#23 Oregon State (34-18, 14-12) at Washington St. (26-25, 11-14) at Noon PDT at Bailey-Brayton Field in Pullman - KEJO 1240 AM & KPOJ 620 AM - Audio Stream (no Video) on Beaver Nation Online, for a fee
Oregon St. and Washington St. conclude their weekend Pac-12 series with a noon time showdown that will decide the series after the Cougars evened it up Saturday evening.
Washington St.'s P.J. Jones had never homered before in his brief college career, but he took care of that in about as memorable a manner as possible. With the bases loaded and 2 out, the freshman from Vancouver, WA, beat Matt Boyd, driving a fast ball off the scoreboard in left center for a walk off grand slam home run, and a 9-5 Cougar win.
Hot hitting Danny Hayes, fresh off a 2 home run, 5 RBI performance Friday night, got the Beavers going again, with a 2 run homer to right in the first inning, but Oregon St. starter Jace Fry had trouble finding the strike zone, and a walk and a wild pitch that went along with 3 singles allowed Washington St. to take a 3-2 lead after 1 inning.
Hayes, who went 3 for 4 for the night, singled again to drive in Ryan Barnes in the third inning, and tie the game at 3-3, but the Cougars went back ahead in the 4th when Tommy Richards scored on a passed ball.
Oregon St. evened things up again at 4-4 in the 6th when Ryan Dunn doubled to end the evening for Washington St. starter J.D. Leckenby, and scored on Jake Rodriguez's single, but the Cougars immediately countered in their half of the inning when P.J. Jones led off with a single, and went on to score on Jason Monda's single.
Fry was pulled in the 7th with 2 outs when he hit 110 pitches, and Scott Schultz, who closed out the win Friday night got the first call from the bullpen, and it looked like a brilliant move when he got Jones to fly out with 2 Cougars in scoring position to get the Beavers out of a jam, and then proceeded to set Washington St. down in order in the 8th.
Tyler Smith delivered the game tieing double that drove in Ryan Dettman who was running for Ryan Gorton, who had led off with a single, in the top of the 9th with 2 outs, but Schultz lost his control at about the same time.
Schultz started the bottom of the 9th with a full count walk, and then hit Kyle Johnson with the first pitch he saw, a controversial call that Oregon St. coach Pat Casey contested. Even with replay, it was hard to determine if the ball might have hit Johnson's hand as he squared to bunt, or the bat, and plate umpire Ramon Aremendariz stood by his initial call.
Schultz got ahead of Collin Slaybaugh in the count 1-2, but the Beavers then brought in Boyd in mid-count. Boyd threw Slaybaugh out on a sacrifice bunt, and the Beavers decided to intentionally walk Taylor Ard, arguably Washington St.'s best power hitter, loading the bases, but setting up a force out everywhere, and a double play possibility.
The double play possibility went away when Derek Jones hit a towering foul fly ball behind third base, but that brought up P.J. Jones, who ended the long but entertaining game.
Schultz took the loss despite not giving up a hit, and the fact that Boyd gave up the game winning home run because the first, game deciding run to cross was inherited runner Ian Sagdal, who had drawn the inning opening walk.
The Cougars' win also delayed for at least another day Casey tieing Jack Riley for most coaching wins at Oregon St.
The Beavers remained 6th in the Pac-12 standings, and are mathematically eliminated from being able to win the conference with the loss. The Cougars pulled within a game of 7th place Washington, after the Huskies lost 8-4 at Arizona St.
Oregon, who has the league bye this week, beat Seattle for the second day in a row, this time 5-4, after scoring single runs in each of their last 4 at bats, including a walk-off RBI blast by Aaron Jones that scored Aaron Payne, who was on base after being hit by a pitch. And despite not playing a conference game, the Ducks saw their Pac-12 leading margin grow back to 2 games when USC upset Arizona 8-4.
UCLA extended their winning streak to 6 games, matching Oregon, with an 8-5 win at California, which pulled the Bruins into a second place tie with the Wildcats. Stanford stayed in a tie with for 4th with Arizona St. with an 8-1 win at Utah, and the Cardinal and the Sun Devils are only 3 games behind Oregon.
Oregon St. can't move up in the standings with a win today, but will need a win to win their first series in Pullman in 6 years, and keep a possible move up in order next week when they face Oregon to finish the regular season.
The Beavers will start sophomore RHP Dan Child (5-3, 2.55 ERA), and the Cougars plan to counter with junior RHP Kyle Swannack (3-4, 5.65 ERA).
Child went the extra distance last Sunday, pitching all 10 innings in Oregon St.'s 5-4 win at Utah.
Swannack worked 2 outs into the 5th inning of Washington St.'s 6-1 loss at Stanford last Sunday, taking the loss, despite allowing only 5 hits and 2 runs.