Final Score: Oregon St. 7, San Diego St. 1
The Beavers managed to hold the Aztecs to just 1 run Sunday despite being very depleted in the starting pitching department, and the offense scored early, if not incredibly often, which combined for a comfortable Beaver win. Brandon Jackson went 4.1 scoreless innings in relief and earned the win, while Aztec starter Cody Thompson couldn't make it out of the 3rd inning and was tagged with the loss.
The Beavers started the scoring in the first inning, sparked by a Tyler Smith walk and a Michael Conforto infield single. A Dylan Davis groundout moved them over, and Danny Hayes drew a walk, setting up freshman Jeff Hendrix, who picked up the first hit of his career and drove in 2 runs (VIDEO). That was all Oregon St. would get in the first.
The Beaver's starter, junior transfer Clay Bauer, surrendered the only Aztec run on the day in the bottom of the first. A one-out walk followed by a wild pitch (catcher Nate Esposito would probably say it was a passed ball) put a runner in scoring position with one out. After a pop-out, Aztec third-baseman Tyler France hit a grounder up the middle just out of the reach of shortstop Tyler Smith to put the Aztecs on the board.
Brandon Jackson replaced Clay Bauer after a two-out walk in the 2nd inning, ending Bauer's Beaver debut after 1.2 innings, 1 hit, 1 run (earned), 2 walks, and 1 strikeout. Jackson, another JuCo transfer, throws sidearm and gets a lot of late movement on his pitches. He struggled with his control at times, but in the end went 4.1 innings without giving up a run, and though he didn't miss many bats (0 strikeouts), the Aztecs had trouble getting solid contact against him. He surrendered 4 hits, 2 walks, and 1 hit by pitch.
In the 3rd, Dylan Davis restarted the Beaver offense with a one-out double into left field, which Danny Hayes followed with a bloop double which was lost in the sun at times. After Hendrix walked, Kavin Keyes hit a double into the left-center gap which drove in 2 runs and drove Clay Thompson out of the game (VIDEO). Reliever Ethan Miller hit the first batter he faced, loading the bases, and walked Andy Peterson, forcing in the 5th Beaver run of the day.
Jeff Hendrix was robbed of another RBI in the 4th, when Dylan Davis was thrown out at the plate trying to score on Hendrix's single. In the future, sliding would be a safer bet when crossing the plate (VIDEO). As you can see in the video, Davis wasn't happy with the signals on-deck batter Kavin Keyes was giving as the throw came in. Sidenote, the home plate umpire did a terrible job of getting in position to see the play. Little things like this can be the difference between a win and a loss when playing better competition. However, Dylan Davis still had a monster day, going 3-5 with a double a and a run. Hendrix also performed well, going 2-4 with 2 RBI's, a run, and a walk.
The Beaver pitchers were helped out by the double play ball - Oregon State turned 3 over the course of the game, including one in the 7th on Scott Schultz's first pitch of the game. Schultz relieved Jackson (who induced two double play groundballs) with nobody out in the 7th. After the aforementioned double play, he retired the next Aztec batter on two pitches, meaning it was 3 pitches, 3 outs for Schultz. The junior righty, for whom the radar guns were out in force, went the final 3 innings, earning his 2nd save of the season. He allowed two hits and struck out one.
OSU extended their lead in the 6th, set up by a one-out double from Michael Conforto and a Davis infield single up the middle that the Aztec shortstop got a glove on, but couldn't pick up cleanly. Danny Hayes hit a rocket which ricocheted off the second basemen's leg and made everyone on the bases safe. Hayes was (rightfully) given a hit and an RBI. Hayes and Conforto both had good days at the plate. Hayes was 2-3 with a run and an RBI, and he drew two walks. Everything Conforto hit was hit hard, and the 2-5 line he earned doesn't show how good he looked at the plate.
The 3-4-5 batters in the Oregon State lineup combined to go 7-13, scored 4 runs and drove in 1. 9-batter Andy Peterson, who earned a starting spot with his defense, was seeing the ball well Sunday, and he went 2-3 with 2 RBI's and a walk.
The Beavers next game is their home-opener Friday, the first of 4 games vs. Bryant.