding ... you can't take anything away from what those guys did."
Also contributing greatly on the offensive side was Anderson, who normally makes his presence felt with his defense. After his homer in the second, he added a solo shot in the fifth.
"It was a great coaching move on my part," OSU head coach Pat Casey laughed after asked about starting Anderson in rightfield for the first time since May 15 at Washington. "We had two thoughts. With Anton (Maxwell, the OSU starter) pitching and being a fly ball guy, you want to be as good as you can in the outfield defensively. Second, Danny Anderson has really been swinging the bat well for us ... I just thought he was locked in watching him swing (in practice)."
The second inning began with a single by Jenkins, a walk by Gillespie, and a single by Canham to load the bases. This brought McFeely to the plate, and he laced the three run double into right center.
"I just went up there looking for a fastball to drive to the outfield to at leats score one," McFeely said. "I ended up getting a good pitch to hit and I hit it pretty good."
Before the inning concluded, 10 more Beavers would cross the plate to make the score 13-0 at the end of two innings; it was Oregon State's highest-scoring inning of the season, topping eight-run frames against both Arizona State and New Mexico State in the opening weekend of the season. OSU threatened its school record for runs in an inning - 16 in a 1997 game against Portland - and by the end of the frame, it was obvious the Beavers were super regional bound.
The Beavers produced four more runs in the fifth as Ellsbury added an RBI triple before Barney, Jenkins and Gillespie all added RBI singles.
The fifth inning saw Anderson's second home run of the game and a RBI single by Ellsbury to give the Beavers a 19-0 lead.
OSU starter Anton Maxwell was able to shake off the rust of not pitching in over two weeks, scattering eight hits over six innings and the only run against him was unearned. The final two runs scored by the Red Strom came in the seventh inning off reliever Nate Fogle and one of those was unearned, as well.
Canham was named Outstanding Player after the sophomore catcher went 8-for-13 with one home run, three doubles, six runs batted in and six runs scored in three games. Beavers joining him on the all-tournament team were pitcher Jonah Nickerson, first baseman Jenkins, third baseman McFeely, outfielders Tyler Graham, Jacoby Ellsbury and Cole Gillespie.
Anderson had the Beavers' first two-homer game since Tony Calderon managed the feat against Portland on May 18, 2004. McFeely's five runs batted in were a season-high for him, but didn't match his career-high of eight in a game at Portland last season.
St. John's, the Big East regular season champion, reached the Corvallis Regional final despite being without the ace of its pitching staff, Anthony Varvaro, who suffered an injury prior to the conference tournament.
With the regional win, the Beavers will play the winner of Monday's game between Southern California and Pepperdine in the final of the Long Beach Regional. An announcement will be made Tuesday stating where the Super Regional will be played.
"I'd be extremely disappointed," Casey said on the possibility of not hosting the Super Regional. "We've done everything we had to do."
St. John's 3 (41-18) Oregon State 19 (44-9)