Infield duo flash leather with style.
OMAHA, Neb. - Oregon State offered the best and the worst of itself defensively Saturday night in beating Cal State-Fullerton 3-2 in an opening game at the College World Series.
First, the play that both coaches felt affected the outcome of the game, a 6-4-3 double play in the fourth inning executed by the Beavers.
`What a spectacular double play,' Titans coach George Horton said.
With one out and a runner on first, Evan McArthur grounded to OSU shortstop Darwin Barney, who had to make an off-balance throw to second baseman Joey Wong. In a relay worthy of the highlight video, Wong caught Barney's throw as the runner was sliding into the base and made the sidearm throw to first baseman Jordan Lennerton to end the inning with the Beavers leading 2-1.
`That gave us a lift,' OSU coach Pat Casey said.
Asked about the enthusiasm for the play expressed by both coaches, Barney expressed some surprise.
`I didn't realize it was such a good play,' he said. `I'm just trying to get the ball to Joey and he's going to make a good turn. I got it off as quickly as I could, (but) that play is tough, catching it on your left foot and throwing off your right, and the transfer (from glove to throwing hand) wasn't perfect."
`It's what you have to do in the infield; it's just that touch feel you have as an infielder.'
Barney was less than pleased with a play in the ninth inning, when OSU was charged with its first error in three games. There were two outs when McArthur lofted a fly to left that Barney went back on, and then turned away from as he heard John Wallace, the left fielder calling `ball, ball,' meaning the outfielder would make the catch.
Instead, Wallace missed with a lunging effort, and the baseball fell to the grass and kept the Titans alive.
`Wallace feels bad on it, but I floated on it and he peeked at me,' Barney said.
The pitching change
OSU starting pitcher Jorge Reyes left after six innings but almost didn't make it that far. After recording the second out of the sixth inning, the freshman right-hander seemed to be trying to stretch his right leg, which prompted OSU pitching coach Dan Spencer and trainer David Stricklin to hustle toward the mound.
`There was kind of a big hole in the mound, and my cleat must have gotten stuck and I felt a little pull,' Reyes said.
He was asked to throw a pitch to test the leg.
`They asked me if I was OK, and I said yes,' Reyes said, which maybe was not quite true.
`I didn't want to go out of the game,' he pleaded in his defense.
As he ended the inning, Reyes again felt slight pain at the top of his calf muscle and, after being tested in the runway behind the dugout as the Beavers batted, Stricklin recommended a pitching change.
`Every time I put my foot down it would tighten up a little bit,' Reyes said of the calf muscle. `We iced it and now it feels good.'
He had warning
Barney, a teammate on the USA team last summer with Cal State-Fullerton pitcher Wes Roemer, received a warning via text message on his cell phone before the game.
`I'm sorry if I have to hit you,' Roemer texted to Barney. `Don't take it personally. I won't throw it hard.'
Sure enough, in the sixth inning with Barney crowding the plate, an inside pitch thudded into his left thigh.
Barney trotted down the line and traded barbs with CSF first baseman Matt Wallach.
`He beaned you because he's scared of you,' Wallach yelled.
`I said, `that is not true,' ' Barney responded.
The missing Beaver
Mike Lissman, who gave the Beavers a 1-0 lead with a homer in the first inning, declined to meet with the media after the game.
He was apparently upset over continuing coverage of his status with the team in light of pleading guilty to theft for improper use of funds belonging to a relative.
Though his mother was convicted of a felony - because more money was involved - Lissman's case was handled as a misdemeanor, and after entering a guilty plea, Lissman was sentenced to probation and community service.
OSU took no official action against the senior.
`I wish that everybody could sit down and have all the information,' Casey said. `I'm not able to share those things with you.
"That's a family situation that they're involved with.'
Asked specificially about Lissman not being suspended over the matter, Casey said `I have no comment.'
A Duck presence
Dave Heeke, the former associate director of athletics at Oregon, is a regular presence on the field and in the press box at Rosenblatt Stadium.
When Heeke took over 18 months ago as the AD at Central Michigan, he also inherited a spot on the NCAA baseball committee. In that role, he was one of the 10 committee members who selected the field and set the bracket, and here at the World Series, Heeke helps administer the event.
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|Title Annotation:||Sports; Barney and Wong turn dazzling double play in fourth inning for big lift|
|Publication:||The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)|
|Date:||Jun 17, 2007|
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