It was close down to the wire, but Oregon State took down the Auburn Tigers 4-3 to force a decisive Game 3 in the Corvallis Super Regional. Whoever wins Monday evening’s contest can book their flight to Omaha for the College World Series.
Cooper Hjerpe got the start in what is in all likelihood his final appearance in Goss Stadium. He put in another great performance, pitching for 5.2 innings and striking out 6. He picked up his 11th win of the season, for an 11-2 record in his likely final year as a Beaver.
The game was scoreless until the top of the fourth, when two solo home runs, from Jacob Melton and Travis Bazzana gave OSU a 2-0 lead. Auburn tied things up in the bottom of the fourth; with the first run coming on a wild pitch and the second on a double from the Tigers’ shortstop Brody Moore.
Oregon State got the lead back in the top of the fifth when a throwing error on a Justin Boyd bunt allowed Matthew Gretler to advance from second all the way home. A Jake Dukart single in the top of the sixth scored Travis Bazzana to stretch the Beaver lead to 4-2.
In the bottom of the sixth Hjerpe’s day ended after walking Auburn’s Bobby Peirce. Ben Ferrer came in to save the game, but ran into trouble early. Ferrer gave up a single to the first batter he faced, and then a wild pitch allowed Peirce to reach home, cutting the Oregon State lead to just one run.
Fortunately, that was all they’d need. Ferrer settled down after that, allowing only one base runner for the rest of the game. He struck out 3 over 3.1 innings pitched while allowing only 2 hits and no walks, for his third save of the season.
First pitch for the rubber match between Oregon State and Auburn is scheduled for 4:30 PM PT, weather permitting. The game will be aired on ESPN2.