The weather was clear, the stadium was full and OSU and Arizona provided much watch baseball for the second night in a row.
The Beavs got out to an early lead in the 3rd inning when last nights hero, KJ Harrison, hit a sacrifice fly to score Adley Rutschman from 3rd base. The OSU lead, however, did not last long as Arizona scored two in the 4th inning with a sacrifice fly of their own, and a home run from Nick Quintana. The Wildcats picked up another run off of Bryce Fehmel in the 5th inning to take a 3-1 lead. The Beavs got it going in the 6th inning with a leadoff double by Harrison and a walk by Trevor Larnach to take Arizona starter Randy Labaut out of the game. Cadyn Grenier welcomed new pitcher, Austin Schnabel, with a bunt single down the 3rd base line to load the bases for pinch hitter Christian Donahue who brought Harrison home with a ground out to first. A Michael Gretler strikeout brought Zak Talyor to the plate with 2 down and runners at 1st and 3rd, and Taylor brought the Goss crowd to it’s feet with a bases clearing double that gave the Beavs a 4-3 lead. Bryce Fehmel kept the Arizona bats quiet in the 7th and 8th, while Arizona reliever Cody Deason stuck out 5 Beavers in the 6 he faced over that time. With the Beavers clinging on to a 4-3 lead, OSU closer Max Englebrekt, who recently completed his undergraduate degree, came on to try to close the game out. Following a line out to center by Nick Quintana, Arizona manager Jay Johnson went to the bench for a pinch hitter in Cory Voss, the junior out of Colorado rewarded Johnson’s faith with a solo home run to left-center that brought the game to a 4-4 tie. Englebrekt got out of the inning without further damage to give OSU a chance to walk it off in the bottom of the 9th for the second night in a row.
Zak Taylor got the 9th started, reaching base on a throwing error, and was lifted for pinch runner Preston Jones. The speedy Jones stole second base to set up one of the craziest finishes to a game you may ever see. With Jones at second Adley Rutschman struck out, but the ball snuck between the legs of catcher Cory Voss and rolled to the backstop, Voss couldn’t locate the ball in time to stop a fast thinking Jones from scoring the winning run all the way from second.
For the night Bryce Fehmel went 8 innings, giving up 3 runs on 3 hits and 2 walks, while Max Englebrekt picked up the win in relief. The Beavers will go for the sweep of the Top-10 matchup at 11 am today, with Jake Thompson getting the start.