Oregon St. Splashes Out Win Over Washington

Oregon St. came from behind twice, and then held off a Washington rally to take a soggy 5-3 win Sunday. After a 2 hour delay, the game was played under conditions that hadn't improved, though there were a couple of brief bursts of sun in what was mostly a day of driving rain.

After an announced start time of 3:05, the game actually started early, leaving radio, gametracker, and video all in various states of un-preparedness, making it hard to establish the exact details of the debacle, but after loading the bases, Washington took a 2-0 lead with a couple of unearned runs after a slip-sliding collision that injured Danny Hayes' elbow, and ultimately forced him from the game. The error on a play that should have ended the inning allowed both runs to score.

Oregon St.'s Tyler Smith singled, and then Michael Conforto homered over the right field bleachers in the bottom of the first to even things up again. The round tripper was Conforto's 6th of the season, more than any Oregon St. player punched out in all of last season.

Another error allowed Washington to take the lead back in the top of the second, an advantage they held until the 5th inning, but it was essentially the end of the Huskies' offense until the end of the game.

With the bases loaded in the bottom of the fifth inning, Washington coach Lyndsey Meggs brought in submariner Adam Cimber, and Smith, the Pac-12's leading hitter, promptly drilled a 2 RBI single up the middle that put Oregon St. ahead 4-3.

Jace Fry overcame the conditions and the early errors to turn in 7 solid innings, deeper than he has gone before. Fry allowed only 2 hits and struck out 7, though he did issue 4 walks, and ultimately got the win, his second of the season.

"The errors don't really effect me when I'm on the mound,'' Fry said after the game. "It's all about just making your pitches. They could make 100 errors behind me, and I would still have trust in them, though.''

Oregon St. Pat Casey wasn't as un-rattled as Fry was, though.

"You couldn't start it any worse, could you?'' said Casey. "Fortunately we battled back and found a way to win.''

By the time Matt Boyd took over in the 8th, the Beavers had a 5-3 lead, after Oregon St. manufactured a run in the bottom of the 7th. Boyd overcame a blown call on a putout at first, and after a 9th inning opening single, Tony Bryant came in to close out the game.

Bryant wasn't nearly as sharp as Boyd had been, however, and the Huskies hit him hard, and managed to load the bases before a diving stop by John Tommasini allowed for the putout that put the game away, giving Bryant his 5th save of the season.

Husky starter Austin Voth took the loss, his first of the year.

It was also the second consecutive game where Washington lost despite not committing an error. The Huskies had won every game in which they had played error free prior to the 2 rain games, contests where an error could have reasonably been expected.

The win gave Oregon St. (17-8, 6-3) their third series win in a row over Washington (16-9, 3-3), and their 6th in the last 8 years. The Beavers host Portland on Tuesday, and then leave Wednesday for a 5 game road trip. Oregon St. will play at Arizona St., who got swept down the road by Oregon this weekend, in Tempe Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

The Beavers will travel to Reno on Easter Sunday, and play Nevada next Monday and Tuesday.

The haphazard fumbling of the starting of the game, both on the field and technically, as well as a couple of inexplicable umpire calls, in a game that probably should have been held over until Monday for safety reasons, when better weather is forecasted, anyway, did not reflect well, and exposed a number of issues that the conference will need to address before the coming of the Pac-12 network, and the more widespread exposure it will bring. The good news might be that the Pac-12 network will prompt some upgrades.

The better news for Beaver fans is that despite a string of miscues that stretch back to last week's Arizona series, and overall conditions that approached absurd at times, this team showed a resilience, as well as some solid starting pitching, that served them well, and should again going forward.

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com

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