There is an intriguing historical number that suggested Arkansas would likely win the 2018 College World Series over Oregon State. However, history also said you can't count out a Beavers squad even though it played two more games (read: 18 more innings thrown by its pitching staff) than its opponent before reaching the championship series.
In the 20 seasons since the NCAA Division I Baseball Championship expanded to 64 teams in 1999, there have been seven College World Series championship matchups between a team that entered the finals 3-0 at the CWS and a team that was 4-1 in Omaha before reaching the finals. In each case, one team swept through its half of the bracket while the other dropped its first or second game, causing it to play five games in order to reach the championship.
The key historical stat: teams that entered the finals with a 3-0 record at the College World Series are 5-2 in those seven championships. Oregon State is responsible for both national championships in which a team with a 4-1 CWS record defeated an opponent with a 3-0 CWS record.
Since the tournament's expansion to 64 teams, no other school besides Oregon State has played five games to reach the CWS finals, then beaten an opponent that was undefeated in Omaha that season.
Here's a look at those seven championships.
|Year||Champion||Pre-Finals CWS Record||Runner-Up||Pre-Finals CWS Record||Series Result|
|2018||Oregon State||4-1||Arkansas||3-0||Oregon State, 2-1|
|2012||Arizona||3-0||South Carolina||4-1||Arizona, 2-0|
|2007||Oregon State||3-0||North Carolina||4-1||Oregon State, 2-0|
|2006||Oregon State||4-1||North Carolina||3-0||Oregon State, 2-1|
|2002||Texas||3-0||South Carolina||4-1||Texas, 1-0|
|1999||Miami (FL)||3-0||Florida State||4-1||Miami (FL), 1-0|
Note: The College World Series expanded from a one-game championship to a best-of-three championship series in 2003.