Omaha, Neb. -- There was a magic mist in the air in the last two innings at TD Ameritrade Park. A mist that made Oregon State baseball players feel back home in Corvallis. Despite trailing the middle innings of the game, the Beavers put on an offensive showcase in the top of the 8th and 9th innings to defeat the University of North Carolina 11-6 to advance in the College World Series. The win, for the most part, could be traced back to the heroics of their catcher, the one known as 'The Clutchman'.
Adley Rutschman along with shortstop Cadyn Grenier homered in the first inning to put the Beavs up on the Tar Heels 2-0, which was then followed up by an RBI by outfielder Trevor Larnach an inning later. But the third inning has been a struggle for OSU this entire tournament, and, once again, the Pac-12 pitcher of the year, Luke Heimlich, got into trouble. The left handed ace only last 2 and 2/3rd innings, one of his two shortest starts of the year. Both came in the College World Series. Both came to North Carolina.
The Tar Heels eventually stretched their lead to 3, 6-3, deep into the game, until it came to the top of the 8th and six outs. There, the rally was on. The bases loaded up for Adley Rutschman, who once again performed in the tightest of spots, clearing the bases on a deep ball to center right field that bounced up against the wall for a double. With the game tied 6-6, the Beavers loaded the bags again for Jack Anderson, who took a walk. Rutschman strutted across the plate to take a 7-6 lead.
Jake Mulholland gave relief late in the game, keeping North Carolina at bay with a one run lead in the bottom of the 8th, and then the Beaver bats came alive yet again. In the top of the 9th, Trevor Larnach hit a rope up the middle to bring home second baseman Nick Madrigal, who opened the inning with a double. That was followed up by a two run moonshot of a homerun from infielder Tyler Malone, extending the lead to 10-6. Outfielder Preston Jones came across the plate later in the inning to dust things up at 11-6.
Then, in the bottom of the 9th, Mulholland slammed the door shut on the Tar Heels. A flyout to right ended things in Omaha, and the Beavers saw themselves pulled back from the brink yet again to move on in the College World Series. Next up is Mississippi State, who defeated Washington 1-0 on a walk-off before pounding UNC 12-2 in the second round. That game will be broadcast on ESPN on Friday, June 22nd, at 12:00 pm P.T.
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