Luke Heimlich put on a clinic in the first game of Oregon State’s series against USC.
USC’s first batter, Blake Sabol, lined out. Heimlich struck out the next NINE batters he faced. That’s an entire batting lineup. After that stretch, Heimlich struck out another 5 batters over the course of the game, for 14 total, tying the career high he reached just last week against Stanford.. He didn’t allow a hit until the sixth inning. He walked no one.
Oregon State’s batters did enough to get the win, but it was an unusually restrained night for the team. OSU first scored in the 2nd, after back to back doubles from Michael Gretler and Kyle Nobach scored 1. A sacrifice bunt from Steven Kwan later brought Nobach home, for an early 2-0 Beavers lead.
That was the only scoring until the seventh, when Nobach reached the bases on a single, he then advanced on a grounder, and then again on a wild pitch to put him on third. A Zak Taylor single scored Nobach, and was followed up by a Steven Kwan single. A Nick Madrigal double then scored Taylor for the last run of the game.
Huge. HUGE RBI single from Taylor to get us out to a 3-0 lead here in T7. pic.twitter.com/Ng8tD1DGYL— Oregon State Baseball (@BeaverBaseball) May 19, 2018
Nobach was the best hitter of the night, a rare occurrence for a team with Madrigal, Trevor Larnach, and Adley Rutschman. Nobach went 4-4, with 1 RBI and 2 Runs. Steven Kwan also had a great night, going 2-2 with 2 walks, with 1 RBI.
USC made some noise late in the game, and in the bottom of the ninth got 2 baserunners on with 1 out (after a single and a hit by pitch), causing Heimlich to finally leave the game. Jake Mulholland came in, and promptly ended the game with a double play.
The Beavers and Trojans will meet for round 2 tomorrow at 1:30 PM PT. Bryce Fehmel is expected to pitch, and with Florida losing a series against Mississippi State this weekend, there is a great opportunity for Oregon State to make a case for the number one ranking in the nation. Be sure to check this one out.