OMAHA, Neb. — Freshman Jorge Reyes led Oregon State to within one win of its second straight College World Series title with another strong pitching performance and the Beavers beat North Carolina 11-4 in Game 1 on Saturday night.
North Carolina, which won three straight elimination games to set up a rematch of last year’s championship series, needs to win twice more to keep Oregon State from becoming the first back-to-back national champion since LSU in 1996-97.
Reyes (7-3), allowed eight hits and three runs in 6 1-3 innings to win for the second time in the CWS and third time in the NCAA tournament.
The Tar Heels (57-15), who have come from behind to win five games in the NCAA tournament, couldn’t rally against Oregon State (48-18), which is 41-0 when leading after seven innings. And the pitching problems that plagued North Carolina early in the tournament appeared to return.
North Carolina freshman Alex White (6-7) gave up eight hits and five runs in 5 1-3 innings and lost for the second time in the CWS. He was rocked by Rice last Sunday.
Oregon State and North Carolina are playing the first title-series rematch since Arizona State and Southern California met in 1973. A year ago, the Tar Heels won Game 1, then the Beavers won two straight for their first national championship.
The Beavers have won all four of their CWS games and 10 of their last 11 overall.
Reyes gave up a double to Reid Fronk on the first pitch of the game, but held the Tar Heels scoreless until the fifth.