The 2-seed Beavers took on 6-seed Cal in the late game last night. Thanks to some interesting planning the Pac-12 baseball tournament is playing four straight games on the same field in Scottsdale, Arizona. Oregon State drew the short stick on Thursday night and first pitch started at about 10:15 PM (the game ended well after 1 AM). On the bright side they avoided the hottest part of the day and with their second straight win earned themselves an off day.
Anyways back to the game. Oregon State’s ace, Cooper Hjerpe, got the start and was excellent. He got out of trouble a number of times and only allowed one run (a solo HR) lasting five innings. He got out of an intense jam in the 5th as the bases were loaded and Cal batters were battling with double-digit plate appearances. After closing the door on Cal’s potential rally, Reid Sebby came on in relief and was electric the rest of the way to guide the Beavs to victory.
Offensively Oregon State struggled a bit. Cal’s relief pitchers Nick Proctor and Ian May threw 4.1 hitless innings while racking up eight strikeouts. Thankfully the Beavers did enough damage against starter Steven Zobac to get the win. Greg Fuchs hit a sacrifice-fly in the 4th inning to score Garret Forrester from third. And in the 5th Wade Meckler and Forrester came up with a couple of big hits to score a couple of runs to take the lead 3-1.
The second half of the game was a bit of a snooze-fest (pun intended). Jacob Melton DH’ed on Thursday night after a mild muscle pull during Wednesday’s game. Jake Dukart started at third and had a couple of tough plays in the first inning (including an error); but Hjerpe was able to strand two base runners with relative-ease.
Oregon State will be back in action on Saturday, when they’ll take on the winner of Fridays’s matchup between UCLA and Cal. There are just two games on Friday. On the other side of the bracket Stanford remains unbeaten and will have the day off. There’s no set time for Saturday’s game but the weather isn’t supposed to be as hot, so hopefully Oregon State gets an earlier game. I expect Jacob Kmatz to get the start.