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OSU Musters Enough to Mute the Mustangs

The Beavers recover in the series finale to tame the Mustangs 4-2.

Andy Wooldridge

After a rough weekend for the Beavers they were able to recover and put up a good outing against the Cal Poly Mustangs. Travis Eckert was on the mound, as he always is for the Sunday starts, and put up a decent day for his third win of the season with 6 full innings pitched, 6 hits allowed, 2 runs (both earned), 3 walks, and 3 strikeouts. It was not a day free of drama for the Oregon State starter however, as he allowed a baserunner in every inning that he pitched.

He had help handling the jams though as the defense helped erase any and all base runners with two double plays, although one of those worrying situations was created thanks to an error. The 1st through the 4th innings were controlled with these two phases of the squad. They then added a run in the bottom of the 4th to jump in front 1-0 after KJ Harrison singled back up the middle to score Christian Donahue, who was batting leadoff.

While OSU was initially performing well on the mound and in the field they were not able to stop the Mustangs in the 5th inning as Cal Poly would plate their only two runs of the game. It began with a walk given up to third baseman Tommy Pluschkell, and after a single continued the rally they had runners at the corners. The Mustangs brought home both of the runners with a consecutive singles and they took a 2-1 lead over the Beavers.

Oregon State's offense immediately answered the visitors with a Trever Morrison double that chased Cal Poly starter Andrew Bernstein. The Mustang reliever struggled with the first batter he saw and gave Kyle Nobach a 4 pitch walk to put runners at 1st and 2nd. Pat Casey then moved in pinch-hitter Tyler Mildenberg to bunt and after nearly popping up to the 3rd baseman he was able to lay it down with two strikes. That moved the runners over which allowed Logan Ice to earn an RBI with a sac fly which tied it up at 2-2. Michael Gretler followed that up with a single into the right-center field alley and OSU took the lead at 3-2 and they would not relinquish it.

The bullpen had a hand in holding onto that lead as Luke Heimlich entered for the Beavs in the 7th and sat down the side. He started to struggle in the top of the 8th however as he walked a batter and very nearly gave up a home run to Mustang right fielder John Schuknecht that went just foul. John Pomeroy came in with the count at 1-2 and got Schuknecht to fly out to center field. After Pomeroy walked one more batter Mak Fox came in and got the Beavers out of the jam with a flyout to the warning track.

That was the last real threat for the Mustangs and although Morrison added an RBI walk in the bottom of the 8th; the game was in hand with Mitch Hickey striding to the mound to close the game for the Beavs. He sat them down with little issue and the Beavers walked away with the 4-2 win.

Eckert is now 3-0 for the season.

It was a rough weekend for the Beavers but at least it ended on a positive note. Seems like a non-conference series is a far better time to have a down weekend as well, although it dropped their RPI considerably (according to D1baseball.com).

The Beavers should be able to recover, although it will be a serious test visiting #7 UCLA this coming weekend. The whole team will need to play better, but hopefully this series can be a wake-up call for OSU.

Go Beavs!