It wasn’t always pretty, but the Oregon State Baseball team began the 2019 season with a walk-off win in Surprise, Arizona. OSU finished with six runs to New Mexico’s five despite being outhit nine to six. New Mexico’s three errors also helped the Beavers along.
Single scores two and BEAVERS WIN 6-5! pic.twitter.com/D3NwNZdKdo— Oregon State Baseball (@BeaverBaseball) February 15, 2019
Things got off to a rocky start for the Beavers. New Mexico outfielder Tyler Kelly got an RBI single off of Abel in the top of the second. Then in the top of the sxith, Jared Mang took Abel yard for two runs.
Abel would pitch five innings and some change before being replaced by Dylan Pearce. Abel allowed five hits and four runs (all earned) with three walks and four strikeouts on the day.
The Lobos would get one more run in the sixth when Kelly would reach on a fielders choice and the runner at third would score.
The Beavs got back in it in the bottom of the seventh thanks to an error by New Mexico’s second baseman that allowed Joe Casey to score from third. Alex McGarry then followed that up with a single to right field that scored two more runs that same frame.
New Mexico built a little cushion in the top of the ninth with an RBI single from Hadley Schilling. OSU entered the bottom of the ninth down two runs.
Freshman Jake Dukart began the frame with a stand-up double. Adley Rutschman followed that up with a single to right, allowing Dukart to score. The Beavs loaded the bases with no outs. Freshman Greg Fuchs then singled past the right side to score two more runs and win the game.
The rest of the pitching day for Oregon State went like this: Dylan Pearce allowed a hit, two walks, and two strikeouts in three innings. Mitchell Verburg threw six pitches with two hits and a run. Brandon Eisert pitched the last 0.2 innings and allowed one hit, earning him the winning decision.
It’s great to start the season off with a win. Is it a little concerning that it took until the last second to put away a team that doesn’t have high expectations for the season? Sure. But it’s day one and this team will improve with experience. What’s particularly impressive is the fact that the freshmen, particularly McGarry (who’s a redshirt sophomore, but still), Dukart, and Fuchs, were able to step when their time came.
There’s some kinks to work out and a few of the upper classmen probably want a few of those plays back...but again, it’s day one with a largely inexperienced roster and a win is a win.