6th ranked Oregon State hosted the Bryant Bulldogs in the Beavers home opener for the 2013 season, and it was a battle until the end, which included the teams taking it to extra innings. The teams traded blows all game long and in a game where some solid contact was made at the plate both Oregon State and Bryant put together a wonderful night of defensive plays. The Beavs though played with a little luck being down until the seventh inning and took advantage of the Bulldogs only sloppy play--an error on an outfield dropped ball--to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh.
After they tied the game it looked like the Beavs were going to take command on their home field with a beautiful hit-and-run on an initially shown bunt by Max Gordan to put the go ahead run on third with no outs. The Beavs loaded the bases with one out and Tyler Smith found himself doubled up for the second time in the game on a great play by the Bryant infield on a sharply hit line drive ball. Smith though made amends in the bottom of the tenth inning with runners on second and third to make solid contact getting the ball well into the outfield for the walk off winning RBI.
Again though it was a nail-biter type of defensive game that looked to have both teams ready to take advantage of some solid contact with their bats. Indicative of this play it was not until the eighth inning that Bryant went for the first time in the game 3 up and 3 down. Even on plays that looked about to break it open the other team's defense made heads up plays. Jake Rodriguez's seventh inning RBI single was case in point as Rodriguez was able to hit the runner in--who was only on second after the fielding error by the Bulldog outfield--but Rodriguez was thrown out on a heads up defensive play and with some bad luck sliding past the bag at second.
Pitching on both sides also had their moments and kept the game tight, such as seen in the third inning where both teams had doubles but were unable to score the runners. LHP Matt Boyd was not as commanding as his previous starts but was able to keep the game well within control and struck-out seven batters, but his opponent RHP Peter Kelich was also able to keep things just enough in control to keep the game tight with four strikeouts and Kelich did not give up any runs in his five innings pitched. Even when Boyd gave up a lead-off double that eventually scored the only Bryant run, he was able to get out of the inning with only that amount of damage. OSU's Scott Schultz came in as relief and kept things enough in check for freshman Max Engelbrekt to close the deal and get his first win as an Oregon State Beaver.
The final numbers had Bryant with one run on ten hits and the Bulldogs had one costly error; Oregon State had two runs on eight hits and again had no errors. In the end the combination of OSU pitching and defense was enough for the Beavs to get their ninth win in a row to go to 9 and 0 for the young season.
Both teams come at it all again tomorrow, Saturday, for a double-header. The first game was scheduled to start at 1:05, but has been moved up an hour, due to the rain in the forecast for late in the day, and the teams will take the field at noon.
RHP Dan Child getting the first start for Oregon St., followed by RHP Andrew Moore getting the call for the second game, in his first Corvallis appearance on the hill.
And tomorrow's package of baseball should prove exciting once again as this Oregon State team continues to impress with their ability to play smart baseball, grind it out when needed, and win in different ways.