Beavers cut down UNC

Monday, June 25, 2007
Oregon State players celebrated Sunday after defeating North Carolina 9-3 at the College World Series in Omaha, Neb. (ERIC FRANCIS ~ Associated Press)

OMAHA, Neb. -- Oregon State became the first team in a decade to repeat as College World Series champion, completing a dominant run through the tournament with a 9-3 victory over North Carolina on Sunday night.

The Beavers (49-18) won all five of their CWS games, including a sweep of the Tar Heels in the best-of-three finals, and trailed for only one of 45 innings they played in Omaha.

North Carolina was runner-up for the second straight year after the first CWS finals rematch since Arizona State and USC met in 1973. Oregon State is the first back-to-back champion since LSU in 1996 and 97 and the fifth overall.

Darwin Barney's two-run homer gave the Beavers the lead in the second inning of the decisive game. Jordan Lennerton hit his second homer in two nights, a two-run shot in the eighth.

North Carolina starter Luke Putkonen (8-2) lasted just 1 2/3 innings, leaving after Barney lined his homer over the left-field wall.

The Tar Heels (57-16) didn't get much going against Oregon State's steady pitching and solid defense, and were shut down whenever they appeared on the verge of a big inning.

Mark Grbavac and Joe Paterson combined to retire the last seven North Carolina batters. Paterson got a called third strike against pinch-hitter Kyle Shelton to end the game and send the Beavers sprinting out of their dugout for the celebratory pile.

"It's crazy. It's just crazy," Oregon State coach Pat Casey said. "I just felt like we were going to win. There is something in that dugout."

The Beavers, who were nearly left out of the 64-team national tournament field after struggling in the Pacific-10 Conference, finished the season with 10 straight wins and became the first to win four CWS games by six runs or more.

The Beavers lost six position players, two-thirds of their starting rotation and the closer from last year's team. They went 4-8 in May and finished tied for sixth in the Pacific-10 Conference.

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