There is an intriguing historical number that suggested Arkansas would likely win the 2018 College World Series over Oregon State. However, history also said you can’t count out a Beavers squad even though it played two more games (read: 18 more innings thrown by its pitching staff) than its opponent before reaching the championship series.

After Oregon State shut out Arkansas 5-0 in Game 3 to win its third national championship, here’s why the Beavers – for the second time – accomplished something that no other college baseball program has in the College World Series:

In the 20 seasons since the NCAA Division I Baseball Championship expanded to 64 teams in 1999, there have been seven College World Series championship matchups between a team that entered the finals 3-0 at the CWS and a team that was 4-1 in Omaha before reaching the finals. In each case, one team swept through its half of the bracket while the other dropped its first or second game, causing it to play five games in order to reach the championship.

The key historical stat: teams that entered the finals with a 3-0 record at the College World Series are 5-2 in those seven championships. Oregon State is responsible for both national championships in which a team with a 4-1 CWS record defeated an opponent with a 3-0 CWS record.

Since the tournament’s expansion to 64 teams, no other school besides Oregon State has played five games to reach the CWS finals, then beaten an opponent that was undefeated in Omaha that season.

Here’s a look at those seven championships.









Year Champion Pre-Finals CWS Record Runner-Up Pre-Finals CWS Record Series Result
2018 Oregon State 4-1 Arkansas 3-0 Oregon State, 2-1
2012 Arizona 3-0 South Carolina 4-1 Arizona, 2-0
2007 Oregon State 3-0 North Carolina 4-1 Oregon State, 2-0
2006 Oregon State 4-1 North Carolina 3-0 Oregon State, 2-1
2003 Rice 3-0 Stanford 4-1 Rice, 2-1
2002 Texas 3-0 South Carolina 4-1 Texas, 1-0
1999 Miami (FL) 3-0 Florida State 4-1 Miami (FL), 1-0

Note: The College World Series expanded from a one-game championship to a best-of-three championship series in 2003.

Andy Wittry has written for SI.com, Sporting News, the Indianapolis Star, Louisville Courier-Journal and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NCAA or its member institutions.

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