Corvallis, Ore. -- Oregon State pitcher Kevin Abel has had a dream of a spring. As only a freshman, the right-hander from San Diego pitched a complete game shutout to win the College World Series, set a CWS record for wins in the tournament, and was named Freshman of the Year by D1Baseball.com.
Now he adds another honor to the constantly increasing list of accolades: Freshman of the Year by Baseball America. The magazine released its' Freshman All-America teams on Wednesday, and named Abel as the best in 2018.
The Beavers' hero in Omaha was 8-1 in his first season in Corvallis, producing a 2.88 ERA in 81 1/3 innings pitched, striking out 108 batters while holding them to a .181 batting average. His performance of the year came against Arkansas in Game 3 of the College World Series, the night after pitching a shutout 8th inning that proved pivotal in OSU's inevitable comeback. In the final game, Abel allowed only two hits, and shut the door on the Razorbacks while propelling the Beavs to their third national title under head coach Pat Casey.
Abel was also named to the College World Series All-Tournament team, having pitched 21 innings and striking out 23 batters, only allowing seven hits and two runs, for a 0.86 ERA.
In 15 of the last 17 seasons, the Beavers have had at least one Freshman All-American. Pitchers Jake Mulholland and Brandon Eisert were two such athletes in 2017. Abel has now been named Freshman of the Year by three different publications following the 2018 season.