Oregon State got them in a big hole against UC Irvine, but unlike Friday night, their attempt to work their way out of it fell just short. A walk off home run in the bottom of the ninth gave UC Irvine an 11-9 win, dropping Oregon State to 26-11 this season.
Things started well for the Beavers, with a passed ball and a Troy Claunch single giving the team a 2-0 lead after the top of the first. Things fell apart pretty quickly after that. After a strikeout to start the bottom of the first, starter Cooper Hjerpe loaded the bases with two singles and a beaned batter. After a second strikeout, Hjerpe walked in a run, and then gave a single that scored two more. After another walk, Hjerpe’s day was done, just 0.2 innings into the game.
Reliever Jaren Hunter gave up 2 singles that scored 3 runs before finally ending the inning. After the first, the Anteaters led 6-2, setting up a tough road ahead for OSU. A solo home run from Dillon Tatum in the second moved it to a 7-2 UCI lead.
The Beavers began trying to claw their way back into the game in the top of the third, with Garret Forrester leading off with a solo home. After Joe Casey singled and stole second, a Matthew Gretler double scored Casey and brought the Beavers within 3. Unfortunately for the Beavs, all those gains were erased in the bottom of the frame, when UCI piled on another pair of runs to put us right back where we started. The Anteaters up 5, this time 9-4.
A Joe Casey solo homer in the top of the fifth got the Beavers another run. In the top of the sixth, a Greg Fuchs walk got the Beavers started. Micah McDowell came in to pinch run for Fuchs, and then on a Jacob Melton single McDowell reached third. That set up a big double from Ryan Ober to score 2 runs for Oregon State, getting them within two runs.
Those came in the eighth. Micah McDowell was hit by a pitch to get the Beavers their first runner. Catcher’s interference got Jacob Melton on base and advanced McDowell. A fly out from Ryan Ober and a ground ball from Jake Dukart put two outs on the board, but brought McDowell home, and the Beavers were within one. Finally, a Garret Forrester single to right scored Melton, and the game was tied.
It looked like things were set up for another wild Beavers comeback, with the Beavers threatening in the top of the ninth. Unfortunately, they couldn’t get a run, and the team would have to hope for extra innings. It wasn’t too be, sadly, as the Anteaters got a two run homer from Dillon Tatum to take the game, 11-9.
With the series split 1-1, the Beavers and Anteaters will meet up Sunday to decide the series winner. First pitch is set for 1:00 PM PT, and will be streamed on ESPN+.