OMAHA, Neb. -- Freshman Jorge Reyes gave Oregon State another strong pitching performance, leading the defending champion Beavers to an 11-4 win over North Carolina in Game 1 of the College World Series championship Saturday night.
North Carolina, which won three straight elimination games to set up a rematch in the final, will need to win twice more to keep Oregon State (48-18) from becoming the first back-to-back national champion since LSU in 1996-97.
The Beavers have won all four of their CWS games and 10 of their last 11 overall.
The Tar Heels (57-15), who have come from behind to win five games in the NCAA tournament, couldn't rally against an Oregon State team that is 41-0 when leading after seven innings.
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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.
North Carolina freshman Alex White (6-7) lost for the second time in the CWS. He was rocked by Rice last Sunday, and he gave up eight hits and five runs in 5 1-3 innings on Saturday.
• CROWD FAVORITE: With North Carolina's campus in Chapel Hill 1,234 miles away and Oregon State's campus in Corvallis 1,673 miles away, Omaha would seem to be a truly neutral site for the CWS finals.
But judging by crowd reaction and amount of orange worn in the stands, Oregon State seems the local favorite.
"They play small ball, and they do all the little things right -- that's why," said 25-year-old Blake Armanees of Kansas City, Mo. "I didn't go to Oregon State or anything thing like that. But I've watched them for the past few years, and they've been dead-set on doing the little things right."
• SHORT HOPS: White made a great sliding catch on Mike Lissman's pop foul in the first inning. With the ball in the air between third and home, White slid between oncoming third baseman Chad Flack and hard-charging catcher Tim Federowicz to make a "snowcone" catch, with half the ball peaking out of the web of the glove.