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Oregon St. Pulls 10-7 Win Out Of Insanity

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Oregon St.'s Kyle Nobach delivers the game winning 2 RBI double.
Oregon St.'s Kyle Nobach delivers the game winning 2 RBI double.

Oregon St. came from behind to pull out a 10-7 win over Grambling in a sloppy comedy of errors in the rain that rendered the best outing by a Beaver pitcher an afterthought.

In the home opener for Oregon St., Andrew Moore mowed down the first 20 batters he faced, only to have rain and irrational decisions over the last third of the night steal the story.

The Beavers struck first, when Joe Gillette followed up a Logan Ice single in the second, with what was scored an RBI triple for a 1-0 lead. But it should have just been a long out; instead it was just an indication of things to come. In addition to a rash of technical problems, there was also something amiss with the lights, which would improve from very dark conditions to just very shadowy at the beginning of the 6th inning, but Tiger center fielder Edwin Drexler lost the ball in the lights/darkness, and the ball fell.

Oregon St. added 3 more in the 3rd, with the first run coming when with the bases loaded, Grambling starter Ike O'Bear hit Gabe Clark with a pitch, and then Ice followed up with a 2 RBI single to center.

With Moore mowing down Tiger after Tiger, it felt like Clark's solo shot to left in the 5th that made it 5-0 and froze the stream (again) was the insurance that would seal the deal.

But then the 7th inning, and the rain came.

After striking out the first 2 Tigers, Larry Barazza reached base when Beaver third baseman Caleb Hamilton tried to bare hand a ball, and the error broke up the perfect game.

A so-called single then broke up the no-hitter, but it went off Oregon St. second baseman Christian Donahue's glove, and should have been scored an error.

Grambling then got a pair of runs on an RBI double to right Roger Diaz drove a ball over right fielder Elliott Carey. In the deteriorating conditions, any ball in the air was an automatic trouble ball.

Responsible officiating would have called the game once it became a regulation game after the top of the 7th, with Oregon St. still up 5 to 2, but that didn't happen.

Instead, Michael Gretler walked, stole second when the Grambling catcher couldn't make an accurate throw with a wet ball after a wet ball wild pitch, and that allowed 2 infield grounders to move Gretler around for a 6-2 lead.

Then the insanity really started.

Moore opened the 8th by giving up his first actual solid hit, a double off the top of the wall in left field by Yariel Medina. Moore responded with his 10th strikeout of the night, but that took his pitch count over 100, and that prompted Nate Yeski to pull Moore, despite the fact that he was having the most effective night of any Oregon St. pitcher so far this season.

Luke Heimlich actually struck out the first batter he faced, but then issued back to back walks. Yeski inserted Austin Woodward, who promptly gave up a game tieing grand slam home run to Larry Barazza, and then another single.

Sam Tweedt was brought in, and threw 1 pitch, resulting in 1 hit, and Yeski pulled him in favor of MItch Hickey. Hickey served up a 4 pitch walk, and then hit the next batter with the bases loaded, and Grambling had taken a 7-6 lead before the Beavers could get out of the inning.

With conditions so bad it was almost impossible to grip a baseball, the decision was to play on anyway, and an array of Grambling pitchers issued 3 consecutive walks on 13 pitches, and then hit pinch hitter Billy King for an RBI plunk to re-tie the game.

Kyle Nobach then doubled to drive in 2 runs, only to run himself into an out with a base running error, going to 3rd with pinch runner Joey Jantzen already there.

Jeff Hendrix pushed the final run across with an RBI single to left that scored Jantzen before Grambling got out of the inning that saw the teams combine to use 9 pitchers.

Things were far from over though, as the Tigers loaded the bases in the 9th, when, with 2 out, Hickey hit a batter, gave up a hit, then issued a walk.

Fortunately, home plate umpire Joe Burleson had seen enough, and ended the game with a questionable low called strike that fit right in with everything else that had happened.

Neither Moore nor Grambling starter Ike O'Bear, who actually pitched quite well, figured in the decision, with Hickey getting his 3rd win of the year to go to 3-0, and save Yeski from totally blowing the situation, while Creighton Hoover, who threw 8 pitches, only 1 of which was a strike, took the loss to drop to 0-2 for the season.

The Beavers improved to 6-2, while the Tigers dropped to 2-6. Thew will conclude their 3 game series with a double header tomorrow, beginning at 1 PM, at which time the weather is forecast to be better. Much better.

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com