OSU baseball loses a tough one to Michigan State 8 to 7

Dylan Davis delivered Oregon St.'s first home run of the year, a 2 run blast, but it wasn't enough against Michigan St. - (Photo by Andy Wooldridge)

Michigan State strikes early, but Oregon State is able to chip away throughout a game that saw back-and-forth offense and defense by both teams. In the end though Oregon State drops its second game in a row, as Michigan State is able to score two runs in the ninth inning to win the game 8 to 7.

The Beavs looked to have things well within control in the early stages of the first inning with Jace Fry on the mound striking out the lead off Spartans hitter.   Two singles and a hit batter loads the bases for Michigan State, which then allowed Joel Fisher to rip a two-out grand slam shot to put OSU down 4 to 0 early.   Oregon State though does counter with Trevor Morrison getting a lead off walk to later come around to score a run on an error off a Conforto hit.   The ominous first inning though ends with Dylan Davis hitting into a double play.

Fry does start to settle down and gets Michigan State to go 1-2-3 in the second, and Jeff Hendrix scores Kavin Keyes on double shot to scratch OSU back to a 4 to 2 score.   At the same time though Hendrix sprains a hamstring and is replaced by Nick Rulli.   The Spartans answer in the third and earn back a run on a nice sacrifice bunt to go up 5 to 2.

Oregon State is able to get their bats going in the bottom of the third starting with Morrison ripping the first pitch for a lead off triple to be then scored a sac-fly off the bat of Caleb Hamilton.   Dylan Davis gets out of his recent slump to rip a two-run home run that ties the game at 5 to 5 and swings the momentum back to the Beavers.

The game then settles down during much of the mid-point with some back-and-forth defensive plays, such as Nick Rulli earning his place in center field throwing out Michigan State's P.J. Nowak at homeplate to preserve the tie.   Then in the top of the seventh the Beavs play some smart defense behind some patient Jace Fry pitching to get out of the inning that saw the Spartans lead off with a triple that was left on base to go into the stretch tied still at 5 to 5.

Things opened back up in the eighth inning with Oregon State bringing in freshman Kevin Flemer to relieve Fry, but Flemer only faced three hitters.  Max Engelbrekt comes in to give up a run on a bases loaded single, but Engelbrekt and the Beavs were able to limit the damage to only the one run.   Being down 6 to 5 Oregon State looks to be in trouble with Conforto thrown out on a steal attempt to third, but Kavin Keyes comes through hitting in Davis and Casper on a two-out double to put the Beavs back up 7 to 5.

Engelbrekt and the Beavs though can't close the deal in the ninth as some solid Spartans hitting and some fielding mistakes by the Beavers allow Michigan State to tie the game up, and a wild pitch scores ends up scoring the winning run for the Spartans.   Oregon State goes to the bullpen with freshman Chandler Eden and is able to go into their last at bat only down one, but after a Morrison single the Beavs hit into a double play to end the game.

It was a game the looked at times to be in Michigan State's control and then at other times in Oregon State's control.  But in the end it was a lesson in not resting on one's laurels and one hopes another learning experience for this talented but still growing Oregon State team.

The final stats see Oregon State scoring 7 runs on 7 hits with 2 errors, and Michigan State scoring 8 runs on 13 hits with 2 errors.  Jace Fry goes seven innings allowing 4 earned runs on nine hits with two strikeouts.   Trevor Morrison and Kavin Keyes led the Beavs offense, both going 2 for 4.  Michigan State's Jake Lowery earns the win, and Max Engelbrekt for Oregon State gets the loss.

Oregon State plays Indiana Sunday morning at 11:00 AM MST (10:00 AM PST) in the third day of the Aramark Big-10 Pac-12 Challenge, and closes out their Arizona trip against Washington this Monday morning for another 10:00 AM PST first pitch.

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