After three innings, it looked like Oregon State was on the way to a blowout win over USC. A big Trojan comeback in the fourth tied up the game, but heroic performances from relief pitcher Will Frisch and right fielder Wade Meckler gave the Beavers the win. That puts the Beavs at 31-14 on the season, and 13-7 in conference play.
After USC scored a pair of runs in the first two innings to take a 2-0 lead, the Beavers exploded in the bottom of the second. An Andy Armstrong single gave the Beavers their first baserunner, and then Greg Fuchs walked to put Armstrong in scoring position. A Troy Claunch double got the Beavers their first run and moved Fuchs to third. That set up a big at bat for Jake Dukart, and he cleared the bases with a home run over the right field wall.
After a Wade Meckler walk, a big fielding error on Ryan Ober’s at bat got Meckler to home plate, giving the Beavs a 5-2 lead after two. They added two more in the bottom of the third, when a Greg Fuchs hit a 2 run homer to give Oregon State a 7-2 lead. For awhile It felt like the Beavers were solidly in control.
That feeling didn’t last long. In the top of the fourth, Trojan Garret Guillemette led off with a solo home run. That was followed by a single and a double from the next two Trojan batters to put two runners in scoring position. A ground ball scored one of them, then a single to center scored the other. A walk moved the remaining runner Rhylan Thomas up, and then a single from Ben Ramirez brought him home. That ended starter Cooper Hjerpe’s day, but the Trojans added one more run with a sac bunt before the end of the inning. That’s five runs in the fourth, to tie the game 7-7.
The stalemate lasted until the bottom of the eighth. After a Troy Claunch fly out, Jake Dukart reached base with an infield single. Preston Jones bunted him over to second, and with two runs down Wade Meckler stepped to the plate to try to break the tie. Meckler then blasted a home run over the right field wall to give the Beavers the lead. Closer Joey Mundt put down the Trojan side three up three down to secure the 9-7 win.
Will Frisch got the win, giving him a 3-0 record, and boy did he deserve it. The Beavers found themselves in several jams over his 4.2 innings pitched, but Frisch only allowed one hit and 2 walks, while striking out three. He was especially clutch in the seventh. With two runners on for the Trojans and one out, Frisch struck out the next batter and forced a fly ball to end USC’s best shot at a run.
The Beavers will go for the sweep in game 3 tomorrow, with first pitch set for 12:00 PM PT. The game will be aired on the Pac-12 networks.