Beavers' Nickerson named Most Outstanding Player
OMAHA, Neb. -- After pitching in three games in eight days, Jonah Nickerson was named Most Outstanding Player in the College World Series.
|How Oregon State pitcher Jonah Nickerson, the Most Outstanding Player of the College World Series, fared while pitching in three elimination games in eight days at the College World Series|
|June 19 vs. Georgia*||7||4||2||114|
|June 22 vs. Rice*||7 2/3||2||0||109|
|June 26 vs. UNC||6 2/3||6||2||100|
|* earned victory|
"To come back wasn't too challenging to me," the junior right-hander said. "I just had to put the tiredness in the back of my head."
A seventh-round pick of the Detroit Tigers, Nickerson pitched 6 2/3 innings in Monday night's 3-2 title-clinching victory over North Carolina. He allowed six hits and struck out seven.
"I think the heart really showed for this team, fighting back," Nickerson said. "You couldn't ask for any more."
The Beavers did fight back -- six times. They lost 11-1 to Miami in their opening game in Omaha. Oregon State then won four straight to earn a spot in the championship series. After losing Game 1 on Saturday, they staved off elimination twice more, in large part because of Nickerson.
"The MVP is a great bonus," Nickerson said. "Without this team I'm not even going to be recognized for this trophy. But it feels great to get this honor."
Five Beavers players and three Tar Heels made the all-tournament team.
Catcher: Tim Federowicz, North Carolina
First base: Bill Rowe, Oregon State
Second base: Justin Turner, Cal State Fullerton
Third base: Shea McFeely, Oregon State
Shortstop: Josh Horton, North Carolina
Outfield: Danny Dorn, Cal State Fullerton
Outfield: Cole Gillespie, Oregon State
Outfield: Jay Cox, North Carolina
Designated hitter: David Cooper, Cal State Fullerton
Pitcher: Nickerson, Oregon State
Pitcher: Kevin Gunderson, Oregon State
Oregon State can thank its solid defense for helping it win the national championship.
The Beavers went 51 1/3 innings without an error before shortstop Darwin Barney threw wildly to first on Jay Cox's grounder leading off the fourth. Before that. Oregon State hadn't committed and error since the sixth inning of a 5-3 win over Georgia on June 19.
Oregon State finished the CWS with a .987 fielding percentage, the best for a champion since Miami also fielded .987 in 2001.
After starting the season 12-7, the Beavers went 38-9 since March 24. ... Oregon State is only the second team to play eight games in a single CWS, joining Stanford in 2003. ... The Beavers were the first team to win six elimination games and the first to lose twice in a single CWS and win the national title. ... The Beavers are the sixth Pacific-10 team to win a national title, joining Arizona, Arizona State, California, Stanford and Southern California. ... Eleven of the 16 CWS games were decided by two runs or fewer, setting a tournament record. ... Pitchers drafted in the first round of the major league draft were 1-5 in seven games against Oregon State this season.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press