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To the Comeback Trail We Go

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Fort Worth Regional, Game 4

Final Score: TCU 13, Oregon State 1

It just wasn't Oregon State's night.

Everything that went right in Friday's regional opener against Texas A&M went wrong Saturday night against host TCU, as the starting pitching wasn't great, and the Beavers couldn't get anything going on offense.

The Beavers will now play Texas A&M  at 12 PM PT tomorrow in an elimination game. Texas A&M moved on to play the Beavers by way of coming back to defeat Wright State 6-4 in an elimination game earlier today. 

The Beavers must now win three consecutive games to move on to Super Regionals, as they need to beat Texas A&M once and TCU twice to reciprocate the feat they accomplished two years ago in Charlottesville, Virginia. Back in Charlottesville, the Beavers lost to host Virginia in the second round, before winning three consecutive games to clinch the title. The Beavers are looking for the exact same outcome to unfold in Fort Worth.  

Saturday's outcome was predicated by a shaky start from Tyler Waldron. Waldron, who eventually went four and a third innings, gave up six runs and nine hits in the game. 

TCU got on the board first in the second inning when Chris Ellington homered to left field. They would add a single run in both the third and fourth innings before moving their lead to 6-0 in the fifth inning with two more runs. Waldron walked two batters in that inning, and would leave the game after an RBI double by Matt Vern. 

Oregon State, who had nine hits within the first four innings of yesterday's game with Texas A&M, got their first hit of the game in the sixth inning. It was Wong's first hit of the Fort Worth regional, and it would wind up being just one of three Oregon State hits in the game. Jared Norris would get another hit in the game for OSU, a RBI single in the same inning that would drive in Wong. 

As if the 6-1 lead the Horned Frogs took into the wasn't enough, TCU put up seven runs in the top of the ninth inning off of Oregon State reliever James Nygren. Nygren, who stabilized the game when he came in to pitch in the fifth, couldn't get the final outs of the game for the Beavers. 

The Beavers coaches would eventually turn to Mark Grbavac to close out the ninth inning. The loss necessitates two wins tomorrow for the Beavers, which means the bullpen will likely be taxed tomorrow. It is assumed that the coaching staff didn't want to use an extra arm in the game, but the ninth inning barrage by TCU made it necessary. 

The final hit of the game for Oregon State would come in the ninth inning from pinch hitter Rob Folsom. By then, it was too late, as Koa Kahalehoe was struck out by Kaleb Merick for the 27th out of the game. 

The Beavers will play Texas A&M tomorrow at 12 PM PT. If they win that game, the Beavers would play again at 7 PM PT against TCU. Two wins tomorrow would force a Monday night game for the regional championship. 

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