OSU Survives BYU in Midweek Series Opener

Oregon State battles California in a Pac-10 Game on April 4. The Beavers beat BYU 7-6 on Monday night at Goss Stadium. (Photo by Alex Francis)

Final Score: Oregon State 7, BYU 6.

It's not easy pulling off a victory one day removed from finishing up a Pac-10 series, but the Beavers held of Brigham Young at Goss Stadium on Monday night to get their week, which will include a series against USC over the weekend, off to a good start with a 7-6 win. 

Sophomore Josh Osich started for the Beavers, working a season-long four innings. He gave up three runs on four hits, while striking out five in his four innings of work. The game marked the first start of the season for Osich, who started four games as a freshman. 

Osich was relieved by freshman Sam Gaviglio in the fifth inning. Sam went four innings as well, striking out five batters and giving up five runs.

Steve Parker's lead-off double in the second inning put BYU in prime position to get on the board first, and they did, with Parker scoring on a single by Michael Bowen. 

The Beavers wouldn't trail for long, however, as they poured on five runs in the bottom of the second. Ryan Ortiz led the inning off with a single, followed by Jared Norris with a walk. Then it was Max Schupe, who made his first start as a Beaver, who singled to left field to load the bases. Logan Lotti drove in Ortiz with a single, then Michael Miller produced two RBI's with a single of his own. 

Defensive mishaps would cost the Cougars two more runs in the inning, as Max Shupe scored on a balk by BYU starter Nathan Bunch. John Tommasini would reach base and Michael Miller would score on a throwing error by BYU second baseman Andrew Law. With the bases loaded and four runs already in during the inning, the Beavers added a final run when Ryan Ortiz drew a walk. 

Emerging from the first two innings trailing by four, BYU began to slowly chip away at Oregon State's lead. Kent Walton, who reached base in the fourth inning on a infield single, scored on a while pitch by Osich. Steve Parker would also score in the top of the fourth, driven in by Michael Bowen. 

Back to back doubles in the fourth inning by Stefen Romero and Ryan Ortiz countered BYU's two-run fourth nicely, as the Beavers rebuilt a four run lead. However, BYU was able to add two more in the sixth off of a double, and another in the seventh, making the score 7-6 after the seventh inning. 

Sam Gaviglio, who had come in in relief of Osich in the fifth inning, retired the Cougars easily in the eighth to maintain a one-run advantage. The Beavers then gave the ball to Kevin Rhoderick in the ninth inning, who retired the Cougars in successive fashion, earning his fifth save of the season in relatively un-stressful fashion. 

In that ninth inning, Andrew Law fouled out to Stefen Romero at first base on the third pitch of the at-bat, Sean McNaughton also fouled out first base, but on the first pitch of the at-bat, and Stetson Banks grouneded out to Ryan Ortiz on the third pitch of the at-bat to end the game. I wish we could get more seven-pitch saves out of Rhoderick.

Catcher Ryan Ortiz went 2-for-3 in the game with a double and a single, and left fielder Michael Miller went 2-for-2 with two singles. 

The game may not have mattered for the Pac-10 standings, but wins like this will be huge when it comes time for the NCAA Selection Committee to decide on a field of 64. The Beavers move to 21-7 with the win over the Cougars.

The Beavers will host BYU tomorrow, before having a few days to prepare for USC, who will come to town for a three game series which will begin on Friday.

--Jake (jake.buildingthedam@gmail.com)

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