To say this OSU baseball team has a flair for the dramatic would be an understatement. The Beavs, now winners of 21 straight, relied on ninth inning heroics again, as sophomore outfielder Steven Kwan drove in the winning run with a 2 out single to left field.
OSU starter Luke Heimlich went 6 2⁄3 innings while giving up 2 runs on 6 hits. Heimlich was relieved by senior Max Englebrekt in the 7th inning, Englebrekt gave up 1 hit in 2⁄3 innings of work before he was relieved by Mitchell Verburg with one out in the 8th inning and the Beavs clinging to a 3-2 lead. The freshman out of Lake Oswego only saw one Ute batter, a 4 pitch walk, before handing the ball to Jake Mulholland, who appears to have claimed the closer role from Englebrekt. Mulholland struggled for the first time this season, giving up 3 hits and his first run on the season as the Utes took a 4-3 lead in the 8th. Mulholland was able to rebound and pitch a scoreless ninth inning en route to his 3rd victory on the year.
The Beaver offense got out to a hot start, plating 2 runs in the first inning but struggled with Ute starter Jayson Rose the rest of the way, only managing one more run, as Eliot Cary ran home on a wild pitch in the 4th, off Rose in his 7 innings of work. The 8th inning saw Rose give way to Ute closer Dylan Drachler. KJ Harrison lead off with a single, followed by consecutive outs from Steven Kwan and Michael Gretler to bring up the hot-hitting Cadyn Grenier. The sophomore second baseman showed off his speed as he legged out an infield single to put runners on 1st and 3rd with two out. Andy Atwood got the call from the bench, pinching hitting for Eliot Cary, and brought the Goss crowd to their feet with a game tying single up the middle. Following a scoreless top of the frame, the Beavs came to bat in the 9th all tied at 4. Dylan Drachler got the best of both Adley Rutschman and Nick Madrigal to get within one out of extra innings before Jack Anderson reached on dribbler to Drachler as the pitcher dropped the ball, allowing Anderson to reach safely. Following a single by KJ Harrison that moved Anderson to second, pinch runner extraordinaire Preston Jones took over for Anderson at second base with Steven Kwan at the plate...
It will be interesting to see if there is any left over animosity from a 4th inning argument between the Ute third base coach Jay Brossman and basically anyone wearing orange and black. The argument appeared to stem from Beaver coach Pat Casey accusing Brossman of stealing signs, and got heated between innings when Brossman and OSU pitcher Luke Heimlich exchanged words.
The Beavs and Utes will face of for round two tomorrow at 1:35.