It wasn’t quite the batting practice session we saw in the afternoon game, but the Beavers enacted revenge on the Bruins with a walk-off winner of their own Saturday night. Jacob Kmatz got the start for Oregon State and looked strong allowing three runs over 5.2 innings of work. Ben Ferrer was fantastic to close the game out and get the final eight outs without allowing a run.
The Beavers started the game hot again, jumping out to an early 5-0 lead. UCLA fought back despite a pitching staff that was frankly over-worked during this Pac-12 tournament. In the 7th inning UCLA scored four runs against Thorsteinson to take a 7-6 lead. Things looked grim for Oregon State when UCLA brought in Jake Moberg (an infielder) to make his collegiate debut as a pitcher and Moberg pitched a scoreless inning without conceding a hit.
Ben Ferrer made sure to keep it a one-score game though setting up for high stakes in the bottom of the 9th inning. Kyle Dernedde started it off with an infield single, his hustle and head first dive into first to beat the throw was huge! Later in the inning Forrester hit a routine pop-up but an infield miscommunication (flashbacks to the CWS win vs. Arkansas) allowed the ball to drop scoring Dernedde tying the game. That brought up Pac-12 player of the year Jacob Melton. Melton smashed a hit down the left field line to score Travis Bazzana from second base and the Beavers got to celebrate a walk-off victory of their own.
Despite battling UCLA for basically 10 straight hours on Saturday, the Beavers ultimately emerged victorious and don’t have to dwell on throwing away a nine-run lead. The staff’s ultimate plan was to save Jacob Kmatz and Ben Ferrer for the championship game against Stanford, but that plan went out the window thanks to UCLA’s comeback in game one. The good news is that Jacob Melton and Wade Meckler’s injuries don’t appear to be too serious. The bad news is the Beavers still have another game tomorrow night and Gavin Logan’s injury might be more long-term. But for now Beaver nation can celebrate a great Saturday where their Softball team advanced to the WCWS and the men’s team advanced to the Pac-12 championship game.