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Beavers Play Utes To a 15-Inning Draw

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Beavers 2, Utes 2.

This is what came up when I typed "sad" into the photo search. "Ennui" had 0 results.
This is what came up when I typed "sad" into the photo search. "Ennui" had 0 results.
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

This game ended in a tie.

In the 8th, it seemed like the Beavers were on their way to another 2-0 victory over the Utes, which would've been their third shutout of the weekend. But Travis Eckert left an 0-2 pitch up in the zone and Utah right-fielder Josh Rose crushed it to right field for a game-tying two-run homer.

This game ended in a tie.

The Beavers took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the 5th, taking advantage of the Utes getting sloppy just as they had in the first two games of the series. Neither of those games ended in a tie. Billy King started the rally with a slow roller that the second baseman overran, putting the leadoff man on. In the third, Michael Gretler had drawn a leadoff walk, but was caught stealing on what was a missed sign of some sort; whether it was a missed hit-and-run or Gretler wasn't supposed to go, is hard to say.

This game ended in a tie.

But there was no repeat performance as King successfully moved to 2nd on a wild pitch, and to 3rd on an Elliott Cary sacrifice bunt. Caleb Hamilton drove him in with a line shot triple into the right-center gap, and came around to score on a deep sacrifice fly from Gretler. It was 2-0 in the bottom of the 5th, and with the way Travis Eckert was pitching, it seemed all but over.

This game ended in a tie.

Eckert allowed just 2 baserunners in the first 4 innings, one by way of a walk and one a single. The top of the 5th saw a couple hard-hit balls, but Eckert was able to dance out of it thanks to his own defense. He stabbed a leadoff one-hopper back at him, and then erased a double when he fielded another comebacker and caught the baserunner stuck between 2nd and 3rd.

This game ended in a tie.

The Beavers offense were having troubles of their own, scoring just the 2 unearned runs against Utah starter Jayson Rose, who allowed 2 hits and 2 walks in his 6.2 innings.

This game ended in a tie.

Still, Oregon State was in good shape. Eckert, who seems to alternate between looking like a Sunday reliever and a Friday night ace each weekend, was appearing as the latter. Through 7 innings, he'd given up just 2 hits and 1 walk. Not even the leadoff single in the 8th was concerning -- a groundball through the left side of the infield which was vacated due to a shift. A routine flyball was followed by a not-routine line drive into the right field seats, stunning everybody and tying the game at 2.

This game ended in a tie.

Suddenly off-script, the Beavers looked like inexperienced actors, saying nothing at all instead of improvising lines. However, they held it together just enough, which is why this game ended in a tie. Eckert worked through the 8th, but the offense couldn't gain a lead in the bottom of the inning despite hitting a couple singles off Utah's Brock Duke. Eckert returned for the 9th, and issued a 4-pitch leadoff walk. However, the ensuing sacrifice bunt attempt came right back at him, and he got the lead runner at 2nd, and shortstop Caleb Hamilton managed to make an incredible turn and get a double play.

This game ended in a tie.

Eckert exited in favor of Heimlich, who got a weak groundout on his first and only pitch. From there, the pitching became a bit of a roller coaster. Sam Tweedt was the next guy out for the 10th, and he got a flyout before issuing a walk. He worked a 2-2 pitch against his third batter before being replaced by Mitch Hickey, who lost the batter but struck out Rose and got a groundball out to end the inning.

This game ended in a tie.

The Beavs went down in order in both the 10th and 11th, while the Utes continued to threaten. Hickey, who wasn't even close to his best today (maybe he doesn't do well in games that end in ties), gave another 4-pitch free pass to leadoff the 11th, and appeared to be on the positive end of a bad (good?) call or two on a 6-4-3 double play with the hit-and-run on. Hickey wasn't done making things exciting, letting the next two batters reach by way of a double and walk.

This game ended in a tie.

Scotland Church became the 5th Beavers pitcher of the game, replacing Hickey and inheriting his baserunners on first-and-third. Jeff Hendrix helped him out with a nice running catch on a shallow fly ball, keeping the score 2-2.

This game ended in a tie.

Brock Duke continued to stymie the Oregon State offense until the 13th, when Logan Ice led off by hitting a line drive into left center for a hustle double. However, after Hendrix was intentionally walked, KJ Harrison couldn't execute what would have been his first sacrifice bunt of the season, and pinch-runner Tyler Mildenberg was thrown out at 3rd. A line drive double play sent the game to its 14th inning.

This game ended in a tie.

The top of that 14th inning ended the same way, with the Utes lining into a double play and ending their run-scoring opportunity that started with a leadoff single. Neither team threatened in the 15th, and just like that it was over, because Utah had to catch a flight. The game ended up so far off-script the director was fired due to public outrage. In the end, Scotland Church went 4.1 scoreless innings for the Beavers, and Brock Duke threw 8.1 scoreless frames for the Utes. Somehow, neither of them earned a decision on the day.

This game ended in a tie.

Next week, the Beavers face off against Stanford (7-17 in conference), who lost to USC 2-0 in the rubber match of their series today. The Beavers move to 14-9-1 in conference, which is a half game (or something like that, who knows) below the 3-way tie of the Trojans, Cal, and Arizona State, who all sit at 15-9. Today's game will also theoretically have some sort of effect on the Beavers' RPI, which was ranked 36th before today's game started. Just what effect the game has is anybody's guess, because as you know,

This game ended in a tie.