'We are enjoying every minute of it': Beavers stay loose ahead o - KPTV - FOX 12

'We are enjoying every minute of it': Beavers stay loose ahead of College World Series Finals

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What a run it has been for the Oregon State baseball team at the College World Series, battling their way out of the loser’s bracket to now playing for a national championship. 

Just like 2006? Maybe.

These Beavers have bashed their way to 48 runs in five contests to win four elimination games in six days in downtown Omaha. 

The stakes are raised now, as OSU is two victories away from an Omaha style dogpile. 

“We know that this is going to be a heck of a series,” said Beavers coach Pat Casey. 

Go hog wild – it’ll be Pac-12 and SEC as the Beavers face off against Arkansas in the CWS Finals. 

 “Those top five hitters, there is not a better top five in the country,” said Dave Van Horn, Arkansas head coach. 

Casey said, “Anybody that has the opportunity to play in a College World Series, in my opinion, gets to play in the greatest sporting event in our country.” 

After knocking off the top-rated defending champs from Florida, the fifth seeded Razorbacks await the No. 3 Beavers in the best-of-three championship series. 

“I don’t know if I have seen a more complete team,” Casey said. “Pitching, defense, speed, power. People think we got power, I think we’ve hit 60 home runs, I think they’ve hit 98.” 

While Arkansas hasn’t been on this championship stage since 1979, Casey’s program is playing for its third trophy, first since those glory days with the back-to-back national titles in 2006 and 2007. 

“I think coaches are much more excited for their players then they are for themselves because that is what you do every day,” Casey said. 

A school-record 507 runs have been tallied by this Beaver club that has spent the past year lamenting their letdown here in the semifinals last June. 

“This team is really closely bonded,” said Nick Madrigal, the No. 4 overall draft pick by the Chicago White Sox. “From the first day I stepped on campus with the seniors I had from my freshman year, it seems like a family atmosphere. That’s the way Oregon State is.” 

Adley Rutschman said, “It’s a short season right now and very few games are left, so I think guys realize that it is kind of all or nothing from this point.” 

Rutschman is batting .429 with a CWS-leading 10 RBIs, the most here in a decade. Not bad for a sophomore catcher from Sherwood. 

“Just to be able to get an opportunity to get to go here twice and now play for another national championship, I feel very fortunate just to be with the team that we have here and just the guys and the character that they all have around them,” Rutschman said. 

The Beavers are playing for more than just each other. 

“I think it’s great for baseball in the Northwest,” said Luke Heimlich, two-time Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year. “You saw UW and OSU here in Omaha and that is a good testament that we have really good baseball in the Northwest and on the west coast. It is fun to be able to represent.” 

Casey said, “Ultimately, nobody cares how many games you win unless you win the last one.” 

The key to victory? You’ve got to keep it loose. 

“We are enjoying every minute of it,” said Cadyn Grenier, the first-round draft pick by the Baltimore Orioles. “Winning or losing, it doesn’t matter so we are going to enjoy every second of it. If that means we go out on top or not, we love each other and we are just going to have some fun.” 

As for the first one? We expect Heimlich, who is due for a quality start, to get the call on short rest in Game 1. The best of three begins Monday at 4 p.m. Pacific time. 

The Beavs are 4-0 against SEC clubs this season, and 6-0 would suit them just fine.  

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