I have a lot of catching up to do in the next few hours....
On Tuesday, the Beavers played their fourth game in three days in the Rose City, this time against the local Portland Pilots. With a series win over SEC power Georgia already under their belts, the Beavers headed to Joe Etzel Field on the campus of UP with high hopes. With a season-high 18 hits, the Beavers barraged the Pilot pitchers and went on to win by the score of 16-0.
The Pilots and the Beavers have had a rich history of playing baseball together, with the Beavers leading the all-time series 142-60, not counting Tuesday's victory. Of those 202 games, Pat Casey has been involved with 47, and has a 38-9 all-time record against the Pilots. In the last two years in which Oregon State has won national championships, the Beavers have beaten the Pilots four of five times. The Beavers have three more games scheduled with the Pilots this season. The two teams will continue to play on Tuesdays, with the next meeting scheduled for March 31 at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field. After that, the two teams will play April 15 back in Portland, and again April 23 in Corvallis.
On Tuesday, the Beavers were retired in order in the top of the first. Leadoff man Joey Wong started the game with a single, but Jason Ogata grounded into a double play two batters later to end the inning. OSU Starter Tanner Robles made quick work of the Pilots in the top of the first, but the game wouldn't remain tied for long.
Right fielder Daniel Robertson led off the top of the second with a walk. Designated Hitter Dale Solomon struck out, but Robertson stole second to put himself in scoring position with one out. First baseman Drew George was hit by a pitch, putting two on with one out. Tuesday's left fielder, Will Campbell, grounded into a fielder's choice, but made it safely to first when UP shortstop C.J. Cullen made an errant throw to second. Robertson advanced to third, loading the bases for catcher Ryan Ortiz. He singled up the middle, driving in two, and putting runners on the corners for Chris Hopkins. Chris singled on a successful squeeze play that scored Will Campbell from third. With the Beavers leading 3-0, Joey Wong came to the plate and singled, his second hit in as many innings. With the bases loaded and one out, freshman Garret Nash ended the party early when he grounded into a 3-2-1 double play. You don't see those very often.
The Beavers would go on to score 13 runs over the next five innings, securing their fourth victory of the season. Starter Tanner Robles went three complete innings, allowing no hits, and only walking one batter. He earned the win, his first of the season. Junior right hander Josh Keller relieved Robles in the fourth, and also threw three efficient innings. From there, freshman Josh Osich, sophomore Brad Kidd, and freshman James Nygren all threw for an inning apiece. As a staff, the Beavers only allowed two hits the entire game.
Joey Wong went 5-for-6 in the game, tying an OSU single-game record for hits. He started the game off with two singles, then homered to right field in the top of the fourth. Joey singled again in the fifth and hit into a fielder's choice in the top of the sixth, the only at-bat of the game in which Joey didn't record a hit. He doubled down the right field line in the eighth, before John Tommasini replaced him in the ninth.
Also, Daniel Robertson had three hits on the day, and Ryan Ortiz had two.
University of Portland catcher Rocky Gale had one of the Pilots' two hits in the bottom of the eighth off of Brad Kidd. Brad also gave up the second UP hit to pinch hitter Brandon Howard two batters later.
The Beavers, now 4-3 on the season, will take their #12 ranking to San Diego for four games in the San Diego State tournament. Mike Stutes is scheduled to start against Loyola Marymount in Game 1, Jorge Reyes against San Diego in Game 2, and the final two starts are yet to be determined.