A rainy night at Goss Stadium played host to a matchup of top 10 teams that lived up to the billing. Oregon State rallied late to make some March madness of their own Friday night and took down the Arizona Wildcats 4-3, in walk-off fashion.
On the mound, Beaver starter Luke Heimlich went 6.1 innings giving up just one run to the potent Wildcat offense. Heimlich struggled with control though, setting a season high with four walks. Heimlich left the game in the seventh to a standing ovation from the rain soaked Goss crowd, freshman Grant Gambrell came on in relief with the score tied at one a piece. The Wildcats regained the lead, scoring their second run of the game with an 8th inning leadoff homerun by Jared Oliva off of reliever Brandon Eisert. They pushed the lead to 3-1 by tacking on a run later in the inning off an error by Sam Tweedt who came on in relief of Eisert.
Meanwhile Arizona starter JC Cloney had the Beavers number through the first seven innings of action, giving up only one run on three OSU hits. The Beavs finally got to Cloney in the eighth inning eventually managing to knock him out of the game with singles by Rutschman and Donahue. The Arizona relievers were unable to preserve the 3-1 lead, as they struggled to find the zone, giving up a walk to KJ Harrison to load the bases, and another to Trevor Larnach to bring the score to 3-2. Cadyn Grenier, who made a highlight reel play at second earlier in the game, was able to bring the game to a tie with a sac fly. With the score tied in the bottom of the 9th sophomore Zak Taylor reached via error and was lifted for pinch runner Preston Jones who later got out on a fielders choice by Adley Rutschman. Arizona was rightfully afraid of Nick Madrigal so they intentionally walked him to put men at first and second with one out. Following a groundout by Steven Kwan, Junior KJ Harrison came through with a two out single up the middle to bring home the game winning run and send the Goss crowd home happy and also send my dog scurrying to the other room as I yelled in my living room
KJ ALL DAY— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) March 25, 2017
KJ Harrison's walk-off hit earns the @BeaverBaseball @OpusBank #12Best Moment! https://t.co/XBwQ1VmEo8
The Beavers and Wildcats will face off in game 2-of-3, set for Saturday at 4PM in Goss Stadium.