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Oregon State wins College World Series with a freshman pitcher throwing a shutout

Pitcher Kevin Abel should keep the tape from this one.

NCAA Baseball: College World Series Championship-Arkansas vs Oregon State Luke Franke-USA TODAY Sports

We knew this game would be fun. Oregon State topped Arkansas, 5-0, to take Game 3 of the College World Series final round and in so doing won themselves their third national championship since 2006.

Oregon State opened the night’s scoring in the bottom of the first, plating two batters off of Arkansas defensive miscues. The first of those scores came thanks to the bat of Adley Rutschman, who chopped a hard one through the 3-6 hole and Arky third baseman Casey Martin couldn’t haul it in. Rutschman came into the game batting .402, by the way, and Martin’s throwing error just later in the frame scored the Beavs’ second run. Tough start for Martin.

That frame dinged up Arkansas starter Isaiah Campbell a bit. Campbell, a freshman, pitched five and a third innings of shutdown work to help the Hogs eliminate Florida earlier last week, and after a shaky first inning calmed down to seat the OSU side in the bottom of the second.

Let’s pause to appreciate Rutschman for a second, though. He batted in another runner in the top of the third to break the College World Series record for hits in a tournament with 16 assists. That’s 13 RBI in eight games at the highest level of college baseball. That’s nearly two RBI per game on average. In Omaha. That’s insane.

Again, it was only the top of the third inning.

The game fell well quiet after that, with Oregon State plating two more in the third and fifth, respectively, and Arkansas building mild threats that never really broke through.

Oregon State starter Kevin Abel threw the game of his life.

He hurled all the way into the ninth inning. He threw 23 pitches THE NIGHT BEFORE THIS GAME. He’s a freshman.

He threw 129 pitches, 82 of which were strikes. He allowed just two hits, which is a College World Series record low. Again: he’s only a freshman, and he pitched a complete game shutout.

A. COMPLETE. GAME. SHUTOUT. FROM A FRESHMAN.

Oregon State’s celebration was appropriately feral.

A stout performance in a three game series from a stout club that’s hovered around the upper crust of college baseball’s ranks all season. Well earned, and well deserved.