Heat? High winds? Nerves? Overconfidence?
Whatever you want to blame it on, Oregon State didn’t live up to expectations today as they lost their College World Series opening round game to UNC by a score of 8-6. Oregon State outhit the Tar Heels 13-11, but three errors by the Beavers cost them dearly.
You got that right. When it's all said and done, he may wind up being the best MLB bat in this whole draft class. Would not surprise me. https://t.co/FixxWL0mBU— Aaron Fitt (@aaronfitt) June 16, 2018
Trevor Larnach tripled off the wall to bring in Steven Kwan in the first to get the Beavers on the board. UNC was quick to get back, however, with a slow ground ball that gave Zack Gahagan enough time to score from third base.
In the third, the Tar Heels took advantage of high winds and a struggling Luke Heimlich to take a 2-1 lead with a sac fly by Brandon Riley. Shortly after, a ball got by Adley Rutschman allowing a third run to score from third base. The offense and errors continued and before we knew it, the Tar Heels had a 6-1 lead at the end of the third inning.
That frame also included an RBI sac fly by Ashton McGee and a run by Gahagan on an error by Kwan.
OSU got one back in the next frame with an RBI double from Trevor Larnach. Adley Rutschman followed it up with a single to score two more.
To our dismay, however, UNC would get two more as the wheels fell off for Eisert as well in the seventh.
In that same inning, Michael Gretler would cut the lead with an RBI sacrifice grounder, followed by an RBI single from Kyle Nobach. OSU looked set to possibly tie the game up after loading the bases, but the Beavs were retired after making it an 8-6 game.
Despite some solid opportunities, Oregon State would be unable to get any more runs as the game ended with that 8-6 score.
To put it kindly, Luke Heimlich had an off start today. He went just 2.1 innings allowing four hits, three runs, and a walk with two strikeouts. He also hit three batters on the day. Brandon Eisert came on in relief going four innings with five hits, four runs, a walk and two strikeouts.
Dylan Pearce also got some time on the mound pitching part of one inning while allowing two hits with one strikeout. Christian Chamberlain followed him up pitching the last two innings with a walk and two strikeouts.
The fielding errors were just rough to watch. I still believe this is one of, if not the most talented team in the country, but boy did they not play like it today when it came to defense. Lack of control from the pitching was also evident throughout.
On a positive, there were some great individual performances. ESPN’s crew spent much of the time Chamberlain was on the mound complimenting his mechanics. Guys like Kwan, Larnach, and Rutschman had some big performances offensively with eight hits and three RBIs between those three guys. Unfortunately, this ended up being one of those days where they needed a complete performance by everybody and they just didn’t get it.
Next, OSU will play Pac-12 foe Washington on Monday at 11 AM PT after the Huskies lost to Mississippi State on Saturday night.
An elimination game in the middle of a work day? Great...Just great.