The Oregon State bench explodes after seeing Trevor Larnach's home run land in the right field bullpen.

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CWS: Day Eleven In Pictures

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Well, what’s the deal? You still breathin’?

After that Holy Carpe Diem moment, or rather momentSSS, this game left just about everybody in the stadium completely speechless. Well, except the Beaver fans who were left with frayed voice boxes. Did you see that finish? It may have been one for the ages. Now do you see why you can’t say it’s over until the fat lady sings? Well she certainly grabbed the microphone and then cleared her throat and was about to bellow out a ringing tune. Until, that is, that Oregon State said “put a lid on it fat lady” with a ninth inning rally. 

As you StitchHeads know, the baseball gods are fickle as hell. For most of this CWS championship series the Oregon State Beavers had been some kind of snakebitten. Be it by mental mistakes, or by base running blunders or by physical errors on defense. Also, in both the first two games the Beavs found themselves in a first and third with no outs situation, only to not score a single run in either case. In game one it was a runner’s interference call that wiped out a run and then in today’s game two it was a popped-up bunt and relay/tag out at third that ended another rally. 

But after suffering a tough call or two tonight, maybe the baseball gods finally smiled down on the Beavers. If they come back and win game three tomorrow night, tonight’s raucous ninth inning may go down in College World Series lore. 

Down to their last strike. a pop-up down the right field line lands between three Razorback defenders, giving OSU new life. I have to admit to you guys, when Grenier’s foul ball left the bat, I was looking through the lens of my camera and it was pointed right at the Arkansas bench.. figuring they were just about to charge out of the dugout and spill onto the field to form the championship dog pile. So I never did see how close they came to ending the game. Or how they SHOULD have caught that ball.

Aaron Fitt got a good pic of the drop into the Bermuda Triangle…

https://d1baseball.com/college-world-series/stunned-hogs-try-to-regroup/

Well we all saw what Cadyn Grenier did with his extended life in that at-bat, zipping an RBI single to the outfield and tying the game at 3-3. But boy howdy, that inning was not done. Grenier’s game-tying single was followed by that epic two-run yard call by Trevor Larnach. And 90% of the stadium went silent while 10% of the stadium went psychotic. 

The switch in yells from the two fan bases was one of the more bizarre occurrences I have experienced here in Omaha. From a deafening roar to a small, but hardy group of Beaver fans screaming… including the bench going absolutely nuts.

And as my good bud Ryan McGee of ESPN fame said, be wary of the body language and mental makeup on Arkansas for game three. This is one of those rallies that is eerily similar to Fresno State in 2008. The Bulldogs had to play five games in the bracket round while Georgia played just three games. And then, the Wonderdogs lost game one of the title series, before rebounding to win the next two. 

Will we see a repeat of that tomorrow? Stay tuned.

And I mean, stay tuned VERY close and DO NOT turn that dial or go into the kitchen for a Hot Pocket. This series can turn on a dime. Just like we all saw tonight. 

Here are some visuals for you… 

 

The great cross-eyed one! Benny Beaver was on hand today to help get the Beavers fired up to win game two.

 

Arkansas starter Kacey Murphy was an early beacon in a pitch of darkness. He lasted 4.1 innings, giving up two runs on six hits without registering a walk.

 

Despite beating their chests in unison the Beavers didn’t play like they were on the same page early on.

 

The Oregon State infield watches from the light as Brandon Eisert warms up after a lackluster performance from starter Bryce Fehmel.

 

Trevor Larnach’s first inning single was made possible by this oddly-bending bat.

 

The Beaver bench reacts to another call that just did not go their way early on.

 

Adley Rutschman is now 14-of-26 with seven walks in the CWS, including this solo shot home run in the fourth inning that tied things at one each.

 

… but in the bottom of the fifth inning Casey Martin slid into home just before the tag of Adley Rutschman to help put the Hogs back in the lead. I actually thought this answer to Rutschman’s home run was going to be the catalyst for Arkansas to dominate the remainder of the game and lead to a national title.

 

It’s time to start slapping fives.The Razorbacks had an answer for OSU’s 2-1 lead in the fifth inning. I thought the game was in the books after that two-run bottom of the fifth inning.

 

Things went from “great” to “even better” for Arkansas when an inning later Michael Gretler was doubled up off third base after OSU had men at 1st and 3rd with zero out in the sixth.

 

Under the constant harassment of the Razorback fans, it’s amazing OSU’s center fielder Preston Jones was able to concentrate and hold onto this fly ball.

 

Down to their last out, these Arkansas ladies were confidently dancing in anticipation of their Razorbacks winning a national title… either that or they just enjoyed preening for my camera. You go girls!

 

… but then, Trevor Larnach put a mighty swing on a Matt Cronin pitch and watched the ball laser toward the outfield wall in right.

 

The OSU boys just explode when they see the home run ball crash into the bullpen in right field. (Yes, this photo was also mine)

 

Sure enough, the Twins draftee had connected on his 19th circuit clout of the season, leading to his primal scream around second base.

 

That sent his Beaver buddies into a frenzy awaiting the conquering hero at home plate with a 5-3 lead in the 9th inning.

 

As Larnach heads toward home his teammates are ready to mob him.

 

Let the mobbing start. Larnach touches home and sets off a huge ninth inning celebration of one of the most improbably come-from-behind wins in College World Series history.

 

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