Oregon State Won An Ugly One In Extra Innings At PK Park. Credit- Taylor Hanslovan
The #2 Oregon State Beaver baseball team extended it’s current winning streak to eight games after Jeff Hendrix’s 12th inning sacrifice fly gave the Beavers the 4-3 edge they would need to down Oregon in a non-conference Civil War matchup at PK Park. Oregon State has won all four meetings with their in state rival in 2014. The two teams will meet for a final time in the regular season on May 20th in Eugene.
Hendrix got things started for the Beavers, slashing a double into the left-center gap on the third pitch of the game. Second baseman Andy Peterson singled Hendrix home moments later for Oregon State’s first run of the game.
Beaver Starter Dylan Davis, who can usually be seen patrolling right field, went two innings, allowing two hits and two runs with two strikeouts. Davis left the game down 2-1 in the third inning. Duck starter Stephen Nogosek settled in after the quick strike from Oregon State in the first, finishing with six strikeouts, five hits, and one run surrendered in three innings.
Tied at three in the fourth inning, the two offenses stalled amid a torrid of pitching changes. The teams combined together to use 11 different pitchers from the 5th inning on, prolonging the 3-3 tie for seven more innings.
Catcher Logan Ice singled to open up the top of the twelfth inning. The Beavers would go on to load the bases with one out, turning the lineup over for Jeff Hendrix. A deep fly ball to the right field gap allowed Ice to tag up and safely slide head first into a Beaver 4-3 advantage.
Senior closer Scott Schultz entered the game for the Beavers with two outs in the eighth inning, slamming the door on Oregon to the tune of three strikeouts and no hits over four and one third innings. The Gig Harbor, Wash. native would go on to pick up his sixth win of the season after putting away the Ducks in the twelfth.
After walking Oregon second baseman Aaron Payne, Schultz induced three consecutive ground balls, with a 6-3 put out from shortstop Trevor Morrison ending the Ducks bid to extend the marathon.
While the Beavers were able to secure their sixth straight win over Oregon, sloppy play in the field and mental mistakes on the base paths left an air of doubt on fans through the game. Oregon State committed 3 errors in the contest, any of which could have left Oregon with a window of opportunity to steal the non-conference match up.
The silver-lining of course is that it’s critical for teams to win ugly. To win when things are down and the chips aren’t all falling your way. If the #2 Beavers have Omaha aspirations, its likely that this won’t be the last time the Beavers will need to grind out a tough game in the clutch.
Head Coach Pat Casey and the #2 Oregon State Beavers return to Goss Stadium at Coleman Field on May 9th for a three game stint against UCLA. It’s the Beavers second to last home stand, before facing #6 Washington in the final round of regular season action in Corvallis May 16-18.
UCLA (23-22-1) comes to town stumbling on a three game losing streak, after dropping two of three to Stanford before a midweek home loss on May 6th to Cal State Fullerton. The Bruins are 10-11 in conference and 9-5-1 on the road in 2014. The extra -1 in the record line is from a 5-5 tie with UC Santa Barbara on April 29th. The game was called in the twelfth inning due to darkness.
#2 Beaver baseball continues its reign atop the conference with just eleven games to play in the regular season. Questions remain in the bullpen, but arguably the most dominant group of starters in the country give the Beavers a serious chance to make some noise in the 2014 post season.