The anatomy of Beavers' win streaks
The two longest winning streaks in Division I baseball this year belong to Oregon State.
The top-seeded Beavers (54-4), who open the College World Series at noon Saturday against Cal State Fullerton (39-22), will take the field at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska as winners of 21 consecutive games. OSU closed the regular season with 16 straight victories and has outscored opponents 44-9 during its five NCAA tournament games.
Earlier this year, the Beavers won a program-record 23 in a row from Feb. 25 to April 9, including a 12-0 start in Pac-12 play.
The two streaks have accounted for 44 of the team’s 54 victories, another single-season school record. With a winning percentage of .931, OSU is on pace to break Arizona State’s 45-year-old all-time mark of .914 (the Sun Devils finished 64-6 in 1972).
Below is a breakdown of the Beavers’ winning streaks.
Streak 1, Feb. 25-April 9
Length: 23 games
Runs scored: 136 (5.9 per game)
Runs allowed: 49 (2.1 per game)
One-run games: 6
A loss to Ohio State, which finished 148th in the NCAA RPI, dropped Oregon State to 5-1 early in the season.
The Beavers began the longest winning streak in school history with a 5-2 neutral-site victory over Nebraska, which later came to Oregon for the Corvallis Regional. OSU then got revenge against the Buckeyes to wrap up play in Surprise, Arizona before sweeping consecutive home series with UC Davis and Ball State.
Entering Pac-12 play 14-1 overall, the Beavers outscored Arizona State 16-1 during the three-game set to seize an immediate stranglehold on the conference standings. Starting pitchers Luke Heimlich (eight two-hit innings), Bryce Fehmel (eight innings, one run, four hits) and Jake Thompson (seven two-hit innings) were close to untouchable in the desert.
OSU picked up its first of six walk-off wins at Goss Stadium on March 24, knocking off Arizona 4-3 on a KJ Harrison single that plated Adley Rutschman. The Beavers trailed 3-1 entering the eighth.
One night later, OSU again overcame a deficit and walked off again when Preston Jones scored all the way from second on a wild pitch for a 5-4 win. A comfortable 11-7 decision in the series finale pushed the team to 20-1 overall and 6-0 in Pac-12 play.
The Beavers kept the streak alive with another come-from-behind effort, scoring three times in the ninth to steal a 4-3 victory at Saint Mary’s on March 28. Nick Madrigal collected the game-winning hit, a two-out, two-RBI single with the bases loaded.
Following another road sweep in which the Beavers outscored Stanford 25-8, OSU pulled out a 4-3 road decision at Portland for its 20th win in a row. Rutschman’s two-run single in the sixth put the Beavers in front for good.
A home sweep of Utah — including two more walk-offs — left OSU 28-1 overall (12-0 Pac-12). Steven Kwan hit a game-winning single in the opener while a Rutschman sacrifice fly brought home Jack Anderson for a 5-4, 16-inning victory in Game 2.
The streak finally came to an end April 13, a 3-2 loss at Washington. But the Beavers fought back to win the final two games of the series.
Streak 2, April 30-current
Length: 21 games
Runs scored: 158 (7.5 per game)
Runs allowed: 41 (2.0 per game)
One-run games: 5
After starting the year 28-1, the Beavers went just 5-3 during a two-week span from April 13-29. The rocky patch included a 7-5, 10-inning home loss to USC, which finished in the Pac-12 basement with Arizona State.
Oregon State came back to rout the Trojans 10-1 in the series finale, igniting a winning streak that has yet to end.
A midweek home victory over Oregon followed by a three-game sweep of California put the Beavers on the brink of the Pac-12 championship. After cruising past the Ducks in Game 1 of the Civil War conference series, Mitchell Verburg struck out Ryne Nelson with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth to seal a 5-4 victory and the outright Pac-12 title.
Verburg’s heroics also delivered career win No. 1,000 for coach Pat Casey.
The Beavers blanked Oregon 1-0 to sweep the series and cruised by Portland two days later before coming out flat against Washington State May 19. Trailing 3-2 entering the ninth, Steven Kwan and Jack Anderson drew consecutive base-loaded walks off Cougars closer Scott Sunitsch for a true walk-off.
OSU went on to outscore Washington State 19-3 in the final two games of the series, finishing with the best record in conference history at 27-3.
The streak nearly ended again May 26 against Abilene Christian, the Beavers’ final regular-season opponent. Knotted at 4 in the bottom of the 11th, Anderson knocked in Andy Atwood with a single for the team’s sixth walk-off of the year. Reliever Mitch Hickey proposed to his girlfriend on the Goss Stadium turf immediately following the game.
The Beavers entered the NCAA tournament with a 49-4 record and breezed through the Corvallis Regional, outscoring Holy Cross and Yale by a combined margin of 27-3. Two comfortable wins over Vanderbilt in the Corvallis Super Regional pushed the winning streak to 21 as OSU prepares for its CWS opener.