Oregon St., aka "OSU" bounced back to beat Ohio St. aka "The OSU" 4-3 Tuesday night at Goss Stadium, after the Buckeyes bolted out to a 3-0 lead before the Beavers ever picked up a bat.
Oregon St.'s freshman starter Jake Thompson got in trouble early, with a walk and then a batter hit by a pitch, which set the table for Ronnie Dawson's run-scoring single to center.
Thompson who had already won 3 weekday games for Oregon St. this season, got a strikeout, but then got drilled for a 2 RBI double to right by Troy Montgomery before finally getting out of the inning, and out of the game after that.
Brandon Jackson took over, and turned in a solid 1 hit effort over the second inning and 2 outs into the third.
Meanwhile, Oregon St. scratched out 3 runs to tie the game in the bottom of the second. Dylan Davis led off with a double, Kavin Keyes drew a walk, and Caleb Hamilton singled to load the bases, and put the pressure on Ohio St. starter Jake Post.
Logan Ice got the Beavers on the board with a sacrifice fly, but it was Andy Peterson's speed that produced what was arguably the most important play of the game. With 2 outs, Peterson's grounder to second wasn't handled well by Ohio St. second baseman Troy Kuhn, and the throw was late, allowing both Morrison and Howard to score to tie the game.
Ohio St. essentially ran themselves out of a chance to win the game, daring on a couple of occasions to make over-aggressive base running moves that were mistakes against the Oregon St. defense.
The first critical episode came in the 4th inning, when Tim Wetzel tried to score from first on Kuhn's double to left field. That's where Michael Conforto patrols, and a perfect throw to short stop Trevor Morrison and a perfect relay to Ice cut down what could have eventually been the go ahead run.
Meanwhile, despite continuing difficulty in delivering the clutch hit, (Oregon St. left 2 on in the 2nd, left Gabe Clark on third in the third, and left the bases loaded after having loaded them with 1 out in the 5th, and got only 5 hits all night), the Beavers were able to get the winning run in that 5th inning, when, before loading the bases, Dylan Davis drove a single to left to drive in Peterson from second.
Good thing, because Ohio St. reliever Travis Lukins, who had taken over to face Davis, would also allow a single to Keyes, but then set down 10 Oregon St. batters the rest of the way.
The Beaver bullpen and defense did their job too though, getting out of a couple of tight spots to hold the Buckeyes scoreless the rest of the way as well.
Mak Fox in particular did a solid job in relief, taking over for Jackson in the 3rd and working into the 7th, allowing only 4 hits. Phil Belding then came in and threw 2 pitches. The second was for one of two double plays turned on the night by the Oregon St. defense to get out of the inning.
Trent Shelton took over in the 8th, and promptly gave up a triple to Pat Porter on the first pitch. Somewhat surprisingly, both pitching coach Nate Yeski and head coach Pat Casey resisted the temptation to pull Shelton, and he responded by working out of the jam, getting 3 fly ball outs to leave Porter standing at third.
That might have played into the Buckeye's dubious base running decision in the 9th inning that effectively ended Ohio St.'s last hope to force the game into extra innings. Pinch hitter Jake Brobst drew a leadoff walk, but after Shelton struck out another pinch hitter, Brobst attempted to steal second.
Ice made Brobst the 7th person to try that that he's gunned down this season, and Shelton got a fly ball out to Conforto to put away the win, pick up the save, and give the Beavers arguable their "best" win since their victory over Indiana in the Big-10/Pac-12 Challenge, as the Buckeyes were picked to finish 3rd in the B1G this year.
Fox got the win, his first decision ever as a Beaver.
Ironically, though Laking gave up the hit that scored the game winning run, Post took the loss, being responsible for Peterson, and fell to 2-1 for the season.
Fourth ranked Oregon St. improved to 15-3, having now won 7 in a row. It was also the Beavers' 3rd 1 run win this season.
Ohio St. dropped to 8-6, after losing 3 of 4 in the state of Oregon, having dropped 2 of 3 in their weekend series at Oregon.
The Beavers, having won 9 of 10 in their pre-season home stand, now head for Salt Lake City to open the Pac-12 season this weekend against Utah.
The Utes (8-7) will host the Beavers at 6 PM MDT (5 PM PDT) Friday night, and then at 1 PM MDT (Noon locally) both Saturday and Sunday.