Jeff Hendrix drove in three runs, including the game-winning sacrifice lineout in the 12th inning, to lead Oregon State to its fourth win over rival Oregon this season. The Beavers prevailed for the 4-3 victory in front of a small Tuesday evening crowd of 1,798.
The fans that did attend enjoyed a 12 inning thriller, proving to be a much better way to spend the night than watching a Blazer meltdown in San Antonio. The Beavers took an early lead when senior Andy Peterson singled home Hendrix in the top of the first, but somehow Oregon escaped the inning with momentum after suffering no further damage. A tough feat, considering the visitors had runners on the corners with one out and both in scoring position with two down.
Junior Dylan Davis got the start for Oregon State and was lifted after two innings. He allowed two runs on two hits, but also struck out a pair. His velocity was solid but struggled with control at times, walking three Ducks. It was another no-decision for the right-hander, his third of the season.
Right-hander Stephen Nogosek didn't turn in a terrible performance for the home team. After struggling with placement early on, he quickly found his command and overmatched Beaver batters. They did do a good job of getting deep into counts, and Nogosek had to be pulled after just three innings because of it. He left after 72 pitches.
A night full of miscues began for Oregon State in the second when Oregon tied the game on a wild pitch uncorked by Davis. A strikeout ended the threat later in the at-bat, but things were made clear that we were in for a long night. The Ducks took the lead in the next inning on a Kyle Garlick sacrifice fly to center, scoring Mitchell Tolman from third to make the score 2-1.
The Beavers battled back in the top of the fourth. Hendrix recorded his second and third RBI's of the game with a two out double to left field, putting the Beavers back in front and swinging momentum back to the third base dugout. It wouldn't last for long.
After a quick two strikeouts to open the bottom half of the frame, Austin Grebeck walked and Kevin Minjares singled to put a runner in scoring position. Reliever Max Engelbrekt thought he was out of the inning on a ground ball to Peterson at second, but Petey airmailed the short toss to first and Grebek scored the tying run. That would have more implications than seemed possible at the time.
Things died down over the next few innings. Hendrix reached first in the top of the eighth after being hit by a pitch, but Peterson would fly out to squash the threat. Shaun Chase doubled with one out in the bottom of the eighth and was lifted for a pinch runner, but that runner was gunned down trying to score on a single to left. Michael Conforto's laser to the plate continued the Civil War tradition of throwing out big runs from his post in left field.
Dumb duck. (credit: Oregon State Athletics)
After no more threats to score in the ninth and tenth innings, Oregon State loaded the bases with only one down in the 11th. Senior Nick Rulli, trying to keep up his own Civil War tradition of clutch hitting, was brought in to pinch hit for Michael Howard. Rulli grounded weakly to short though, and Oregon escaped the inning on a tailor-made double play ball.
The next inning would prove to be the one. After Dan James struck out looking, Logan Ice singled, Caleb Hamilton was hit by a pitch, and Trever Morrison walked. Hendrix then clutched up yet again, lining out to right field to bring home Ice for the go-ahead run.
Of course, the bottom of the 12th wasn't easy. Aaron Payne walked to start the inning, then was moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt. He advanced to third on a groundout, bringing Garlick to the plate with a chance to tie or win the game. Kyle smacked a ball Morrison at short, whose throw to first was a bit wild. James was able to hold on and apply the tag though, sending the Beavers off into the night with a crazy win.
Oregon State improved to 35-8 on the season with the win, while Oregon fell to 34-14. Next up for the Beavers is a home date with UCLA on Friday night, a game that will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks.
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