A drama-filled bloop single scores the winning run for Kent State
June 11, 2012
EUGENE –With its season on the line, the University of Oregon baseball team fell just a few feet short of reaching the College World Series for the first time in six decades Monday night at PK Park.
By scoring in the bottom of the ninth, Kent State earned its first berth in the CWS with a 3-2 win over Oregon in the deciding game of the best-of-three series over the Ducks.
Jimmy Rider drove in the winning run with a shallow pop fly that landed just inside the left-field foul line in the bottom of the ninth to score Derek Toadvine from second to make the Golden Flashes the first team from the Mid-American Conference since 1976 to qualify for the CWS.
Oregon finished its season at 46-19 in the third year since the program was restarted. Oregon last reached the CWS in 1954.
Rider's hit off Oregon closer Jimmie Sherfy fell just out of the reach of shortstop J.J. Altobelli and left fielder Brett Thomas, who appeared to lose track of the ball when it was hit.
OREGON 3, KENT STATE 2
Jake Reed battled back after allowing two early runs, and so did the rest of the teammates as No. 10 Oregon kept its College World Series hopes alive with a 3-2 victory at PK Park on Sunday night.
With the Super Regional series even at one game apiece, the rubber game that will determine which club travels to Omaha is unofficially scheduled for 4 p.m. PT on Monday at PK Park. An announcement of the official game time will be released Monday morning.
Reed (8-4) helped Oregon halt Kent State’s 21-game win streak by holding the Golden Flashes (45-18) to two runs on five hits and two walks, while fanning six in six and 2/3 innings. After surrendering a run in the fourth, the La Mesa, Calif., native retired nine consecutive batters until giving up a two-out single to Derek Toadvine in the bottom of the seventh.
The Ducks (46-18) trailed 2-0 entering seventh, but Oregon finally put the pressure on Kent State starter Ryan Bores, as a wild inning allowed UO to turn a two-run deficit into a one-run, 3-2, advantage.
Ryon Healy started the rally with his second hit of the game, roping a single into center field. Brett Thomas followed with a single into left field that troubled Kent State’s Alex Miklos, allowing Healy to score and Thomas to move to second. With a runner in scoring position, Kyle Garlick was walked, but Ryan Hambright delivered a game-tying RBI single that found a hole through the right side.
With runners on the corners and just one out, Kent State elected to go to its bullpen, and brought Michael Kent to the mound. With Brett Hambright at the plate, Oregon orchestrated the squeeze as the bunt down proved problematic, allowing Garlick to score the go-ahead run.
Feb. 27, 2012 / By Steven Masters, oregonsports.com
As baseball season ramps up, the former Portland Beavers are still in transition on where to call home.
Currently, it's Tucson, Ariz.,
The former Beavers might be in Lake Elsinore, Calif., next year, but that's contingent on stadium development, and the Beavers, now the Tucson Padres, have been there before.
When Merritt Paulson bought the Beavers in 2007, he was the team's fourth owner since it moved from Albuquerque, N.M., in 2000. Paulson also bought the Portland Timbers, who quickly became the prize of the Beavers/Timbers combo originally created by Portland Family Entertainment in 2000.
As part of the Timbers move to Major League Soccer in time for the 2011 season, the Beavers became a team looking for a home, first in the Southeast Portland Lents neighborhood, then Beaverton, then Vancouver, Wash., then even to a new stadium that would be built on the site of Memorial Coliseum.
Nothing worked, so Paulson sold the team to San Diego Padres owner Jeff Moorad, who envisioned the team settling at the Lake Elsinore, located between Los Angeles and San Diego. The team would replace the Class A Storm.
Moorad moved the Beavers to Tucson temporarily as Lake Elsinore improved its stadium in time for 2013, but funding plans are on hold and Moorad may sell the team … to an owner with a new plan for where the franchise should reside.
The Tucson Padres were 65-79 last season, tied for third in the Pacific Southern Division, 23 games behind Sacramento.
Watching all the people streaming off MAX Monday afternoon, I could only imagine how tough it was for diehard baseball fans to accept the reality the Portland Beavers were on their way somewhere else.
There’s one fan, in particular, that it must have hit harder than anyone else at PGE Park – Merritt Paulson, the team’s owner.
And, if you want to blame anyone for the team’s upcoming move, blame him.
You have to recognize him for being a smart business owner, too.
Paulson showed up in Portland in 2007 after having tried to buy a Class A team in Petaluma, California, a deal that involved the city assisting in building a $10 million stadium on the county fairgrounds. City leaders were on board, but the deal broke down over the $250,000 the fairgrounds would have needed to give up annually for 25 years.
So, Paulson, the son of former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, bought the Beavers and Timbers instead, likely thinking PGE Park would continue to be a good home for the Timbers and the city only needed an inspired owner to help build a new baseball stadium.
The soccer part happened. The baseball part didn’t. So, the Beavers are headed elsewhere – probably California, and at a profit for Paulson. Blame him for that.
You can’t blame him for not trying to get that new stadium built – at three different locations in the metropolitan area. Portland, and Beaverton, just didn’t want to build it. That’s civic leaders and ultimately residents opposing all three. If the city had more baseball fans, a stadium would have happened.
Ultimately, a business owner gets the blame for a business moving or folding. Paulson tried, it didn’t happen and the next move is the team moving because Portland is not a Triple A town.
Portland needs a Major League Baseball stadium to lure an MLB team, not a smaller stadium to lure a Triple A team. If minor league baseball returns to Portland, it’ll be to the Portland area, likely Beaverton, which would build a stadium to attract a team.
Paulson, of course, did get a stadium built for the Timbers because the stadium already existed – Multnomah/Civic Stadium/PGE Park, which is never going to get replaced in the lifetime of anyone reading this. Archeologists 3,000 years from now won’t have to dig it up because it’ll still be in the open air, like the Pyramids.
PGE Park needed a much smaller effort by civic leaders to be renovated into a soccer stadium, so that happened. Paulson chose soccer over baseball because Portland is a soccer town more than it is a minor league baseball town. Paying customers say it is.
If the Beavers had more paying customers, civic leaders would have had the support they needed to help build a new stadium. But, that’s not the case. So, Paulson chose soccer over baseball – as a business owner.
Paulson showed up in Portland as a baseball fan, and is remaining as a soccer team owner. A pro sports team owned by someone who lives here. There’s some significant respect that goes along with that. The Blazers don’t have that. The Winterhawks don’t have that.
And, he didn’t just walk away and let someone else take care of the teams, which is what happened with Portland Family Entertainment, the locally-owned organization that pushed for PGE Park to get renovated in time for the 2001 season. When baseball fans, mostly the more wealthy ones who were needed to purchase those “luxury” boxes, didn’t show up, their financial resources dried up and they just … walked away.
So, the Beavers are going to leave – for the third time, and are probably never going to return. Paulson’s got to feel miserable about that and his role in it. But, he’s still here.
And, hey, maybe he’ll try to become a civic leader and run on a platform of bringing Major League Baseball to town. Now, that would be a real gauge of the public’s interest in baseball.