Nick Madrigal’s return was welcome, but several other Beavers had fantastic days at the plate in the series-opening win. OSU had eight hits to Oregon’s four and committed three errors to Oregon’s two.
OSU quickly got on the board in the bottom of the first. Leadoff hitter Steven Kwan made his way to third base and Cadyn Grenier blooped one to centerfield that the Ducks’ outfielder was unable to handle. That gave Kwan just enough time to score.
The Beavs added another run for Kwan in the next inning off a Nick Madrigal single past the first baseman. Madrigal finished his first game back with two singles and now has a hit in five straight games if you can’t remember back that far.
Oregon got one back in the top of the third with a Kyle Kasser single to right field that the Beaver defense had some trouble fielding.
Oregon State gave themselves a bigger cushion in the subsequent innings. Trevor Larnach’s eleventh homer of the year in the bottom of the third made it 3-1. Then in the fifth, Tyler Malone blasted one over the centerfield wall, which scored two. Malone now has a home run in each of his last three games.
Ducks’ catcher Ray Soderman got another ball through to right, scoring Oregon’s second run in the top of the seventh. They would threaten a little in the ninth, but the Ducks would not plate another run in this game.
Luke Heimlich got his ninth win of the year after a 7.1 inning, 12 strikeout performance. That puts him over 300 career strikeouts, which is a new program record. Dylan Pearce faced two batters, striking one out and forcing one into a groundout before Jake Mulholland closed out the final inning for his tenth save of the season. Beaver pitchers combined for 15 strikeouts on the day.
The pitching was phenomenal from OSU in this one. Oregon State has had more productive days on offense, but you can’t be too mad at a game where a.) you have two no-doubt home runs like we saw, and b.) you give yourself enough of a run cushion where you commit three pretty bad errors and still win.
Nevertheless, the Beavs were playing with confidence this night and get another very important conference win.
The Civil War continues Friday at 4:00 PM PT on Pac-12 Network.