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Oregon St. at San Diego St. Game Thread

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#21 Oregon State (4-1) vs. San Diego St. (1-4) - 6 PM PST at Tony Gwynn Stadium, San Diego St. University / The Mountain / KEJO 1240 AM and KPOJ 620 AM (Not streamed)

Oregon St. continues their weekend in San Diego with a game against the Aztecs in Tony Gwynn Stadium, minus Tony Gwynn. The San Diego St. alum and head coach had surgery Monday to remove a tumor from his saliva glands, and will miss the game.

Final Score - Box Score

OSU 10

Pacific 7

The Beavers got off to a good start Thursday afternoon, with a pair of runs in the first inning, and 3 more in the second, to jump ahead of Pacific. The Tigers clawed their way back into the game, trailing 5-3 after 4 innings, 7-5 after 5, and only 8-7 after the 6th inning. But that was as close as they would get, as Oregon St.'s Taylor Starr, who had come on in the bottom of the 6th., with 2 more insurance runs in the top of the 7th., proceeded to shut Pacific out the next 2 1/3 innings, and then handed the ball over to Matt Boyd to close things out. Boyd only threw the ball 6 times, but got the last 2 outs and the save, and the Beavers got the 10-7 win.

Senior second baseman John Tommasini had 3 hits, Ryan Dunn drove in 3 runs, and Danny Hayes, Ryan Barnes, and Kavin Keyes all had 2 hits each to key the Beavers' small ball barrage, which accounted for a dozen total hits. 7 walks and a batter hit by a pitch contributed to the conquering of a quintet of Tiger pitchers.

The Beavers then hustled across town to watch the Aztecs play Kansas St., who Oregon St. will face Sunday afternoon. The Wildcats from the Big XII Conference were the more impressive squad, pulling out to a 7-0 lead by the top of the 6th. inning before San Diego St. scratched out a couple of runs before falling 7-2.

The Aztecs gave up 10 hits and 5 walks, and also had a couple of defensive errors. Offensively, San Diego St. got only 5 hits, though 1 was a solo home run by first baseman John Spirk.

San Diego St. started their season against Washington last weekend, and dropped the first 2 contests 7-4 and 12-9, before pulling out a 10-9 win Sunday, on a walkoff 2 RBI bases loaded double by their leadoff batter, center fielder Cody Smith.

The Aztecs also dropped a game Tuesday at UC-Riverside 7-1.

So San Diego St. has given up 7 runs in 3 of their first 5 games, and more in games where their opponents have seen them previously. Oregon St. should be able to maintain their 8 runs per game average against them.

One thing Oregon St. will try to do better tonight will be to get the clutch hit that evaded them several times against Pacific when they have the chance to put an opponent away. The Beavers left a dozen runners on base against the Tigers.

San Diego St. went 22-36 in 2011, and 11-13 in the Mt. West Conference, finishing 4th in what was a 7 team conference for baseball last year, before Utah, who finished 2nd left for the Pac-12, and BYU bolted to the WCC when their football program went independent. So a top 5 finish is assured for the Aztecs this year!

Probable starting pitchers tonight are RHP Cole Baylis (0-0, 2.25) for Oregon St. and RHP Travis Pitcher (0-0, 6.00) for San Diego St. That's not a misprint, the Aztecs are going with junior JC transfer Travis Pitcher.

Pitcher got the start in the second game against Washington in his only action so far this season, and went 3 innings. Pitcher gave up 4 hits and 4 walks, and 2 runs, both earned, in the top of the third, and exited with the Aztecs down 2-1 in what would become a shootout, with ties at 5 apiece in the 6th inning and 8 each in the 8th, before the Huskies hammered out the 12-9 win.

Bayliss got the start last Saturday, in the game scheduled for 7 innings against UCSB that wound up going 8. Bayliss went 1 batter into the 5th inning, giving up a single run in the 3rd innings, and then a game tieing home run right before being relieved by the ubiquitous Matt Boyd. Bayliss gave up 6 hits and a walk, and had 1 strikeout.

Tonight's game will be televised by The Mountain, the satellite/cable channel that primarily covers the Mt. West Conference, which San Diego St. is a member of, meaning Directv customers have a rare chance to see an Oregon St. baseball game, never mind one on the road. Unfortunately for those who are Comcast customers, Comcast doesn't carry The Mountain even in a premium package in the state of Oregon.

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com