It seemed like this was a game the Beavers should have won-- they just couldn't get ahold of USC starting pitcher Brad Boxburger, and couldn't get the timely hit they needed on Friday night at Goss Stadium.
The Beavers eventually got enough hits to suffice-- mostly in the seventh inning-- but just couldn't ever get the hit they needed. The Beavers scored three runs in the seventh inning, but probably could have scored five or six. After a double, single, and another double to start the inning, the Beavers only brought in three runs. The bases were loaded for Brett Casey when he came in to pinch hit for John Tommasini (who must be injured...), and he grounded into a double play. Wallace scored on the play, but that double play totally changed the dynamic of the inning. It went from having one guy already in, bases loaded, and no outs..... to two in, runner on third, two outs. Luckily, Joey Wong came through with a nice base hit to right field to score Kahalehoe.
Long story short, down 4-0 in the seventh, you're happy to get three runs, but that was our opportunity to break the game open even farther.
Then, in the eighth, Ryan Ortiz hit a ball off the outfield wall for a double with one out, and didn't even advance to third in the inning. I know I thought the ball was headed over the fence when I first saw it... but I was pretty confident we could get a base hit later in the inning to score him.... it didn't happen.
In the ninth it was more of the same frustration after Michael Miller lead off with a walk. Just needing to score one run in the inning, I felt pretty confident that we could bunt him to second, then look for a base hit to drive him home. But Brett Casey, who stayed in the game to play second for Tommasini, popped up two bunt attempts after missing or taking several others. The first popup didn't get caught, but the second one did down the third base line. Joey advanced Miller to second on a ground ball to the pitcher, but that was the second out already. Miller would then get to third on a past ball, before Santos struck out to end the game.
So lots of missed opportunities for the Beavers, who seemed to be getting something going in the late innings.
Robert Stock, who came in to pitch in the eighth, was good, but still reachable. Stock started the game for USC at catcher... I don't know that I've ever seen a coach pull a catcher out of the game and have him pitch in the same inning. Stock was scheduled to start Game 3 against Jorge Reyes. He threw 33 pitches on Friday, so it will be interesting to see if he can go against on Sunday.
While I'm thinking about it, there's one other incident from Friday's game worth mentioning here... after Waldron gave up a leadoff, first-pitch home run to Brandon Garcia, he threw the very next pitch over the head of USC right fielder Alex Sherrod. Sherrod then took a couple steps towards the mound before turning back-- regardless, it took all the umpires to clear up the situation. Then Chad Krueter had many words to say to someone on the OSU bench-- I'm not sure who. The coaching staffs then got into it again after the game after shaking hands. Casey, Bailey, and Yeskie were all involved, and all three were pissed. Again, not sure what was being said, but I liked the way that Casey and the rest of the coaches stood up to the situation.
Anyway, the guys should be fired up to play in Game 2. They need to be, because the Beavers really need to win this series.