After blowing out the USC Trojans 9-1 on Friday night, the Oregon State baseball team found themselves in a much closer game Saturday afternoon. Despite a strong push from USC in the bottom of the ninth, the Beavers held out to beat the Trojans 3-2 and clinch the weekend series. Oregon State improves to 23-7 overall, and 9-5 in conference play.
Oregon State grabbed the lead early, with a Jacob Melton double scoring Justin Boyd in the top of the first inning. USC tied the game up in the bottom of the second, thanks to a solo home run from Garret Guillemette. That score would hold until the top of the fifth inning, when the Beavers grabbed the lead back with a Garret Forrester sacrifice fly that scored Wade Meckler.
The Beavers added one more run in the top of the eighth when a Brady Kasper single got Garret Forrester across home plate, and after that it was up to OSU’s pitching to hold onto the 3-2 lead. Starter Jacob Kmatz threw a solid game, allowing 2 hits and 1 earned run over 6.0 innings pitched, while striking out 4 Trojans. He picked up the win today, improving his record to 5-0.
Relief pitcher Ben Ferrer held down the Trojans for two innings after Kmatz day ended, but ran into some trouble in the bottom of the ninth. After a quick ground out, Ferrer gave up three straight singles to the Trojans’ side, allowing USC to cut the Oregon State lead to just one. Ryan Brown came in to attempt to close out the game, and after working a full count managed to get USC’s Trevor Halsema to ground into a double play to seal a Beavers win.
Game 3 between USC and OSU is set for tomorrow afternoon, with first pitch scheduled for 1:00 PM PT. The Beavers have yet to pick up a sweep against a Pac-12 opponent, and doing so this weekend would go a long way toward restoring conference after last weekend’s series loss against Stanford.