The two runs were more than enough support for Abel, who threw 129 pitches, struck out 10 in a complete-game effort and shut out Arkansas for the first time in 2018.
He retired the last 20 batters, catching Luke Bonfield looking at strike three on a 3-2 pitch to end it.
"Having the season we had a year ago was phenomenal, but to come up short, there's that missing piece at the end that you can never get back and you don't know if you're ever going to make it back to Omaha". Trevor Larnach homered deep to right off closer Cronin - left-hander off left-hander - and Arkansas' by now punchless offense rapped into a game-ending double play in the bottom of the ninth.
The comparisons to track and field were, for me, inevitable, especially since the USA Track & Field Outdoor Championships were going on in Des Moines simultaneously for part of that time. "It was a lot of fun". Coach Pat Casey elected to start the freshman in Thursday's finale anyway, and Abel proved to be more than able. Once that ball dropped, I said to myself: "'We're not done, '" Larnach said. And obviously Abel is going to say he can keep going; he wants to be a hero and is a competitor. So, you know. hats off to that kid, he just competed his tail off.
Oregon State expects to return everyday starters in CWS Most Outstanding Player Adley Rutschman at catcher, infielder-designated hitter Tyler Malone, first baseman Zak Taylor and outfielder Preston Jones. The Beavers faced six elimination games en route to the title and won them all.
Sometimes the other team is just better.
The Beavers advanced to the finals after defeating Mississippi State 5-2 on June 23 in Nebraska.
That 2006 title was the first for Casey in his second trip to the CWS. The Beavers were the first team in a decade to accomplish the feat and the first from the then-Pac-10 in nearly 20 years.
This group had unfinished business.
Campbell left before recording an out in the third inning, after surrendering three runs (two earned) on two hits.
Given new life, Beavers' shortstop Cadyn Grenier responded with a two-run single to tie the game.
That final Abel outing was the stuff of legend, especially given how taxed Oregon State's staff was by its run through the losers' bracket. The Beavers took advantage, as Rutschman drove in another run in the third to put OSU up 3-0.
Arkansas was one strike away from winning the school's first ever national championship on Wednesday but the Razorbacks never rebounded from a disappointing ending.
"There was probably still that "What if?' and disappointment. It's human nature", Razorbacks coach Dave Van Horn said about the emotional hangover". "We had a good hitters" meeting, we let them sleep in, pregame was good. But we never got that hit.
Rutschman had three hits to increase his 2018 CWS total to 17, a record.
The Beavers have been the hottest hitting team throughout the CWS but struggled to convert chances in the finals until they caught their huge break in the ninth inning.
Arkansas finished runner-up for the second time in program history. Only two teams in the country hit more home runs than the Razorbacks.
The individual accolades were of no importance to Rutschman, who cared only about the championship. "I hit it. I just said get going, get going, and it went".
"I remember seeing the guys coming out of their big limo with the national championship trophy", Anderson said of the '06 Beavers, "and that was kind of where my dream all started".
"You take it as it was, that's a gift", Grenier said.