After losing to Dallas Baptist in their opening game, the Beavers were one loss away from headed home at the Fort Worth Regional, but some clutch hitting from Kyle Dernedde led the team to a 10-5 win over the McNeese Cowboys, keeping them alive as they try to make their way back to Omaha.
The Cowboys were the first team to get a run on the board in the bottom of the second, with a single from Julian Gonzales scoring Jake Dickerson. They added one more in the bottom of the third with a single from Nate Fisbeck. Finding themselves down 2-0, the Beavers needed to get something going offensively.
They got there in the top of the fourth. A Matthew Boyd single and a Troy Claunch walk got Oregon State a pair of runners. Garret Forrester hit a single to get the Beavers their first run, scoring Boyd, and that was followed by a Ryan Ober single to score Claunch.
After a pop fly, a Will Froemke single loaded the bases. Matthew Gretler grounded out, but before the Cowboys could finish out inning, Kyle Dernedde hit a deep double to left field that scored all three runners, giving the Beavers a 5-2 lead.
That lead lasted for an inning and a half, before McNeese started climbing back into the game. In the bottom of the fifth, OSU starter Cooper Hjerpe walked the first two batters, before a ground out advanced both runners into scoring position. That ended Hjerpe’s day, with Jack Washburn replacing him on the mound. Washburn walked Nate Fisbeck to load the bases, and then a Jake Dickerson single scored two runs, cutting the Beaver lead to 5-4.
That lasted until the bottom of the seventh, when McNeese tied the game with a Dickerson single. With the game tied, Oregon State would need to dig deep again to insure they wouldn’t go home early. They’d strike oil in the top of the eighth.
Troy Claunch led things off with a walk, and then advanced on a wild pitch. A Garret Forrester single advanced him to third, but then a throwing error Jake Dickerson, the Cowboys’ first baseman, allowed Claunch to score and Forrester to reach second. Ryan Ober followed up with a single to score Forrester.
The Beavers weren’t done. An Andy Armstrong single and a Matthew Gretler walk loaded the bases for Kyle Dernedde and he hit another huge double to left, scoring three runners for the second time today. That put the Beavers up 10-5, and that was all they would need.
Despite exiting in the fifth, Hjerpe had a solid day, throwing nine strikeouts in 4.1 innings. His 3 hits and 5 walks resulted in 4 runs, and combined with Kevin Abel’s struggles yesterday, suggest that the Beavers really need to tighten up their control going forward.
We’ll find out the Beavers next opponent later today, as Dallas Baptist and TCU are teeing off at 4 PM PT. Oregon State will face the loser of that match tomorrow, with first pitch currently set for 11 AM. ESPN3 will be airing the game.