Oregon State began the College World Series with a loss to North Carolina, putting it in a situation where another defeat during bracket play would end the Beavers’ season. They’re back in that same scenario after falling 4-1 to Arkansas on Tuesday in Game 1 of the CWS championship series.
Game 1 is final.
We're back at it tomorrow at 4 p.m. PT, live on ESPN. pic.twitter.com/lN54KsMmMN
— Oregon State Baseball (@BeaverBaseball) June 27, 2018
The Beavers (53-12-1) will need to beat the Razorbacks (48-19) twice in a row to claim the NCAA title. Game 2 is set for 4 p.m. PT on Wednesday with the deciding third game, if needed, on tap for Thursday.
— Go Beavs (@BeaverAthletics) June 27, 2018
Oregon State led 1-0 and looked like it was going to add to that lead in the fourth when it put runners on the corners with none out. Tyler Malone grounded into a double play, but Adley Rutschman was called for interference at second base, causing Trevor Larnach — who had scored on the play — to be sent back to third base, then Michael Gretler struck out to end the inning.
Arkansas then scored 4 times in the top of the fifth off left-hander Luke Heimlich, who was nearly untouchable in the first 4 innings before allowing 2 walks, 2 hits and 2 hit batters. He was pulled with one out and then freshman reliever Christian Chamberlain walked the next batter with the bases loaded before striking out the next two.
Chamberlain kept Arkansas from getting any more runs on the board, striking out 11 (while walking 5) with 2 hits allowed in 4 2/3 innings. That tied former Texas pitcher Calvin Schiraldi for most strikeouts in a relief performance in CWS history.
👊 to #34
🔥 Christian Chamberlain 🔥
4.2 IP | 21 BF | 11 K | 2 H | 0 R pic.twitter.com/ojfWhlGwTa
— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) June 27, 2018
But while the Razorbacks couldn’t add to their lead, OSU couldn’t cut into the deficit either. The closest the Beavers got to scoring came in the sixth when, after a two-out single by Steven Kwan, Cadyn Grenier hit one down the right-field line that was called foul but then overturned on replay.
However, the umpires ruled that Kwan could only advance to third base and Grenier must stay at first instead of Grenier at second and Kwan possibly scoring. Nick Madrigal then lined out to second to end the frame.
OSU had come into the championship series averaging 9.6 runs in five previous CWS games, plating 10 or more in three straight contests. The last time the Beavers failed to score at least 2 runs was May 26, the final day of the regular season, when they lost 4-1 at home to UCLA.