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June 23, 2007
OMAHA, Neb. - When Oregon State fought its way to a national title last season, Jorge Reyes was probably sitting in his Warden, Wash., home dreaming of playing for a national title in his first season with the Beavers.
At the time, Reyes' dream seemed obtainable but unlikely with the Beavers losing several key players from last year's team.
Just a year later, the freshman's dream has become a reality.
Reyes put together his second impressive start of the College World Series, leading the Beavers to an 11-4 win over North Carolina in game one of the CWS Finals.
"We received a huge start from Jorge Reyes and getting on the board early kind off took some pressure off him," Oregon State coach Pat Casey said. "We're getting several huge performances and we always talk about guys stepping up."
Much like his first start against Cal State Fullerton, Reyes displayed composure and confidence against a hot-hitting North Carolina team.
Perhaps a trip to Thursday's pre-finals press conference provided a boost.
"When I went to the press conference yesterday, the national title trophy was right there and I just really wanted it," he said. "I'm just glad that I could give our team a chance to win. Being in this situation never gets old."
The confident freshman finished the game allowing three runs on eight hits in 6 1/3 innings of work. He also struck out three and walked one.
From North Carolina's viewpoint, Reyes did a good job of locating his fastball while also showing composure.
"He was throwing his fastball for strikes and was also going inside and outside the zone with his pitches," UNC outfielder Reid Fronk said. "There's not one thing you can really point to, he just went right at us with his pitches."
With the CWS Finals lead on the line, Reyes didn't perform like a freshman ? he showed qualities of a seasoned veteran.
While the freshman right-hander led the way on the mound, OSU first baseman Jordan Lennerton led the way at the plate.
Lennerton went 2-for-4 with a home run, two runs scored and two RBIs.
Leadoff hitter Chris Hopkins and second baseman Joey Wong each had two hits in the game, while third baseman Lonnie Lechelt put together a clutch performance.
Lechelt finished the night 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles and two runs scored.
OSU shoots for its second-straight national title Sunday night.
"We're well aware that you have to win two games, so we're going to enjoy this win for about 10 minutes and then focus on Sunday's game," Casey said.