The Beavers mounted a valiant comeback in the late innings of the game, but ultimately couldn’t come back against the Utah Utes, who rode a big fifth inning to a 5-3 win. The loss snaps the seven game win streak the Beavers had been on, and drops the team to 20-6 overall, and 7-2 in conference play.
The Beavers grabbed the first run of the game in the bottom of the second, which started with a big double from Jake Dukart. Dukart scored on an Andy Armstrong single, but the Beavers couldn’t build anything further. That would be the last scoring the Beavers saw until the eighth inning.
In the meantime, Utah took control. In the top of the fifth, Utah’s Shea Kramer reached first with a single. An fielding error handling a bunt from Jaylon McLaughlin put two on, and then Rykker Tom walked to load the bases. All without the Beavers recording an out. Starting pitcher Cooper Hjerpe struck out the next batter, but then a passed ball to the Utes’ Matt Richardson got Utah their first run.
Richardson bunted to score one more, and then a double from Vinny Zavolta added a third run and ended Hjerpe’s day. A single from Jayden Kiernan got the Utes their fourth and final run of the inning, giving them a 4-1 lead. They added a fifth run in the top of the seventh, on a wild pitch.
The Beavers finally started to answer in the bottom of the eighth. After a quick two outs, Ryan Ober hit a single to get a runner on. Garret Forrester was hit by a pitch to put Ober in scoring position, and then a Jake Dukart double scored both Ober and Forrester. It would be 5-3 Utes headed into the ninth. The only thing Oregon State could manage in the final frame was a walk from Troy Claunch, giving them the loss.
Cooper Hjerpe picked up his second loss of the season, dropping him to 2-2. He pitched for 4.2 innings, striking out 7 and walking two, he allowed only 2 hits, and while he gave up 4 runs, none of them were earned. He put in a good performance on an odd day.
Next weekend the Beavers will have a two game weekend series at home against Gonzaga, before they hit the road for a rematch series against Oregon. Unlike the previous series against Oregon, this one will count towards conference play. The Gonzaga games will be streamed on pac-12.com, while the Oregon series will be aired on the Pac 12 Networks.