A hot start in the first inning gave the Beavers a 5-4 win, and a series victory over a tough Cal State Fullerton team. The win moves the Beavers to 15-1.
The game at first looked like it might be a little rough; the Titans lead off hitter Sahid Valenzuela reached first on a passed ball, and then was driven in a few batters later by 2nd baseman Hank Loforte to give Fullerton a 1-0 lead.
Unfortunately for Cal State, the bottom of the first would prove to be a disaster. Two walks and a single filled the bases, and then Trevor Larnach popped a fly out to left field. Titans left fielder Chris Prescott couldn’t might make the catch, scoring Steven Kwan and keeping the bases full. Michael Gretler, the very next batter, then managed a 2 RBI single, to give the Beavers and early 3-1 lead.
Things got a little silly after that, as a Jack Anderson bunt allowed Oregon State to refill the bases, still without recording an out. That would finish the day for Fullerton’s starting pitcher Blake Workman. His replacement, Dillon Brown, walked in one more run but managed to close the inning for the Titans.
What. A. Bunt.— Oregon State Baseball (@BeaverBaseball) March 11, 2018
And this will chase the Cal State Fullerton starter. pic.twitter.com/r5HtUjcS87
The Beavers would manage to turn that into a 5-1 lead in the 4th, when Cadyn Grenier scored Andy Armstrong on a sac fly, but for the most part Fullerton’s pitching clamped down on the Beavers for the rest of the game, giving the Titans’ hitters a chance to get them back in the game.
They finally punched threw in the 5th, when OSU starting pitcher Grant Gambrell got into some trouble and loaded the bases. CSF DH Jace Chamberlin would score 2 on a single, cutting the Beaver lead to 5-3.
Chamberlin would get the Titans one more run in the 7th, setting up a tense ending to the game. The OSU relief pitching would hold strong into the ninth, until Fullerton second baseman Hank LoForte hit a massive belt out to right field. It looked like he might single-handedly tie up the game, but Trevor Larnach made an amazing catch to end the game.
What a catch to end the game! pic.twitter.com/pPy5DZVoOZ— Oregon State Baseball (@BeaverBaseball) March 11, 2018
Starter Grant Gambrel had something of a mixed outing, pitching for 4.1 innings allowing 3 hits and 3 runs, with 5 walks and 5 strikeouts. His reliever, Christian Chamberlain, would get the win, pitching for 2 innings with 1 hit, 1 strikeout, and 2 walks. Jake Mulholland got the save after coming in in the ninth, allowing no hits with one striekout.
The Beavers offense cooled heavily after the first inning, having a hard time scoring in the absence of Cal State mistakes. The team still seems to be missing Nick Madrigal, though Andy Armstrong still managed to fill in at second pretty well, with one hit today, a double in the fourth.
This was the second game of coach Pat Casey’s four game suspension, which he got after touching an umpire in Friday’s loss. He’ll miss the next couple of games, which will be the beginning of the Beavers’ first road series of the season. They’ll make the trip to Berkley to take on California starting Friday. Check back with Building the Dam for a preview of that series, and all the rest of the news on the Oregon State Baseball team.