After going down 2-0 early, Oregon State’s bullpen showed up in a big way to shut out the home team Horned Frogs for six innings, giving the Beavers a 3-2 win and ending TCU’s season. The Beavers will have a rematch against Dallas Baptist tonight, after DBU won the opening game of the regional against OSU 6-5.
TCU showed off their speed in the bottom of the first, when a double steal Brayden Taylor and Zach Humphreys gave them their first run of the day. After a quiet second, the Horned Frogs started threatening again in the third. Zach Humphreys started the inning with a double, and a fielding error and a walk loaded the bases with one out. TCU scored on a deep sac fly, but OSU starter Jake Pfennigs managed to knuckle down and get out of the inning with a strikeout.
TCU led 2-0 after three innings, and Oregon State struggled to answer back. The Beavers got runners in scoring position in both the first and fourth innings, but TCU starter Charles King made sure OSU couldn’t capitalize. They finally broke through in the top of the fifth. After Andy Armstrong struck out, Jake Dukart walked and then a Kyle Dernedde double put two runners in scoring position. A Wade Meckler single scored both of them, tying the game 2-2.
The Beavers had another great opportunity to score in the top of the sixth, when they got the bases loaded with one out. Unfortunately, both Jake Dukart and Kyle Dernedde struck out to end the inning. Nathan Burns took over for Jake Pfennigs in the bottom of the sixth. Pfennigs had a great day on the mound, over his 5.0 innings he pitched he allowed just two hits and one earned run, with six strikeouts and four walks. After a rough first few innings, Pfennigs clamped down hard on the Frogs.
Burns started his day with three quick strikeouts in the sixth. After Wade Meckler walked to open the seventh, there was a scary situation when a foul tip came off Justin Boyd’s bunt attempt and struck him in the face. Boyd recovered, and managed to get Meckler to second with a grounder, but the Beavers once again failed to generate any runs. Burns once again struck out three Horned Frogs to send the game to the eighth.
Bryant Salgado took over for Burns in the eighth, and the Beavers got into some trouble. After a ground out to start the inning, Gene Wood hit a single and then stole second to give TCU a runner. A fly out got OSU another out, but advanced Wood to third. After Salgado walked Gray Rodgers, he was pulled and Jack Washburn took over. Washburn walked the first batter he faced to load the bases, and then Tommy Sacco hit a ball to left that looked like it would score the go ahead run, if Joe Casey didn’t make an amazing diving catch to end the inning.
Kyle Dernedde was hit by a pitch to open the ninth, and then stole second. Justin Boyd came to the plate and hit a gapper between the second baseman and shortstop that gave Dernedde just enough time to race for home and break the tie, giving Oregon State a 3-2 lead.
Mitch Verburg came on in relief, and struck out the first batter he faced. Then he struck out the second. The Beavers needed just one more out to stay alive, and Verburg delivered, striking out his third straight batter to give Oregon State the win.
First pitch between Oregon State and Dallas Baptist is set for 4:00 PM PT, just over an hour from now. If the Beavers win, there will be a final deciding game Monday.