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Beavers Come From Behind to Beat Missouri

In a clash of nationally-ranked teams, the Beavers came back from a 6-5 defecit in the sixth inning to win their second game of the DeMarini Invitational in Tempe, Arizona by the score of 12-8 over the Missouri Tigers on Friday afternoon. 

The No. 22 Beavers held a 5-0 lead after the third inning before Missouri drove in three runs in both the fourth and sixth innings to take a 6-5 lead. But then, the Beavers came through with five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, taking a 10-6 lead. The Beavers outscored the Tigers 7-3 over the final three and a half innings of the game. 

In the first inning, Joey Wong was hit by a pitch and advanced to third after John Wallace reached on a fielding error by Missouri. Then, catcher Ryan Ortiz drove in Joey with a groundout to Missouri shortstop Michael Liberto, putting the Beavers up 1-0.

In the third, John Wallace and Ryan Ortiz led off with back-to-back walks, then first baseman Stefen Romero doubled to score Wallace. Three batters later, Rob Folsom singled, driving in Ortiz, and eventually scoring Romero from second after a fielding error by Tigers right-fielder Aaron Senne. OSU designated hitter Adalberto Santos, who walked earlier in the inning, scored the fourth run of the inning on a Koa Kahalahoe single. 

The third inning four run burst gave Oregon State a comfertable 5-0 margin heading into the fourth inning. But Oregon State starter Tanner Robles would encounter turbulance in the top half of the fourth, when he walked two batters and then gave up a three-run home run to Missouri's cleanup hitter and catcher, Trevor Coleman. That would be Robles' final inning of work, as freshman right-hander Sam Gaviglio came on in the fifth inning, inheriting a 5-3 lead.

Gaviglio pitched a brilliant fifth inning in his Oregon State debut. He struck out Ben Turner to begin the inning, then forced a groundout to Michael Liberto. Rex Meyr would reach base on a fielding error by OSU shortstop Joey Wong, but Gaviglio sat down Greg Folgia to end the fifth frame.

In the sixth, Gaviglio gave up a leadoff base hit to Ryan Lollis, then hit Trevor Coleman. Both players would score on a double by Kyle Mach, and Kyle Mach scored on a double by Ben Turner, giving Missouri a 6-5 lead. 

Trailing for the first time in eighteen innings, the Beavers produced five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Two runs scored on a double by Stefen Romero, another scored on a Jared Norris single, Romero scored by way of a walk, and Rob Folson's sacrifice fly scored Norris. Oregon State would then take a 10-6 lead into the seventh inning.

After Oregon State pitcher Sam Gaviglio allowed three runs in the top of the sixth, Sophomore right-hander James Nygren came on in relief for the seventh inning. He walked the leadoff man in Rex Meyr, who stole second, advanced to third on a flyball, then scored on a ground ball. 

Oregon State and Missouri would then trade runs over the next inning and a half. The Beavers led by the score of 12-8 heading into the top of the ninth. Kraig Sitton, who had come on in relief of Nygren, struck out the leadoff man, forced a groundout, then walked Aaron Senne. Andrew Thigpen then came to the plate as the last chance for the Tigers. He hit a routine ground ball to Carter Bell at third base, but the throw was high, and Thigpen was safe at first base. 

That prompted the Beaver coaching staff to go to the bullpen for Kevin Rhoderick, who closed out the game with a strikeout of Kyle Mach on four pitches.

Sam Gaviglio picked up the win for the Beavers in his first collegiate appearance. The freshman attended Ashland High School last year, where he led his team to the Oregon 5A State Championship and was named 5A Pitcher of the Year. Kevin Rhoderick got back on track after a disappointing season premiere  against Tennessee, picking up his first save of the season against the Tigers.

With the win, the 22nd-ranked Beavers move to 3-1 on the season. Missouri, ranked 15th, falls to 1-6 on the year. 

Oregon State will be in action again Saturday (tomorrow) against Arizona State, a game which will serve as a good barometer for the Beavers.

--Jake (jake.buildingthedam@gmail.com)

[UPDATE] For RVM's thoughts on the game, scroll down or click here.