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Oregon State Struggles Offensively, Loses Pape Grand Slam Finale

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Oregon State failed to find run support and couldn't find timely hitting as the Beavers dropped the rubber game of the Pape Grand Slam to Missouri State 4-2 on Sunday afternoon at PGE Park. Oregon State drops to 8-5 on the season with the loss. 

Jorge Reyes, who many think has the stuff to be a Friday starter, struggled in his third start of the season. He only managed to last two innings on Sunday, giving up four runs on seven hits in his short time on the hill. 

Missouri State scored all of their runs in the first two innings of the game, while Jorge Reyes was pitching for the Beavers. In the first inning, Kevin Medrano got things started for the Bears with a single to right field. Brayden Drake and Chris Player each singled for MSU, with Playter's single driving in Medrano to give MSU the early 1-0 advantage.

In the second inning, it was Kevin Medrano again who broke things open for Missouri State. Both right fielder Christian Overstreet and Aaron Conway, who reached base earlier in the inning, had no problem scoring on Medrano's triple to right center. Medrano would later score on a double by Brayden Drake, giving the Bears a quick 4-0 lead and reason enough for the Oregon State coaching staff to go to the bullpen for Sam Gaviglio early in the third inning.  

The Beavers were held to just seven hits on the afternoon, with MSU starter Aaron Meade giving up just four hits in six innings of work. Remember, Meade also threw the final three innings of Game 2 earlier Sunday afternoon.

Freshman Sam Gaviglio, who came on in relief of Reyes, pitched brilliantly in his six innings of work. He scattered just two hits against the 21 batters he faced, striking out eight and walking zero along the way. He gave way to Josh Osich in the ninth inning, but it wasn't at all because he was struggling. 

Trailing 4-0 in the seventh inning, the Beavers battled back for two runs on Steffen Romero's 2-RBI single to center field that scored Wallace and pinch hitter Brett Casey. The Beavers would cut the deficit to 4-2 at that point. 

In the bottom of the ninth, the Beavers got their leadoff man in Brett Casey aboard, Tommasini got a hit, and by the time there was two outs, the bases were loaded for Ryan Ortiz. A base hit by Ryan would have likely tied the game with good speed on the basepaths, but Jon Barnes struck out Ortiz on four pitches to end the game. 

Although the game was definitely a frustrating one, it's one that the Beavers lost-- it wasn't taken away from them. The Bears did all their scoring in the first two innings, so the Beavers had the remaining seven to make up four runs, and they couldn't do it. The Missouri State pitching wasn't excellent-- it was good-- but the Beavers simply couldn't find the offense in the final two days of the weekend at PGE Park. 

The Beavers got seven hits in the game, but eleven men were left on base, roughly five of those were in scoring position. The little things like runners left on base will improve with the general improvement of the offense, but it's something that you can bet Pat Bailey and the rest of the coaches will be working hard on in practice this week as the Beavers prepare to take on Utah Valley in a two-game series at the end of this week.

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