What was originally scheduled to be a 3-game, 3 day series turned into a 3-game, 2 day series Saturday. There is expected to be rain on Sunday, when the third game of the series was supposed to be played, so the Dirtbags and Beavers decided to play a doubleheader Saturday.
The Beavers sent Ben Wetzler to the mound to start the first game, and the southpaw struggled with his control, walking 4 in his 3 innings of work. Two of those walks came around to score, one earned, one unearned.
James Nygren replaced Wetzler in the top of the fourth with a runner on first. After advancing to third, Nygren tried to pick him off, but the ball got away, and it was 2-0 Dirtbags.
The Beavers got their bats going in the 5th, and Michael Miller started it off with a single. Ryan Dunn was hit by a pitch, followed up by Garrett Nash walking on a passed ball which scored Miller. Susac came through once again for Oregon State, driving home Dunn to tie the game at 2.
Long Beach State quickly responded though, scoring a run on two hits, a hit batsmen, and a sacrifice bunt.
Trailing the Dirtbags by one run, the Beavers started their rally in the 7th inning when Brain Stamps was hit by a pitch. Susac hit a groundball to third, but the throw was offline, allowing him to reach. This was only a sign of things to come. Danny Hayes doubled home two, and advanced to third when the ball was misplayed in right field. Dylan Jones hit a comebacker that wasn't fielded cleanly, and suddenly the Dirtbags had commited three errors. They weren't done yet, as pinch-hitter Ryan Barnes drove in a run on a bad throw by the shortstop, which put the Beavers up 6-3. Miller drove in two more with a single. The Dirtbags finally managed to get out of the inning, but not before giving up 5 runs, 4 unearned, on 4 consecutive errors, giving the Beavers an 8-3 lead.
In the bottom of the 7th, Nygren surrendered an infield single and then hit a batter, before he was replaced by Ryan Gorton. Gorton walked the first man he faced, who turned out to be the only man Ryan would face. Matt Boyd relieved Gorton, and Boyd let two of his three inherited runners score, eventually recording three outs on two fielders choices and a bunt attempt. Nygren went three innings, giving up 3 runs on 4 hits.
Winning 8-5 in the 8th inning, Garrett Nash singled and stole a base, then watched Stamps and Susac strike out. But Danny Hayes came through with a two-out RBI, extending the Beavers lead to 4 runs.
After retiring Long Beach State 1-2-3 in the 8th, Boyd gave up three straight singles and a run to start the 9th, which resulted in Tony Bryant coming in and trying to shut the door. But his outing didn't start very well, as the first batter he saw singled to load the bases. Pinch hitter Jake Stassi hit a fly ball that dropped
fair and scored three runs. However, after the umpires huddled together, the ball was ruled foul, and Stassi went on to strike out. After Tony Bryant struck out another batter, Brennan Metzger hit a pop-up behind second base that, despite miscommunication, was caught by Carter Bell to end the game.
11 innings Box score
The Beavers game two starter was Josh Osich. Here's some video of him warming up. Osich ended up pitching a great game, going 5.2 innings, giving up two hits and a run, while striking out eight (although with the help of a "pitcher's" umpire).
The game was scoreless, Osich and Shawn Stuart locked up in a pitcher's duel until the bottom of the sixth inning. Warning: Bleacher managing ahead. After Osich retired two batters to start the sixth, Long Beach's leadoff star Brennan Metzger doubled to left field, his second hit of the night off Osich, while nobody else had one. Now, with two outs and a runner on second, that runner being the only one with a hit in the game, do you take out your pitcher? I say no, but Nate Yeskie and Pat Casey said yes, and Scott Schultz surrendered an RBI single to give the Dirtbags a 1-0 lead.
In the top of the seventh, the Beavers responded. Danny Hayes lead off the inning with a double, and Berberet bunted him over. Kavin Keyes struck out swinging, which brought Jake Rodriguez to the plate with two outs. He laced a single through the infield, and Danny Hayes slid around the tag to tie the game at 1.
An interesting thing that happened tonight occured during a pitching change. When Cole Baylis was called in to replace Dylan Jones, at least 4 of his warm-up pitches were way underthrown in the dirt, one of which got by Berberet. But Baylis pulled it together when it counted, getting a fielders choice, which was nearly misplayed by Keyes, to end he inning.
The Beavers probably should've scored in the top of the eighth, after Jared Norris hit the first pitch he saw off the centerfield wall for a leadoff double. Nash couldn't get the bunt down, however, and ended up striking out. Susac struck out for the fourth time in the game, and Matt Boyd struck out next.
Tony Bryant pitched from the 8th inning all the way through the 11th, when after a leadoff double, the most critical play of the game happened, in my opinion. Matt Duffy's sacrifice bunt was an awful one, it died right in front of the plate. Berberet jumped on it, and would've had a play at third, but unfortunately Jake Rodriguez had crashed too far in, and was out of position for a throw. After two intentional walks to load the bases, Ino Patron laced a first-pitch single into right field to score the winning run.
Another note is that Andrew Susac failed to extend his hitting streak to 15 games, but not without controversy. In the 11th inning, after striking out four times, Susac hit a line shot that the shortstop jumped up, caught(?), and dropped. The umpire called it an out, saying the bobble was on the transfer, but I don't think his hand was close to his glove. His glove never stopped moving, as it was swinging up, the ball slipped out of the webbing.