Expectations are high for this year’s Oregon State Baseball team, starting the season ranked eleventh nationally and projected to finish second in the Pac-12. They quickly established their bona fides down in Surprise, Arizona, obliterating the New Mexico Lobos 21-1 in their first game of the season.
After starter Cooper Hjerpe put down the Lobos three up three down in the first, New Mexico broke through in the top of the second. Hjerpe walked a pair of batters, and then a Willie Cano single gave the Lobos the first run of the day. And their last.
Oregon State struck back immediately. Gavin Logan gave the Beavers their first hit of the day with a deep triple to left field, and then reached home thanks to a Matthew Gretler sacrifice fly. A pair of singles from Kyle Dernedde and Wade Meckler got the Beavers another runner in scoring position, and then Travis Bazzana got Dernedde home with another single to put OSU up 2-1.
Justin Boyd walked to load the bases, and a Garret Forrester walk gave the Beavers another run. Jacob Melton singled to give the Beavers one more. Finally, TJ Wheeler was hit by a pitch while the bases were loaded to give the Beavers one final run in the second, capping off a 5 run inning.
Oregon State got one more in the third, when Matthew Gretler hit a double down the left field line and then scored on a passed ball. In the bottom of the fourth, a Gretler single scored Jacob Melton, and in the fifth a Jacob Melton single scored Wade Meckler. That gave OSU an 8-1 lead after five innings.
After five, Coach Canham elected to end Hjerpe’s day on the mound to keep him fresh. Hjerpe was excellent in his first start of the season, allowing only 2 hits and 1 earned run against 8 strikeouts. Reid Sebby came on in relief and continued to shut down New Mexico’s batting.
Meanwhile, Oregon State’s batters continued to pour it on. In the bottom of the sixth, a Gavin Logan single and a Wade Meckler walk got OSU another pair of runners, setting up a big triple from Trravis Bazzana to add two more runs and put the Beavs up 10-1.
This was already a high scoring game, but in the bottom of the eighth things went out of control. A Jabin Trosky single scored Kyle Dernedde to get the Beavers their first run of the frame, and then a Justin Boyd single added another. Garret Forrester walked to load the bases, and then Micah McDowell was hit by a pitch for the third run of the inning.
With the bases still loaded, Mason Guerra doubled to score Boyd, Forrester and McDowell. An error from New Mexico’s second baseman Chase Weissenbornthen scored Guerra. After the order completed a full rotation, Kyle Dernedde was back up to the plate, and hit a single to score Gavin Logan, and then another Trosky single scored Jake Dukart to put the Beavers up 19-1.
Finally, Garret Forrester popped up a fly to try to get another run, but the Chase Weissonborn committed his second error of the inning and dropped the ball, allowing two more runs to score. After the Lobos finally ended the inning, they went three up three down in the top of the ninth to give us our 21-1 final. What a way to start a season.
OSU will be back in action tomorrow afternoon for a game against Gonzaga, with first pitch set for 11 AM PT. On Sunday morning they’ll play the Bulldogs again, once again starting at 11 AM, and Sunday evening they’ll finish off their time in Surprise with a rematch against New Mexico, with first pitch set for 4:00 PM.