Kavin Keyes and Logan Ice continued to be the key to icing Oregon St.'s opponents, delivering the clutch hitting again today against Washington that delivered the 3-2 win in Surprise, AZ.
Ice had the 2 out 2 RBI double, with Keyes and Michael Hamilton on base, that got the Beavers on the scoreboard in the 4th inning, and Keyes went 4 for 4 at the plate, extending his streak to 3 games.
Billy King, making his first start as a Beaver as the DH, followed Ice with a single that got an RBI (in a convoluted situation of some sort, but the point is put the bat on the ball and good things can happen), and Ice scored what would turn out to be the winning run.
Meanwhile, freshman Jake Thompson was turning in another solid pitching effort, scattering 2 hits and 2 walks across 6 2/3 innings on his way to his second win of the season. Thompson's only real blemish came in the 3rd inning, when he hit leadoff Husky Austin Rei, who went on to score the game's first run, after 2 ground ball outs and Andrew Ely's RBI single to center.
Kevin Flemer took over for Thompson once he passed the 90 pitch count by 1, and was solid until there were 2 outs in the 9th inning, when the late game relief pitching problems that have cropped up several times in the young season arose again.
A hit by pitch, a wild pitch, and a walk brought Max Engelbrekt on for Flemer, and Duncan Hedrickson's RBI single up the middle gave the Huskies hope. Freshman Chandler Eden quelled the rally with a deflected ground out to end the game, earn his first career save, and even the Surprise weekend at 2-2 for the Beavers, who improved to 6-2 for the season.
Concern of the game, other than the challenges in getting the 27th out after an otherwise outstanding pitching afternoon, was Oregon St.'s inability to hit at the top of the lineup. The first 4 batters in the Beaver batting order went 2-14, though they did draw a pair of walks as well, against a less than overwhelming Washington pitching contingent.
Husky starter Tyler Davis, who took the loss and drop to 1-1 for the year, worked only 1 out into the 4th inning. and gave up 7 hits and a walk, and the Beavers got 4 more hits against a pair of Washington relievers.
Dylan Davis, who went 0-4, twice coming up empty with runners on base, including Caleb Hamilton who had tripled in the 7th, and would have been a useful insurance run for Oregon St., is particularly slumping, having had a Surprising 2 for 15 (.133) weekend.
Oregon St. now ranked variably #4, #6, and #8 in the nation by Baseball America, Perfect Game, and Collegiate Baseball, respectively, in the polls that came out during or shortly after the course of the game, return home to Goss Stadium, for what they hope to be 10 games prior to their Pac-12 campaign opening trip to Utah.
The Beavers face Wright St. Friday evening to start a 4 game weekend series that includes a Saturday double header.
Washington fell to 3-4-1 for the year, and head home for a 4 game series against UC-Davis to christen newly renovated Husky Ballpark, which the Beavers will visit in mid-May.
Virginia topped the Baseball America and Perfect Game polls, while LSU is atop the Collegiate Baseball list this week. Florida St. is #2 across the board.
Oregon, still unbeaten at 7-0, is 9th, 7th, and 3rd in the 3 polls, while UCLA is #19, #14, and #22, as most teams are still all over the place in the various polls. Fullerton is #5/#3/, and Arizona is #22 in the Perfect Game poll.
The other western team to keep an eye on is Cal-Poly. The 6-1 Mustangs, who took the last 2 of 3 at UCLA this weekend, are #13 in both the Baseball America and Perfect Game polls, and #14 on Collegiate Baseball's list.