San Diego stated their case to be put back into the various baseball top 25s by 10-running Oregon St. to take the series from the Beavers, who entered the weekend ranked #2 in the nation. Coupled with their 13-2 win last year, the Toreros have won 3 of the last 4 against Oregon St.
It looked like normal baseball early on, and even encouraging for Oregon St., as the Beavers hit the ball well early against San Diego starter P.J. Conlon, getting base runners on in both of their first 2 at bats. Meanwhile, Beaver starter Ben Wetzler got off to a good start, with 3 strikeouts in his first 4 hitters faced.
The Beavers even broke through in the 3rd inning, when Ryan Barnes and Andy Peterson led off with hits, and both scored on an RBI single by Danny Hayes to go up 2-0.
But Wetzler once again began to struggle, hitting leadoff hitter Louie Lechich and walking Chris Woolley. Oregon St. looked like they would get out of the third inning though, when Lechich was thrown out trying to score on a passed ball on a 3rd strike.
However, Kavin Keyes committed consecutive throwing errors from third, pulling Hayes off the bag twice. Given a pair of extra outs, San Diego pounced, pushing 6 runs across to go up 6-2.
A lot of Oregon St. fans will point to that as what lost the game, and while it was clearly the turning point, if was far from the whole story. As the 1,003 fans on hand at Fowler Park saw, San Diego was just getting started. Dillon Haupt drove a 3 run home run out to center field off Brandon Jackson, who took over for Wetzler in the 4th inning, for a 9-2 lead, but the Toreros also scored in every at bat after that.
A couple more errors added to the Beavers' woes, as Oregon St. actually out-hit San Diego 13-9, but only added 1 run, as the Toreros were the much better team at being productive.
The Oregon St. pitching staff that has been the driving force in the Beavers' strong start to the season just wasn't sharp all weekend, and that persisted into today.
Wetzler took the loss, leaving him 0-1 for the season. Cole Brocker made a rare appearance, and pitched 2 innings following Jackson. Scott Schultz worked 1 2/3 innings, allowing only 1 hit, and 1 run, with 3 strikeouts, before Max Engelbrekt finished the day.
Max MacNabb, who took over for San Diego in the 5th, and got the win, improving to 3-2 for the season, worked 2 good innings, but got into a little trouble in the 7th, giving up a leadoff single to Jared Casper and then a double to Barnes, and then a sacrifice fly to Peterson. Max Homick took over and took the Toreros the rest of the way. Homick gave up doubles in the 8th and 9th innings, but was able to isolate those, avoiding any damage, in contrast with what the Beaver Bullpen allowed.
It was unfortunate, from the Beavers' point of view, as it wasted some good individual days at the plate. Michael Conforto was 3 of 5, but wasn't involved in any scoring. Hayes was 2 of 4, with 2 RBIs and a sacrifice, and Beau Day, who was used for the first time as the designated hitter, was also 2 of 4, including a triple, and hit the ball hard in both of his outs, one of which was well onto the warning track.
Oregon St. dropped to 22-4 for the season, and will wait to see how far they fall in the polls before they face Portland at home Tuesday night, and then return to southern California next week, for a Pac-12 series at UCLA. The Bruins who were ranked #6, had a bad weekend as well, losing 4-1 and 7-4 at Arizona St. before finally getting a game into extra innings today, and pulling out a 12-10 win over the Sun Devils.
San Diego improved to 18-10 for the season. The Toreros dropped out of the top 25 a week ago, after losing 2 of 3 at Gonzaga, and splitting a pair of mid-week games, but are likely to break back in with this series win.