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It was not conventional, but OSU baseball defeats Cal 9 to 3 in ten innings

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For most of the game it was a tough evening, and night for the second ranked OSU Beavers baseball team, but the Beavs catch some breaks and make some huge end of the game defensive plays to finally blow open the game in the tenth inning. Oregon State rips the Golden Bears for seven runs in the first extra inning to win the game 9 to 3.

Scott Schultz helps Oregon State Beavers finish the game strong to defeat the Cal Golden Bears 9 to 3
Scott Schultz helps Oregon State Beavers finish the game strong to defeat the Cal Golden Bears 9 to 3

It was a game of seemingly extremes, in which the opening inning Cal had a roster issue that saw the starter at shortstop not being included on their player roster, which then nullified the sacrifice bunt and gets the Beavs out of the inning that started with an error by Trever Morrison (Morrison helped his cause though by helping turn the inning ending double play).

More early strangeness included seeing the home run hitting Cal Bear Derek Campbell striking out on a fouled off bunt attempt with two strikes, and a Cal miscue on a hit-and-run.  Cal though added to some positive strangeness with the coming into the game struggling starting pitcher Kyle Porter striking out the side in the second inning with Oregon State runners on the corners, and seeing league leading Michael Conforto striking out three times for the game (the Beavs struck out 12 times total).

The Beavs scored the first run of the game in the third inning with Jeff Hendrix scoring on a throwing error by the California catcher trying to throw out Andy Peterson on a steal attempt to second.

Things settled down overall after the third inning for both teams with Cal's Porter controlling the Oregon State batters and OSU's Andrew Moore doing his normal keeping things in control overall with solid pitching and excellent defensive play behind him, such as another diving catch by Caleb Hamilton.

Cal though has to switch out pitchers in the seventh and reliever Alex Martinez opens the inning walking Gabe Clark who is moved to second on a Nate Esposito (Esposito started at catcher) sacrifice bunt and then a fielder's choice moved Clark over to third, to then score on a wild pitch to put the Beavs up 2 to 0.  This seemed like more than enough as Andrew Moore settled in to retire 12 batters in row, but it was not to be as Moore gives up two singles in the eighth inning and reliever Zach Reser allows Cal to score two runs to tie the game.

Things looked bleak for Oregon State in the ninth as they are unable to take advantage of a lead off single by Dylan Davis who was moved over to second with only one out.  In the bottom of the ninth things looked even worse as the Golden Bears' Campbell doubled off of Scott Schultz to then move over to third with only one out, but a couple excellent plays by Andy Peterson to keep a possible winning base hit from going into the outfield and helping turn the inning ending double play in the ninth kept the Beavs hopes alive as the game moved into extra innings.

This was all the second ranked Oregon State Beavers needed as Cal imploded in the top of the tenth.  The Golden Bears allowed three straight hits (Morrison single, Hendrix single, and Peterson double which put OSU up 3 to 2), then after an intentional walk of Michael Conforto allowed another single by Dylan Davis that put the Beavs up 4 to 2.  Things for Cal just went downhill including an error and hit batter that increased the Beavs' lead to 6 to 2.  Oregon State was not done with a Logan Ice walk, another hit batter, and a Jeff Hendrix sacrifice fly all adding to the Beavers' total of seven runs in the inning.  It was an impressive rally and in the end blow out inning, all the more impressive that most of the damage was done against one of the best conference saves leaders Trevor Hildenberger.

Cal though showed a little final life with a lead off triple by Vince Bruno, but Scott Schultz had more than enough to work with, and closed out the deal as the Beavs win the game 9 to 3 to go to 16 and 4 in conference play keeping pace with the Washington Huskies (who won today against Utah 11 to 1). Schultz improved to 5-2 for this season with the win.

Oregon State and California play the third game tomorrow, Sunday, with a scheduled first pitch at 1:00pm.  The Beavers have a chance for another series sweep, which would be 3 in a row against Cal, and let's hope that the game is a bit more of a conventional OSU win without too much drama!

Go Beavs!