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Corvallis Regional: Cincinnati tops Oregon State Baseball, 7-6

The Beavers couldn’t get out of their own way Friday night.

NCAA Baseball: College World Series-Arkansas vs Oregon State Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s start off by saying congratulations to Cincinnati. They came on the road and showed no fear against the defending champs. AJ Bumpass. Clayton Colvin, Joey Wiemer, Jace Mercer and a host of other players were fantastic. That being! Oregon State could not get out of their own way. The Beavers managed to steal defeat from the jaws of victory.

The Beavers left a ton of guys on base. They gave up 15 hits to the Bearcats and were not good at getting hits with runners in scoring position. They had a bunch of defensive miscues and fundamental errors. Almost everything that could go wrong went wrong for OSU.

Oregon State was only given two official errors on the night, but make no mistake, the Beavers made countless defensive blunders tonight. On one play that Joey Weimer “doubled” on, Joe Casey was playing so deep in left field that it caused Beau Philip to run far out of position into left field to make a play on a pop-up, which he dropped. Kyler McMahan (despite a great game at the plate) looked lost in center field missing out on several catchable balls that lead to Cincinnati runs or extra base hits.

In the 6th inning, after Bryce Fehmel was pulled for giving up a solo home run. Christian Chamberlain was inserted and looked electric, until a routine foul ball pop-up fell harmlessly to the ground between first baseman Ryan Ober and Adley Rutchsman. What would have been the third out of the inning led to a walk, which led to a hard hit ball to center that McMahan was not able to track down and subsequently another Bearcat run. The defense was just really disappointing tonight in almost all aspects.

In the 7th inning, Cincinnati put in a relief pitcher (AJ Kullman) who quickly ran into trouble. With the bases loaded and no outs, Adley Rutschman walked up to the plate but in a shocking move Cincinnati decided to intentionally walk Rutschman and bring in a run in the process. The move initially paid off though as Beau Philip struck-out on three pitches. Zak Taylor was brought in to pinch-hit and came up with a HUGE 2-RBI base hit to tie the game at five runs apiece. It was a great moment for Zak Taylor who has struggled at the plate this season.

Later in the same inning, Andy Armstrong continued his outstanding play bringing in a hustling Rutschman from second with a base-hit.

Side note, how awesome is Adley Rutschman? The future No. 1 pick has been battling strep throat and he played his heart out tonight. If this weekend is in fact his last weekend of college baseball I hope Beaver Nation gives him one last ovation.

With a one-run lead, Oregon State made a somewhat questionable decision to put in freshman pitcher, Joey Mundt, (8 total appearances) into the game. He hit the first batter he faced, who eventually scored after a failed double play ball wasn’t enough to end the inning. Jake Mulholland was brought into the game, but even he was no-match for AJ Bumpass who has been spectacular late in the season for Cincinnatti. Bumpass’ RBI-triple was ultimately the deciding run.

The Beavers are down, but not out. Every game the Beavers play in the Corvallis Regional is do-or-die. Look for Oregon State to make some adjustments (Preston Jones at center would be my vote). I’d imagine they’ll start Grant Gambrell on Saturday and pitch-hit guys often if they continue to struggle at the plate. Tomorrow afternoon either Oregon State’s or Creighton’s season must end.