Oregon State let another game slip away from them in the final innings, dropping the game and series against Arizona. With the loss, the Beavers are now 24-6, but much more troubling is there 7-5 conference record.
Single to left and Arizona wins 6-5.— Oregon State Baseball (@BeaverBaseball) April 8, 2018
Arizona got the scoring started early, with a 2 run homer from Nick Quintana. After that, the Beaver defense stepped up, keeping Arizona in check while Oregon State’s bats took time to warm up their bats. Plays like this kept the game from getting away from the Beavers.
Oregon State’s bats finally woke up in the fourth, with a double from Steven Kwan the Beavers’ first hit of the day. A single from Cadyn Grenier and a grounder from Adley Rutschman scored Kwan and got the Beavers on the board.
Grenier would then score on a Zach Gretler fly, tying the game 2-2. The Beavers did not let up in the fifth, with an Andy Armstrong double scoring Preston Jones, giving Oregon State their first lead of the day. A bunt from Grenier and an error from Arizona then scored Armstrong, giving OSU a 4-2 lead.
The Beavers would add run more run inn the seventh, when Andy Armstrong scored off of another Arizona error. Unfortunately, it would be the last good news for the Beavers today. In the bottom of the eighth, Kevin Abel walked the first batter, hit the second, and then threw two wild pitches to give the Wildcats a run.
That brought out Jake Mulholland, who immediately gave up a hit to Nick Quintana, scoring another run. Arizona would score once more off of a grounder from Jacob Blass, their third of the inning despite getting only one hit. That would lead the game tied 5-5 heading into the ninth.
It was three up, three down for the Beavers in the top of the ninth. Then in the bottom, an error from Cadyn Grenier got Arizona a runner in scoring position right away. A bunt moved up the Arizona runner, and then a walk off single from Alfonso Rivas ended the game, a 6-5 win for the Wildcats.
Grant Gambrell was today’s starter, and despite his troubles in the first, had a solid outing. Gambrell went 5.0 innings and finished with 3 hits, 2 earned runs, 4 walks and 4 strikeouts. After Gambrell came Kevin Abel’s bizarre outing. Despite not giving up a hit, Abel gave up 3 earned runs, with 3 walks and 4 strikeouts. Abel’s three wild pitches may have been the event that swung the game. Jake Mulholland finished the day and got the loss, with his record this year now 1-1. Mulholland finished with 3 hits, 1 earned run, 1 walk and 1 strikeout.
The loss puts the Beavers in a tough position, and raises a lot of questions about the Beavers’ pitching, especially the bullpen. This is the second Pac-12 series loss in a row for Oregon State, and in a tough conference like the Pac you can’t afford the kind of sloppy play we saw today.
Oregon State will try to get their season back on track with their third straight road series next weekend. This time, the Beavers travel to Springfield, Missouri to take on Missouri State. The Bears are currently 22-7, and should absolutely not be underestimated. Check back with Building the Dam later this week for a preview of that series.