THE GAME AT A GLANCE
Turning Point: Oregon State strung together four consecutive hits–and five in all–during the third inning, chasing Miami starter Carlos Gutierrez before he could record an out. The rally put the Beavers ahead 5-0 and took away the short game from the Hurricanes’ offensive arsenal, limiting their attack.
The Hero: Sophomore righthander Mike Stutes made the third start of the College World Series, but no Beavers pitcher threw more effectively. He limited Miami to one run and four hits over 6 1/3 innings, his only miscue coming on a seventh-inning solo home run by Dennis Raben.
You May Not Have Noticed: Miami’s offense had been rolling through the NCAA tournament largely because of its ability to get leadoff runners on base and then get them home. Of the first 30 Hurricanes leadoff batters to reach in the tournament, 23 had scored. Oregon State didn’t allow a Miami leadoff batter to reach in this game.
OMAHA–Not everyone gets second chances.
Mike Stutes and Oregon State were
fortunate enough to have that opportunity, and each made the most of
the chance Tuesday in front of a session-record 26,241 spectators at
Stutes, an Oregon high school star who
spent his freshman year at Santa Clara, pitched his home-state school
to an 8-1 win against Miami, reversing the outcome of the first game
between the two teams at the College World Series.
The rematch played out in nearly the
opposite fashion as the first game between the two teams. Miami led
7-0 after five innings Saturday before winning 11-1. This time,
Oregon State went ahead 7-0 after five innings.
“I’m very proud of our club to
come out and play such a good of a club as Miami,” Oregon State
coach Pat Casey said. “Each of us, to a man, told ourselves we
were a better club than we played on opening day (against Miami), and
we wanted to come back and prove it.”
Oregon State won the game that meant
more, as its win came in an elimination game. It marked second
straight victory for the Beavers, who lost the first five CWS games
in school history. They now must beat Rice twice, with the first game
Wednesday night at about 8:30 p.m. ET.
Stutes held Miami (42-24) to one run on
four hits over 6 1/3 innings. He walked one batter and struck out
three to improve to 8-2.
“He had great stuff, locating and
getting ahead of hitters,” said Miami center fielder Jon Jay,
who went 0-for-4 with a strikeout. “He did a great job of
holding us down.”
Stutes won a state title and was named
played of the year for Lake Oswego (Ore.) High in 2004, but chose to
attend Santa Clara over Oregon State because he wanted a change of
“He was great in high school, and
we recruited him but he didn’t want to come to our place,” Casey
said with a smile. “I don’t know what the heck he was thinking
Stutes went 4-5, 5.40 in 58 innings as
a freshman at Santa Clara and then watched Oregon State advance to
the College World Series.
“I was watching the games (on TV)
in the Cape (Cod League),” said Stutes. “I played in the same high school conference with Jonah
(Nickerson) and Cole Gillespie, I had my release and I was calling
Darwin Barney all the time, talking about coming to Oregon State.
“This makes that dream even more real being part of this team at the
College World Series. That was a goal at the beginning of the year.”
Choosing Oregon State wasn’t an easy
decision for Stutes. Louisiana State, Long Beach State and Texas
Christian all offered him a spot in their rotations, while OSU
returned its top three starters from its 2005 CWS team in Dallas
Buck, Jonah Nickerson and Anton Maxwell. He overtook Maxwell for the
third starter’s role April 13 against Stanford and held the Cardinal
to three hits and no runs in 5 2/3 innings.
Stutes followed a strong performance by
Jonah Nickerson that weekend against Stanford, and did the same a day
after Nickerson allowed two runs on four hits over seven innings
Oregon State (46-15) made Stutes’ job easier by
scoring once before he took the mound and then extending the lead
with four runs in the third inning. That chased Miami starter Carlos
Gutierrez (9-7), who allowed four runs on four hits and recorded just
All nine Oregon State batters notched a
hit in Monday’s 5-3 win against Georgia, and that balance continued
against Miami as eight of the nine batters notched hits, six scored
runs and five picked up RBIs.
“We knew we could hit,” said
catcher Mitch Canham, who drove in two runs and led the team with
three RBIs. “We knew we had that in us.”
Senior first baseman Bill Rowe, who
batted in the lower third of the order in the first two CWS games
against lefthanded starters, moved back to the cleanup spot and added
two hits, two runs and two RBIs. That Rowe’s best game of the CWS
came with Stutes on the mound was fitting, as he followed the same
path as Stutes back to Corvallis.
The Ashland, Ore., native spent his
first three seasons at UC Santa Barbara before deciding to transfer
closer to home for his final season. Rowe’s .335 average, 21 doubles
and 48 RBIs helped replace Andy Jenkins in the lineup.
“Mike and I both agree that being
here is better than sitting at home on the couch and watching on
ESPN,” said Rowe, who drove in the game’s first run. “It’s
just great to be here as part of the team.”