This play will live in infamy in college baseball for as long as the sport is played.
The Bill Buckner play, Nelson Cruz's misplayed fly ball in the 2011 World Series, everything that happened in Game 7 of the 2016 World Series, none of them hold a candle to The Pop Foul. If this ball is caught, Arkansas wins the national championship -- joining the school with Florida, Michigan, Ohio State and UCLA as the only schools to win national titles in football, men's basketball and baseball.
But the ball fell to the dirt, and the baseball gods took it from there. Oregon State tied Wednesday night's Game 2 in that same at-bat, then took the lead one batter later with a 2-run homer. After taking Game 2 with a 5-3 decision, the Beavers cruised to a 5-0 win last night, claiming the program's third national championship.
Oregon State entered the 2017 NCAA baseball tournament as the No. 1 overall seed, cruising to the CWS semifinals with an insane 56-4 record, including an unblemished mark in the tournament, before two straight losses to LSU spelled an abrupt end to what seemed a pre-ordained title run.
The Beavers entered the 2018 tournament as the No. 3 seed, but lost their first game of the College World Series, won four straight games to reach the CWS Finals, then dropped Game 1 of the Best-of-3 series. Thanks to The Pop Foul, Oregon State became the second team since the CWS moved to its current format in 2003 to drop its opening game and Game 1 of the CWS Finals and still win the national championship -- joining Oregon State's 2006 team.
"The guys in the Oregon State locker room allowed myself and our coaching staff to push them to the limit many, many times, create an expectation that their successes would go beyond the baseball field and then go on in life and they'd create a brotherhood and a love for one another that wouldn't be broke," Oregon State head coach Pat Casey said afterward. Casey has led the Beavers to all three of their national titles.
"They say that wise men plant trees that the shade you'll never see. These guys leave a legacy for the next guys that come in. And I told them today, I said: This is the last time we'll ever put this uniform on together as a team. So when you hang it up, you make sure the guy who wears that number next time knows who you are."