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Gaviglio Strikes Out 13, Beavers Win Series Over Arizona

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Sam Gaviglio, normally a ground-ball inducing pitcher, sat down 13 Arizona batters in Saturday's game, which ended up being OSU's first shutout in Pac-10 play.  (Photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ericksonimages/">Ethan Erickson</a>)
Sam Gaviglio, normally a ground-ball inducing pitcher, sat down 13 Arizona batters in Saturday's game, which ended up being OSU's first shutout in Pac-10 play. (Photo by Ethan Erickson)

Final Score: Oregon State 5, Arizona 0

While the story of Friday's game was the 3-for-3 performance by Adalberto Santos, Saturday's game will be remembered for the stellar performance of Oregon State starting pitcher Sam Gaviglio. 

But more importantly, the win will likely ensure that Oregon State will punch a ticket into the postseason on Monday morning with the field of 64 is announced. 

Gaviglio, making his ninth start of the season, recorded 13 strikeouts in seven and two thirds innings of work, striking out the side in the first, fourth, and fifth innings. Sam's previous career best strikeout performance came last season when he struck out eight batters, but he passed that mark after striking out Bobby Rinard to start the sixth inning. 

Gaviglio generally finds success as a ground ball pitcher, but the movement on his fastball and effectiveness of his slider fooled Arizona hitters all game long. 

The OSU bullpen finished the job for Sam, as Kraig Sitton made one pitch and induced a ground ball to end the eighth inning, and Tyler Waldron struck out the side in the ninth inning to seal the series win for the Beavers. 

Oregon State, who hasn't trailed in the series, got their first run of the game in the bottom of the third inning. Carter Bell reached on an error by Arizona third baseman Seth Mejias-Brown and moved to second when a pitch got by UA's Jett Bandy to the backstop. Bell scored on a single by first baseman Dylan Jones, and the Beavers led the rest of the way. 

Oregon State's only earned run of the game came in the fourth inning, when Andrew Susac took Arizona starter Kyle Simon deep over the left field fence. It was the freshman catcher's second home run of the season. 

The Beavers added three insurance runs in the ninth inning, all of them unearned. Adalberto Santos walked to lead off the inning and was bunted over to second, and the inning seemed to be coming to an end once Folsom flew out to center for the second out. However, Susac kept the Beavers alive with a walk and Tyler Smith drove in a run when his slow roller got under the glove of Arizona shortstop Alex Mejia. Keith Jennette then beat out a slow roller in the infield, and Carter Bell drove in two with a bloop single to left. 

While the three runs were all unearned and the Beavers weren't able to get a square swing on a ball in the inning, the Beavers proved that they are a scrappy offensive team who can take advantage of mistakes. 

The bottom of the lineup was much more productive for Oregon State today. In Friday's series opener Rob Folsom, Tyler Smith, Carter Bell and Keith Jennette went 0-for-13 with one walk. On Saturday, the final four batters in the order reached base 12 times, with Andrew Susac's fourth inning solo home run and Carter Bell's 2-RBI bloop single in the ninth inning being highlights. Susac, Smith, Jennette, and Bell combined to go 5-for-10 in Saturday's game. 

Adalberto Santos saw his 12-game hitting streak come to an end Saturday, as he went 0-for-3. Santos struck out looking in his first at bat, and grounded into a double play his second time at the plate. 

The Beavers now sit at 31-21 on the year and 12-14 in Pac-10 play. They've won 10 of their last 14 games, and their last four. 

That should be good enough for the Beavers to get in to the tournament, but why not seal the deal with a series sweep on Sunday?

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