UCLA catcher Steve Rodriguez went 4 for 8 Saturday, but it took over 6 hours before he delivered a single with the bases loaded that drove in two runs, and when Oregon St. couldn't answer, the #3 Bruins had a 3-1 win over the #17 Beavers that evened the weekend series at a game apiece, and finally ended a 6-hour, 23-minute game.
Ryan Gorton, who threw seven innings Tuesday in the Beavers' win over the Portland Pilots, was in his fifth inning of relief work when things fell apart. Oregon St. tried to get the lead runner at third, a strategy that had worked previously, but a close play was called the Bruins' way.
Oregon St. coach Pat Casey stormed out of the OSU dugout to dispute the call, one replays showed to be very close, though radio play-by-play reliever Jay Reese said the view from the first base side looked like Brett Krill got his hand onto the bag in time.
Casey argued strongly enough that he got himself ejected by the third base umpire Pat Riley.Reese called the second half of the game in relief of the Beavers' ace play by play man Mike Parker, who had to leave for a dinner, originally planned to be a post game party, hopefully a celebration, where he was made an honorary Beaver alumni.
Jeff Gelalich drew a walk to load the bases, and Rodriguez drove a 2-1 pitch from Gorton, who possibly was left out there to long by the distracted OSU coaching staff, to right field, for two runs.
"With a club like UCLA, we need to take advantage of our opportunities," Beavers associate head coach Marty Lees, who took over for Casey after the ejection, said. "We missed a lot of opportunities at the plate. We struck out too many times, and we had runners in scoring position a lot. We needed to capitalize on that."
Most of the announced crowd of 2,974 weren't around to see UCLA reliever Garret Claypool set the the Beavers down in order in the bottom of the 16th. inning.
The Bruins broke a two game losing streak with the win.
UCLA (24-3, 3-2 in the Pac-10) used four pitchers combined to hold the Beavers to one run on 11 hits and seven walks, while serving up 18 strikeouts. Claypool (4-1) gave up only one hit in the final 4 2/3 innings.
Oregon St. (20-7, 3-2) missed multiple opportunities to pull out the win, leaving 10 runners in scoring position, and 17 on base. The Beavers left someone somewhere on the base paths for 12 straight innings.
The Bruins missed plenty of opportunities as well, leaving 22 runners on base, just one short of the Pac-10 record set by Arizona in 1979. UCLA left at least one runners in scoring position in the ninth, 10th, 11th, 12th, 14th, 15th, and 16th innings.
"Both teams had plenty of opportunities," Bruins coach John Savage said. "You've got to give pitching on both sides a lot of credit. Both teams really stepped up and made big pitches when they had to. The game was one hit away from being over about 10 times. It's too bad a team had to lose, because this was as good a college game as you're going to see through some people's eyes. I don't know about everybody's eyes, but it was a marathon and we were fortunate to come out on top."
The full effect won't be known until we see how the Sunday game, starting at noon plays out. UCLA only used four pitchers, while Oregon State used eight pitchers. The deciding game of the series could be decided by pitching depth, especially if neither team can do a better job of stringing hits together. Very possible, given that both staffs have proven over the first two games of the season that they are elite.