Oregon State Baseball is finally back in Corvallis after spending a couple weeks in Arizona, and the Beavers started off their home schedule with a solid 7-2 victory over the UC Irvine Anteaters. Oregon State stays undefeated so far this season, with an 8-0 record.
Cooper Hjerpe got the start for the Beavers, and got into trouble right away. Irvine’s Woody Hadeen started the game with a single, and was followed by a double from Anteater Nathan Church. With two runners in scoring position, Hjerpe struck out the next batter, before a ground out from Ben Fitzgerald scored the first run of the game to give the Anteaters a 1-0 lead.
It didn’t take long for the Beavers to respond. In the bottom of the first Travis Bazzana reached base with a single, and then Justin Boyd hit a deep ball to left, clearing the wall for the first Goss Stadium home run of 2022 and giving the Beavs a 2-1 lead.
OSU got a couple more runs in the bottom of the third. A Wade Meckler single started things off, and a Travis Bazzana single got Meckler to third. That set up a sac fly from Justin Boyd to score Meckler. A Garret Forrester single then scored Bazzana, giving the Beavers a 4-1 lead after three.
The Anteaters got another run in the top of the fourth, thanks to a Connor McGuire double. That would be the last one of the day for UC Irvine, as the Beaver pitching staff pulled out some impressive feats over the next five innings.
Three Cooper Hjerpe strikeouts got the Beavers through the fifth inning. After giving up a double in the sixth, Hjerpe’s day was done, but it was quite a day. 10 strikeouts over 5.1 innings pitched, with 7 hits and 2 runs allowed. He picked up the win, giving him a 3-0 record for the season.
Ryan Brown came in and got the Beavers one out in the sixth, before Ben Ferrer finished the rest of the game. Ferrer also had a great game, with 7 strikeouts over 3.1 innings pitched, and no hits allowed. He only allowed one baserunner for the rest of the game, an HBP in the top of the ninth. For his efforts, he picked up his first save of the season.
After a few slow innings, the Beaver bats woke up again in the bottom of the seventh. After Justin Boyd reached bases on balls, a big Jacob Melton double got him all the way home. UC Irvine then loaded the bases with a pair of walks, and a sac fly from Gavin Logan scored Melton.
The Beavers added a final run in the bottom of the eighth, with a Justin Boyd fly out scoring Kyle Dernedde. It was a big night for Boyd, who accounted for four of Oregon State’s runs despite only having one hit. Travis Bazzana also had an amazing game, with 3 hits and 2 runs.
The Beavers series against UC Irvine continues tomorrow, with first pitch set for 1:35.