OMAHA, Neb. — Wednesday’s elimination game was the seventh all-time meeting between the North Carolina and Oregon State baseball programs.
The third-seeded Beavers (51-11-1) extended their lead in the series to 5-2 with an 11-6 come-from-behind victory over No. 6 North Carolina (44-20). OSU will play another do-or-die game at noon Friday against Mississippi State at TD Ameritrade Park.
Here is a chronological look at the seven clashes between OSU and UNC, all of which have come at the College World Series.
June 24, 2006: North Carolina 4, Oregon State 3
With both teams making their CWS finals debut, Cole Gillespie gave OSU a 3-2 lead in the sixth inning with a two-run homer. Gillespie’s blast was immediately followed by a 77-minute rain delay at Rosenblatt Stadium.
UNC tied it after the break on a Seth Williams RBI single and grabbed the lead in the eighth when Chad Flack tripled and scored on a passed ball. Closer Andrew Carignan got the final two outs for his 15th save of the year, leaving the Tar Heels one victory away from their first national title.
June 25, 2006: Oregon State 11, North Carolina 7
Down 5-0 after three and a half innings, OSU exploded for seven runs in the fourth to seize the lead. Bill Rowe, a current undergraduate assistant coach, smashed a three-run homer that put the Beavers up 7-5.
OSU plated four more runs in the sixth as UNC failed to make plays on a pair of bunts. Kevin Gunderson pitched the final 5⅓ innings, setting up a winner-take-all final game of the best-of-3 championship series.
June 26, 2006: Oregon State 3, North Carolina 2
The Beavers scored two runs on UNC errors, including a poor throw by second baseman Bryan Steed that allowed Rowe to come home for the winning run in the bottom of the eighth. Rowe had drawn a two-out walk and advanced to second on a Tyler Graham single.
Jonah Nickerson, Dallas Buck and Gunderson all turned in heroic pitching performances to seal OSU’s first national title. The Beavers set a CWS record by winning six elimination games.
June 23, 2007: Oregon State 11, North Carolina 4
In a CWS championship series rematch, the Beavers plated three early runs and rode a solid pitching performance from freshman Jorge Reyes to cruise past UNC. The Tar Heels had won three straight elimination games to reach the finals while OSU breezed through its CWS bracket.
Both teams recorded 12 hits, but the Beavers took advantage of two UNC errors while scoring four seventh-inning runs without a hit. Jordan Lennerton’s two-run homer in the second gave OSU a lead it would never surrender.
June 24, 2007: Oregon State 9, North Carolina 3
Riding a nine-game winning streak, the Beavers captured their second consecutive national title with another dominant performance. OSU, the first back-to-back champion in a decade, became the first team to win four CWS games by six or more runs.
Texas (1949-50), USC (1970-74), Stanford (1987-88), LSU (1996-97), OSU (2006-07) and South Carolina (2010-11) are the only schools to secure consecutive CWS titles. Despite finishing Pac-10 play in a tie for sixth, the Beavers got hot in the postseason to defend their crown.
June 16, 2018: North Carolina 8, Oregon State 6
After 11 years off, OSU and UNC renewed their rivalry last week to open the 2018 CWS. This time the Beavers were sloppy as the Tar Heels snapped a four-game losing streak in the series.
OSU fought back from a 5-1 hole but couldn’t overcome its numerous miscues. The Beavers did regroup with a 14-5 victory over Washington to set up Wednesday’s rematch.
June 20, 2018: Oregon State 11, North Carolina 6
In what was potentially the wildest game of the seven meetings, OSU rallied from a late 6-3 deficit to score the final eight runs while a light rain fell at TD Ameritrade Park. Adley Rutschman delivered the big blow, a bases-clearing triple in the eighth that tied the score.
UNC was in great position to steal another win after leadoff batter Kyle Datres belted a two-run homer in the sixth. But the Tar Heels fell apart down the stretch, much like their teams from a decade ago.