Adley Rutschman and Tyler Malone had back-to-back doubles in the first inning to plate an early run for the Beavers. That run would be all that Oregon State needed to take a hard-fought 1-0 Friday night game to open up the series with the Huskies.
Brandon Eisert threw a phenomenal game, going 6+ shutout innings while only giving up 4 hits and 2 walks. The infield played great behind him as well. George Mendazona in particular was impressive at third base and seems to be solidifying his spot in the field and lineup.
The Beavs had consistent traffic on the bases in the early stages of the game, getting at least 2 baserunners in each of the first four innings. After the fourth the Beavers struggles at the plate reappeared. However, stellar pitching and defensive play kept Oregon State on top when the bats went cold.
The Huskies mounted their best scoring chances in the sixth and seventh innings. In the sixth, a leadoff base hit and a passed ball led to runners on second and third with two outs. Eisert struck out the last hitter of the inning in what was a huge moment in the game:
HUGE— Oregon State Baseball (@BeaverBaseball) March 30, 2019
In the seventh, Eisert left the game after giving up a ground rule double. Christian Chamberlain would come on in relief, and after walking Joe Wainhouse to put runners on first and second, he induced a ground ball to George Mendazona who stepped on third and threw a laser to first base for the double play.
Chamberlain was lights out through the eighth and into the ninth, and Mitchell Verburg got the last two outs to close out the game.
This low-scoring affair was aided in part by a large strike zone. It was consistent, however, and pitchers from both teams were able to successfully locate pitches to take advantage of the zone. While the continued struggle to plate runs is concerning, it was great to see the Beavers be able to lean on their pitching and defense to pull out an important Pac-12 victory against a quality opponent.
Oregon State will look to take the series at 2:05pm on Saturday.