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Beavers Emerge Victorious in Fort Worth Regional Opener

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NCAA Fort Worth Regional, Game 1

Final Score: Oregon State 9, Texas A&M 8

And we all thought that Texas A&M was the offensive powerhouse.

The Beavers jumped out to an early lead on Texas A&M in Friday's opening game of the Fort Worth Regional, amassing nine hits and seven runs in the first four innings. 

The Beavers, who average under seven runs per game, were leading Texas A&M by the score of 7-1 after four complete at TCU's Lupton Stadium. 

Freshman starter Sam Gaviglio, in his sixth start of the season, threw five and two thirds innings, allowing one run on six hits while striking out six batters. In the sixth inning, with two on and two outs, the Beaver coaching staff elected to go to Greg Peavey in favor of Gaviglio, and chaos ensued from there. 

After Gaviglio left the game, the Aggies came storming back, and would eventually bring the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning against closer Kevin Rhoderick. 

After the first six innings of the game, I don't think anyone expected that Oregon State would show any signs of slowing. Although OSU was the dominant team offensively in the early part of the game, Texas A&M quickly caught up in the late innings.

The Beavers got on the board in the top of the seconding inning when John Tommasini hit a triple to left center to drive home two. Ortiz would bring home Tommasini with a single, and Ortiz would score on a single by Stefen Romero.

Despite the offensive surge at the beginning of the game, the Beavers continued to leave a plethora of runners on base. The Beavers left the bases loaded in the first inning, left two more on in the second, and another two in the third and sixth innings. The Beavers would leave eleven runners on base in the game.

A Carter Bell double in the fourth inning allowed two more Beaver runs to score, and Bell would score on a Koa Kahalehoe single. The Beavers took a 7-0 lead at that point, and showed no signs of weakness offensively. 

Koa would drive home two more runs in the sixth inning, singling to left field. He ended the day at 3-for-5 with one run scored and three runs batted in.

Greg Peavey, although getting an out to end the sixth inning, struggled in the seventh. Three base hits by Texas A&M hitters loaded the bases. Josh Osich was summoned to handle the jam, and gave up a sacrice fly to Brooks Raley that scored A&M's second run of the game. He then walked two consecutive batters to re-load the bases before issuing a strikeout to Joe Patterson. 

With the bases loaded and one out in the seventh, the Beavers went to Mark Grbavac, who gave up a base hit before recording the final out of the seventh inning, inducing Brett Parsons to fly out to shortstop. Ryan Gorton and Josh Osich would also work in the late innings of the game, each of them giving up hits but not being charged with any runs.

Kevin Rhoderick would inherit a four run lead in the ninth inning, and was the seventh Beaver pitcher to enter the game. Rhoderick, after getting two outs but letting two runners on base, gave up a three run home run to Caleb Shofner that put the Aggies within one run of a complete comeback. 

Building the Dam's MVP: The MVP of today's game is freshman pitcher Sam Gaviglio, who set the tone on the Beavers on the mound. If the coaches could have the decision to go to the bullpen so early back, I bet they stick with Gaviglio for a few more batters, at least. But with the team playing well and Gaviglio throwing just under 100 pitches in the 93 degree heat, the coaching staff decided to not tax Sam and go to Greg Peavey. The team struggled from there as A&M got hot offensively, but the performance Gaviglio had to hold the A&M offense to just one run, a homer by Kyle Colligan, was a big reason why the Beavers are sitting comfortably in the winners bracket. 

BtD MVP Runner Up: I'm tempted to say Koa Kahalehoe, but I'm going to go with Carter Bell as the runner up. Bell, starting at third base as a freshman, went 3-for-3 in his first three at-bats. Those three hits would be his only of the game, but his third, a two out double, would drive home two runs and put the Beavers up 6-1. 

More in the coming hours. The Beavers will now play the winner of TCU and Wright State tomorrow evening at 5:00 PM PT. 

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

See it from Texas A&M's perspective over on I Am the 12th Man