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Huskies Walk To Win to Avoid Series Sweep

The Washington Huskies followed up a hit batsman with three walks for the winning run in the eighth inning of Sunday's 3-2 win over Oregon St. Beaver starter Sam Gaviglio hit the Huskies' Eric Peterson to start the inning, and reliever Kraig Sitton couldn't consistently find the strike zone. His third base on balls, to Jacob Lamb, allowed pinch runner Andy Smith to produce the game winning run for Washington without the Huskies getting a hit.

Andrew Susac doubled to drive in Rob Folsom and Jared Norris in the second inning, giving the Beavers an early 2-0 lead, but Washington scored single runs in the third and fourth innings to tie the game back up.

Peterson scored in the third inning, and then Pierce Rankin, who had also got on base after being hit by a Gaviglio pitch, advanced to third on Lamb's single, and scored on a fielders' choice to tie the game.

Adalberto Santos represented the tieing run when he got his second hit of the game in the bottom of the eighth inning, but was stranded on base, and the Beavers went down in order in the ninth.

Gaviglio (2-3) took the loss, after throwing 109 pitches. Leaving him in longer "was not an option," according to coach Pat Casey.

"After (109) pitches, and with a left-hander on deck that had seen Sam three times, it's the right baseball decision, there is absolutely no question," Casey said. "You don't throw guys 125 pitches when you have a bullpen that's ready to go and we've got the match-ups, lefty-on-lefty. It was the right thing to do. But when you get a run in an inning and you don't get a hit, you don't even have to swing the bat, it makes the game pretty easy for your opponent."

Jacob Clem (4-3), who came on in relief of Washington starter Brandon Rohde, got the win for the Huskies.

Oregon St. out-hit Washington for the third game in a row, but only 7-5 this time, and Clem worked out of jams, where the Beavers left runners in scoring position in the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and eight innings.

"You've got to give the guy credit," Casey said of Clem. "He stuffed us. I'm very disappointed that we didn't put up a better offensive effort, but he was real good."

Huskies coach Lindsay Meggs's plan going into the game was to use Rohde for only one inning, and then turn to Clem, who allowed two runs on two hits in the second inning and then shutout the Beavers on four hits over the final seven innings.

"I kind of just found my rhythm," Clem said. "It took me awhile. I mean, I was struggling in the second, obviously, and then I kind of got out of a few jams and just stuck with my plan. Then everything started working a little better for me."

Washington (26-24, 9-12) climbed back into a tie for eighth place in the Pac-10 with Oregon St. (26-16, 9-12).

The Beavers could have climbed within one game of the third place tie among Washington St., California, and Stanford with a win, which would have given them two straight Pac-10 series sweeps.

Oregon St. has a pair of mid-week games, 5:30 Tuesday, and 2:00 Wednesday, against Seattle U. (9-36), before heading for Tempe, and a weekend series with conference leading Arizona St. (42-6, 15-5). The third ranked Sun Devils defeated the Beavers 6-4 back on March 5 in Surprise, Arizona, in the Coca-Cola Classic tournament.

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com