Oregon State got their biggest win of the young season this afternoon, taking down the ninth ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs in the final game of their three game series. Strong pitching from closer Cooper Hjerpe and big hitting from Andy Armstrong and Troy Claunch led thhe Beavers to a 7-2 win. The Beavers improve to 3-4.
A wild pitch from MSU starter Eric Cerantola got the Beavers on the scoreboard first. Cole Hamilton was walked, Andy Armstrong hit a single, and Micah McDowell reached first on an error to load up the bases. Then a low, extremely inside pitch to Alex McGarry flew past the catcher, advancing everyone on base and giving the Beavers the lead.
The Beavers got one more in the fourth. After Cole Hamilton doubled, Andy Armstrong hit a single to advance him to third. Richie Mascarenas then grounded into a double play, but that allowed Hamilton to reach home, giving OSU a 2-0 lead.
Momentum then started to shift to Mississippi State. In the bottom of the fourth, Justin Foscue hit a solo home run to get the Bulldogs on the board. Then, in the top of the sixth, Foscue tied the game up with a double that scored Tanner Allen.
In the 8th, an Andy Armstrong single got the Beavers started. Richie Mascarenas then singled, and Micah McDowell reached on a walk, to load up the bases. That set the table for Alex McGarry to break the tie with a short single that scored Armstrong and kept the bases loaded. A fly out from Ryan Ober scored one more, and then a big double from Troy Claunch scored two, giving the Beavers a 6-2 lead.
The Beavers added one more in the ninth, with a Mascarenas single scoring Kyler McMahan. Mississippi State could get nothing past OSU closer Cooper Hjerpe, and 7-2 would be the final for the afternoon. Beavers win.
Andy Armstrong led hitters for the day, with 4 hits on 5 at bats, with 1 run. Richie Mascarenas had two hits, good for 1 RBI and 1 run. Troy Claunch only had the one hit, but his big double was good for 2 RBI.
Nathan Burns got the start for Oregon State, pitching 5.2 innings, during which he recorded six strikeouts while allowing 3 hits, 2 runs and 1 walk. Cooper Hjerpe came in in the sixth, pitching the final 3.1 innings. He struck out 4, and allowed no hits, runs or walks. Hjerpe picks up the win, and sits at 1-1 so far this season.
The Beavers will be back on the road next weekend, travelling to San Diego to take on San Diego State in a four game series. Game 1 will be on Thursday, February 27th, with the series running until Sunday. Check back with Building the Dam for a preview of that series.