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 Rosenblatt Stadium.
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 scenery.
"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 about."
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 six outs.
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."