Beavers gear up for Michigan


Back in the NCAA Super Regionals for the third straight year, the Oregon State Beavers have already experienced trouble &

and overcome it.

The defending national champion Beavers (42-18) face Michigan on Saturday at Goss Stadium in the first of a best-of-three series.

The Wolverines (42-17) upset top-ranked Vanderbilt in the Nashville Regional 4-3 in 10 innings on Monday to advance. It is the first time since 1984 that Michigan has made it out of the first round.

The Beavers won three elimination games in the span of about 24 hours, capped by a 7-3 victory over Virginia on Tuesday, to win the Charlottesville Regional and advance to the Super Regionals for the third straight year.

On Wednesday, the Beavers took the day off to get some rest and prepare for next week's final exams.

The scrappy Beavers have won nine straight elimination games over two seasons &

three coming in Charlottesville after the six elimination games the Beavers won in Omaha to win the College World Series.

"I think our experience helped us out a lot. We have had guys who have been in these games before, and I was able to watch from the dugout, so we have all experienced the emotions before," said Oregon State third baseman Lonnie Lechelt.

Michigan, the Big Ten champions, last went to the College World Series in 1984. The Wolverines won national titles in 1953 and 1962.

Coming off of victories over the top-ranked team in the nation, on their home field, the Wolverines are ready to go return to Omaha.

"I told them we're two games away from our dream," Michigan coach Rick Maloney told The Detroit News. "We have a chance. We have momentum and we're playing with a lot of energy. I'm so proud of them. This puts us on the national spectrum."

Oregon State has defeated Michigan twice in the only meetings between the two teams, both in Riverside, Calif., in 2002.

The Beavers, who finished tied for sixth in the Pac-10, won an at-large bid into the tournament after winning two of three against UCLA in the final weekend of the regular season. They were on shaky ground after losing seven of nine games before facing the Bruins on the road.

Last year, Oregon State became the first team from the Pacific Northwest to win the College World Series. The team had a 50-16 record. It was the school's first national championship since the men's cross country team won a title in 1961.

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