This game started off completely different from the Friday night game, where Moore came out of the gates not pitching up to his usual form. Drew Rasmussen came out and was locating well and mixing in his changeup and breaking ball as well. He was getting the Trojan batters to swing and miss and that kept him out of many dangerous situations.
The first threat he faced was in the second when a lead-off single got Dante Flores on 1st. The Trojans managed to get him to runners at the corners, but Rasmussen was able to escape with a fielder's choice to Caleb Hamilton who simply tagged the runner going to 2nd.
The Beavers gave him some early run support as well starting with Jeff Hendrix bring home Dane Lund on a safety squeeze to draw first blood in the 1st inning 1-0. Oregon State tacked on one more with a 2 out rally in the 3rd. It all started when Caleb Hamilton outlasted Trojan starter Kyle Twomey for a full count walk. Lund then hit safely again with Hamilton running which brought Hendrix up for a chance at his second RBI and he delievered, going the opposite way with a single. That brought the score to 2-0 after three full.
Rasmussen finally stumbled in the 6th inning however and the Trojans pounced on it. They got runners on the corners with one out after a couple of base hits. Timmy Robinson came through again for USC with a base hit for his 4th RBI of this series and that was followed by a single by Dante Flores to knot the score back up at 2. The threat was not over however, in the next at bat a wild pitch moved over the runners but Rasmussen fought through it and struck out Blake Lacey. He then got a groundball to end the inning and the Beavers stayed alive.
The Beavers had a chance to answer in the bottom of the 6th as Lund lead-off with another hit, but Hendrix was unable to move him over and he was caught stealing to effectively end the threat.
There was not much action again until the 9th when Mak Fox came in for Drew Rasmussen who ended 2 runs on 7 hits in 8 innings pitched. Fox walked the first batter and was pulled for Sam Tweedt. A sac bunt moved the runner to 2nd, but then the skies opened and the umpires were forced to call a brief 9-minute weather delay.
When they came back up Tweedt forced a pop-out that Lund brought in behind the plate. That brought Bobby Stahel to the plate, otherwise known as the Trojans' best hitter, with a chance to bring in the go-ahead run. Tweedt won that fight, getting Stahel to fly-out, giving the Beavers a chance in the bottom of the 9th.
Lund led off the inning and did exactly what had done all game, get on base. He battled his way to a walk and the Beavs were in business. Hendrix moved him over with a bunt and nearly got on base but he was beat by a half-step. The Trojans gave KJ Harrison a free pass which brought pinch-hitter Billy King to the plate.
King stayed patient, bringing the count full with the game on the line. Trojan reliever Kyle Davis then gave him a pitch to hit and the big fella smacked it through the right side to score Lund and win the game.
The Beavers celebrated with a huge mob, but there is still one more game to win before their victory is complete.
Marc Huberman got the loss for USC and Sam Tweedt got the win for their 9th inning action.
The top performers for the Beavs were Rasmussen who had a great game, partially for his shut-out innings, but more for his recovery after he gave up a couple runs in the 6th. He took back control of the game and carried the Beavs all the way to the 9th. Dane Lund and Jeff Hendrix were the stars for most of the game as Lund went 3 for 3 with a walk and played solid defense behind home plate. Hendrix brought home the first two runs, but Billy King was huge to come in and earn the third and final run.
The rubber match will be at 1:05 pm tomorrow afternoon.