It was a frustrating night in Corvallis for Beaver fans as Auburn took down the Beavs in front of a packed Goss stadium. First off, huge credit needs to go to Auburn’s bullpen. Oregon State did almost all their damage again starter Trace Bright in the first inning and the bullpen pitched amazing the rest of the way. Home plate umpire, John Brammer, had a rough night. As Auburn’s head coach, Butch Thompson, diplomatically said “we’ve got a professional strike zone tonight”.
Before the game it was announced that Cooper Hjerpe had an undisclosed illness and would not be available, but Mitch Canham downplayed it and made it seem like he would start on Saturday. As frustrating as the tight strike zone and absence of Hjerpe was Oregon State had no one to blame, but themselves. Here’s how it unfolded Saturday evening:
All week long Beaver fans heard about the great Sonny DiChiara and he made his presence known immediately with a 2-run homer in the 1st inning. It seemed like both starting pitchers were a bit rattled with the tight strike-zone. As the starters combined to issue seven walks.
The Beavers quickly responded though in the bottom of the 1st inning. Justin Boyd was hit by a pitch and Wade Meckler walked to bring up Garret Forrester who sky’ed a 3-run homer of his own.
The Beavers batted around the order in the 1st inning after Kyle Dernedde’s walk brought home another run, but Oregon State missed a big opportunity to break the game open. Again credit to Auburn’s bullpen, but just unfortunate for the Beavs. The bats for Auburn continued to be relentless. Bobby Peirce hit a solo-shot in the to give the visitors a 6-4 lead. With 10 hits, 5 walks and an error on a double-play ball Auburn just had too many chances tonight.
In the bottom of the 9th the top of the order came up to bat. Jacob Melton hit a double over the leftfielders head to score one run, but Gavin Logan struckout to end the game. Game two is scheduled for tomorrow at 7 PM on ESPN2. Oregon State will look to bounce back, hopefully with Cooper Hjerpe on the mound.