Oregon State (28-12, 9-7) at USC (20-17, 5-10) at 2:00 PM PDT at Dedeaux Field - KEJO 1240 AM & KPOJ 620 AM - Audio & Video Stream on Beaver Nation Online, for a fee
Oregon St. continues their series at USC today with a Saturday afternoon game. The Beavers will be looking to win the series today, after scratching out a 5-2 Friday night win that was closer than it should have been.
Max Gordon opened the game with a single, and USC third baseman threw the ball away on what should have been an easy out off Tyler Smith's bunt. Gordon wound up on third and Smith on second, and as a result a pair of what should have been harmless infield outs became RBI producing infield outs by Michael Conforto and Ryan Gorton, putting Oregon St. up 2-0.
It could and should have been more though, as despite getting 2 more runners on base, the Beavers didn't capitalize on their chance for a really big start. And they loaded the bases in the second, but got nothing out of that opportunity either.
Conforto came up with another RBI in the 4th, driving in Jake Rodriguez, which became quite important when Oregon St. starter Ben Wetzler allowed a couple of RBI doubles by the Trojans' Matt Foat and Jake Hernandez that pulled USC within 3-2.
The Beavers were set down in order for 3 consecutive innings, but finally got their bats back in action in the 8th inning. Ryan Dunn led off with a homer to left, his 6th of the season, and Joey Matthews tripled. Matthews scored on Rodriguez's RBI single to make it 5-2, but the Beavers blew another chance to blow the game open, when they loaded the bases again, and then left them that way.
Another opportunity to open a commanding lead went for naught in the 9th, after Dunn doubled for his third hit of the night, and Ryan Barnes followed with a single to put runners on the corners, when Matthews grounded into a double play. In all, the Beavers left 11 runners on base.
After struggling in the 6th, Wetzler settled down and opened the 7th with a pair of strikeouts. Which motivated Oregon St. pitching coach Nate Yeski to pull Wetzler. Fortunately, Scott Schultz delivered another strikeout, and then set USC down in order in the 8th.
Matt Boyd took over to close things out, and started with a strikeout of USC's Kevin Roundtree. However, Hernandez doubled off the left field wall, and things got interesting after Dante Flores grounded out to advance Hernandez when Kevin Swick hit a crazy infield blooper that a diving Boyd couldn't corral, which scored Hernandez to pull USC within 5-2.
But Boyd got pinch hitter J.R. Aguirre to hit a line drive right back at him, which he snagged to end the game and snag his second save of the season.
Wetzler got the win to improve his record to 5-2, after giving up only 7 hits. Wetzler, Schultz, and Boyd all avoided issuing even a single walk to the Trojans.
Surprise starter Brandon Garcia got the loss, after giving up 7 hits and a walk, and 3 runs, though only 1 was earned, and dropped to 3-4 for the year.
The Beavers have now won 4 games in a row, and 10 of their last 11, while the Trojans current tailspin has seen them lose 3 in a row, and 7 of their last 8.
Today, Freshman LHP Jace Fry (4-2, 2.23 ERA) is scheduled to take the mound for Oregon St., as the Beavers try to win their second consecutive series over the Trojans in LA, though it would be only their third series win at Dedeaux Field since the Pac-12 re-unified in 1999.
USC, which started Oregon St. on their 5 game losing streak that ended the regular season last year when they took the last 2 games of the series in Corvallis, will counter with Senior RHP Andrew Triggs (3-4, 3.19 ERA), who has been their usual Friday night starter.
Fry fired a complete game shutout of UCLA last Saturday, allowing the Bruins only 6 hits in the Beavers' 3-0 win.
Triggs worked 6 2/3 innings in the first game of USC's last Pac-12 series, giving up all 5 runs in the Trojans' lost at Arizona St. The Sun Devils had 9 hits against Triggs, who also gave up 2 walks, and all 5 runs were earned. Triggs did strike out 5.
The Beavers remain tied for 3rd in the Pac-12 with Stanford, after the Cardinal beat UCLA 7-2 across town Friday night. League leading Arizona is playing out of conference this weekend, and the Wildcats walloped East Tennessee St. 24-7.
Oregon moved within 1/2 game of the conference lead, with a 4-1 win over California, while Arizona St. stayed a half game behind Oregon St. and Stanford with a 7-4 win at Washington St. And Washington whipped last place Utah 9-1.