It was a good deal of what was to be expected in an opening game of the season, as the Oregon State baseball team downs the Utah Valley Wolverines 5 to 2. The game was not a thing of beauty, but the Beavs showed some good first game signs and showed some rust.
In what could have been a very early season "trap" game against a decent Utah Valley team OSU baseball shook off enough of their first game rust to go 1 and 0 for the season. Right-hander Dan Child pitched a solid five innings to get his first win of the season. Child gave up six hits and two earned runs, but at the same time was able to get out of some important jams such as a fifth inning bases loaded situation and had three strikeouts to only two walks. Tony Bryant came in as relief in the sixth inning, and freshman pitcher Max Engelbrekt came in for 2 2/3 innings of relief and closed out the game along with picking up the save in the 5-2 win.
The Beavs though did have a little rougher time on offense and returned the favor by not scoring with their own bases loaded situation, one that saw veterans Tyler Smith and Michael Conforto both strikeout. Though both Smith and Conforto did contribute with Smith getting one hit and Conforto scoring a RBI along with two hits. The batting though was really led by Junior Jake Rodriguez and his two RBIs.
That all said it still was a win to open the season and one that saw Coach Casey and the staff playing some new faces such as JC transfers Jerad Casper at third and Andy Peterson at second. Casper had the only error on the OSU side (Utah Valley contributed three errors).
Again though it was a solid win, even with the rust and weaker offensive showing, for Utah Valley had to come in with a bit of a chip on their shoulder from being left out of the post-season last year with an undefeated record in Great West Conference play and an overall record of 47-12. What better way to shake off the disappointment of how the last season ended than by possibly upsetting a top ten ranked OSU team. But the Beavs were strong enough on the defensive and pitching side of things not allowing the Wolverines to put any type of run together. The Wolverines had eight hits, but the hits were spread out to be able to limit damage and Utah Valley did not score after the second inning. And Oregon State took enough advantage of Utah Valley mistakes to win by three runs.
The Beavs play again Saturday morning against the Gonzaga Bulldogs at 12:30 p.m. PT.