Oregon State looked like they were on the way to a blowout win over Nevada Tuesday night, before a furious comeback from the Wolf Pack sent the game to extra innings. The Beavers managed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in the 11th inning, hanging on to a 14-13 win to improve their record to 18-5.
After two scoreless innings, the Beaver batters exploded in the top of the third. Wade Meckler led off the inning by being walked, and then a Jacob Melton double got Meckler across home plate for the first run of the game. That was followed by three back to back singles, from Justin Boyd, Garret Forrester and Travis Bazzana, for three more runs. A Gavin Logan bunt then moved two runners into scoring position, setting up Greg Fuchs for a two run single to give OSU a 6-0 lead.
The fourth inning was nearly as good for the Beavers. Justin Boyd started the inning with a triple, and after a Garret Forrester walk, reached home thanks to a Travis Bazzana single. A Gavin Logan single scored Forrester, and then a Greg Fuchs ground out scored Bazzana. Matthew Gretler capped things off with a two run homer. All told, the Beavers added five runs in the fourth for an 11-0 lead.
Deep, deep, deep, gone! Gretler with the long ball and we now lead 11-0. pic.twitter.com/3x8YA8eiDV— Oregon State Baseball (@BeaverBaseball) March 30, 2022
Leads like that are usually unassailable, but Nevada had other thoughts. In the bottom of the fifth the Wolf Pack finally found some scoring. The first run came on a wild pitcher from Oregon State’s Braden Boisvert, and the second on a Tyler Bosetti single. Still, 11-2 is usually a solid enough lead.
The Beavers even added another run in the top of the sixth. After a Tanner Smith single, a throwing error on a Matthew Gretler fielder’s choice, and a Kyle Dernedde single, the Beavers had the bases loaded. Then Wade Meckler was hit by Nevada pitcher Jacob Gebb to bean in a run for the Beavers. Oregon State held on to a 12-2, 10 run lead headed into the bottom of the sixth. That’s when disaster struck.
OSU’s David Grewe gave up two singles and a walk to load the bases right off the bat. A fly out scored Nevada’s first run of the inning, and then two straight singles scored two more. That ended Grewe’s time on the mound, but he wouldn’t be the only Oregon State pitcher to struggle.
Jayson Hibbard came in for the Beavers and hit the first two Nevada batters he faced, gifting the Wolf Pack another run. He walked the next batter, for another Nevada run. A fly out added another run for the Wolf Pack but got the Beavers within one out of ending the inning. Hibbard came off the mound, and Ian Lawson came into replace him. Lawson immediately gave up a three run homer to Josh Zamora. After starting the inning down 10 runs, Nevada was now down just one. 12-11.
After squandering a massive lead, the Beavers needed to get their heads back in the game. It took awhile. OSU went scoreless in the top of the seventh, and Nevada pounced in the bottom of the frame. Lawson continued to struggle on the mound for OSU, starting the inning with a pair of singles. Nevada’s Ryan Jackson bunted both runners into scoring position, and Lawson then balked in the tying run. A single from Tyler Bosetti then gave the Wolf Pack there first lead of the day. After being down 11, Nevada now led 13-12.
In the top of the eighth the Beavers finally found there footing. After Wade Meckler reached on a fielder’s choice, a Micah McDowell single got him to third base. A Justin Boyd single then scored Meckler to tie the game, though that would be all the Beavers would get out of the eighth. Neither side managed anything in the ninth inning, so it was time for extra innings.
Both teams went quietly in the 10th, and the 11th looked like it would go similarly. Oregon State started the top of the inning with back to back strikeouts, but then Tanner Smith came to the plate and sent a ball all the way down the left field line and over the wall for a solo home run. That would be the only run OSU would get, but it would be the only one they’d need after relief pitcher Ryan Brown retired the Nevada side, three up three down. Beavers win in 11, 14-13.
After a frustrating, deeply strange win, Oregon State needs to get right back at it. Tomorrow they’ll face Nevada for what is suddenly a very intriguing rematch. Then, after a day off, they’ll return Goss Field for a three game series against Stanford, starting on Friday, April 1st.