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Beavers Salvage Game Three from USC

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Final Score: OSU 5, USC 4 (Boxscore)

In what turned into one of the unluckiest, wackiest, unfortunate weekends in memory, the Beavers finally clinched a win over USC in the 28th inning of the weekend. 

Jorge Reyes started the game for the Beavers, going six and two thirds innings. He gave up four runs on six hits on the day, but four runs and four hits came in the seventh inning. So his first five innings of work, Jorge only gave up two hits, while striking out six. 

Sam Gaviglio helped Jorge get out of the seventh, recording the third out in the inning and the first out of the eighth. The Beavers then went to Kraig Sitton, who pitched a perfect two innings of relief. Then, with one out in the top of the tenth, the Beavers went to Kevin Rhoderick in a non-close situation. He threw four pitches, enducing a groundout on the first pitch to Robert De Pino, and sat down Greg Zebrack on three pitches. 

The Beavers looked poised to run the Trojans out of Corvallis in the first inning, when they started the game with a four run barrage. With Wong on second and Ortiz on first, Stefen Romero doubled to right center to drive in Wong and move Ortiz to third. Max Schupe walked to load the bases. Logan Lotti then reached on a throwing error by USC second baseman Robert De Pinto, scoring Ortiz on a ground ball that should have ended the inning. Michael Miller took advantage of the USC error, as his single to center field scored Schupe and Romero. The Beavers would take a 4-0 margin out of the inning, although they would leave the bases loaded after Tommasini was hit by a pitch, and Wong grounded out. 

Leaving the bases loaded didn't seem like a big deal at the time with four runs in during the inning, but it the cushion would not be enough for the Beavers to hold of USC's seventh inning charge. 

Jorge Reyes gave up just his second walk of the game to lead-off man Mike O'Neill to start the seventh inning, and gave up his third hit to Grant Green, who doubled to left. Ricky Oropesa grounded out to John Tommasini at second base, scoring O'Neill from third. Three more singles by AAAA Vasquez, Robert Castillo, and Alex Sherrod brought four runs in during the inning, allowing the Trojans to close the four run gap that had existed since the first inning, tying the game at four. 

The Beavers threatened to win the game in the bottom of the ninth, as John Wallace doubled to lead things off. He moved over to third on a groundout by Ryan Ortiz. Norris was intentionally walked to get to Santos, who came to the plate with one out and runners on first and third. He fouled out down the right feield line, and Wallace was thrown out on the play, tagging from third, to end the inning.

The Baseball Gods finally smiled upon the Beavers in the tenth, when two singles by Koa Kahalehoe and Michael Miller put the Beavers in prime position to score a run. John Tommasini laid down a bunt down the third base line, and when Daniel Copper picked up the ball and tried to get the lead runner at third, he fired the ball into left field, allowing Kahalehoe to score easily from third, and giving the Beavers one precious victory to take away from the weekend. 

Robert Stock, who played catcher and also pitched for the Trojans (he threw 33 pitches) in Friday's game, started the game for USC, and threw 129 pitches. What does this guy have for an arm? He pitched seven full innings, and had little problesm after riding out the Beavers' four run barrage in the first inning. 

Daniel Copper came into pitch behind of Stock, giving up four hits in his two innings of work. But more important than his work on the mound was his work off of it, as he was the one who threw Tommasini's bunt into the outfield so the Beavers could win. 

Now, we'd like to believe that had there not been an error committed on the final play of the game, the Beavers would have found a way to manufacture a run anyhow. But the fact that the Trojans were trying to get the lead runner at third worries me, because if they did, that would be runners on first and second with two outs for Joey Wong, which is a situation that practically haunted us all weekend. 

It's now off to Los Angeles and Jackie Robinson Stadium, as the Beavers will hope to win a three-game series this weekend against UCLA. 

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