Beaver Baseball Bombs Bruins
May 13, 2001
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - - Oregon State got a much-needed win and took another step toward a berth in the NCAA tournament when the Beavers held on for an 11-8 Pacific-10 baseball victory over UCLA on Sunday at Jackie Robinson Stadium in Los Angeles.
The Beavers, who have now won 30 games in four of the last six seasons, improved to 30-22 this year and 10-11 in the Pac-10. OSU's 10 conference wins are the most since the Pac-10 unified in 1999 and did away with the Northern and Southern divisions.
OSU's series this weekend with USC looms even larger since the Beavers took one of the three games at UCLA (29-24, 8-13), as OSU will likely have to win two of its three contests with the Trojans in Corvallis to advance to the postseason.
The Beavers nearly surrendered their third-straight ninth-inning lead of the series on Sunday when they allowed the Bruins to fill the bases with one out in the bottom of the ninth.
The Beavers wouldn't let that happen for a third-consecutive day though, as Craig Hays came on in relief of Mark McLemore after the lefthander retired UCLA's Eric Reece with a fly ball to center for the first out of the inning. Hays proceeded to strike out Randall Shelley on three pitches then got Ben Francisco to fly out to centerfielder Eric Stark to earn his first save of the year.
'This was one of those deals where every at-bat was huge - this was our season,' Hays said. 'It was one of those games where your nerves get going and it's just a matter of closing the door on the other team. We knew UCLA would fight to the end,' the lefthander said. 'Today, I had the right mindset. Confidence is everything when you're on the mound.'
The teams opened the game by battering the opposing pitchers for four runs apiece in the first inning, and the Bruins sent OSU starter Jed Mitchell to the dugout 2/3 of the way through the opening frame.
Chris Biles put the first runs on the board for OSU when he drove in Kerisi Reynolds and Will Hudson with a single through the right side for two of his four RBI on the day. Biles and Brian Barden also scored in the first.
UCLA committed three of its six errors in the first inning, which helped OSU score its four runs on just two hits.
The Bruins answered in the home half of the first, as Brandon Averill added a three-run shot to Josh Canales' run to knot the game at four.
The Beavers' second inning was nearly as fruitful as the first. Pat Stevens, filling the designated hitter slot, brought in Brian Barden and Kerisi Reynolds with a two-out single, after Stark scored on a bases-loaded groundout to first by Biles with one out.
With the game knotted at eight in the top of the eighth, Biles gave the Beavers the lead for good with a single through the right side to bring in Seth Pietsch from third unearned.
The Beavers took advantage of two more UCLA errors to give themselves a three-run cushion when Bryan Ingram scored on an error by the UCLA catcher and Stark got home on an error by third baseman Brandon Averill.
'Our guys were disappointed with the first two games,' OSU coach Pat Casey said of the fact that the Beavers had dropped two heartbreaking contests on Friday and Saturday after taking a lead into the ninth inning. 'Even though they were disappointed, they responded with a lot of energy today. We came in and did the little things we didn't do yesterday. We could have folded, but we didn't. I've never been in a situation like this where every pitch had so much meaning.'
Thad Johnson survived 5 2/3 innings on the mound for OSU, giving up nine hits and four runs after coming on in relief of Mitchell in the first, but Ben Rowe earned the win with a one-hit performance over 1 2/3 innings of work. Rowe improved to 2-1 on the season.
Biles came up huge for the Beavers, as the sophomore left fielder went 4-for-5 with a double and four RBI. Joining Biles in the multi-hit club was Barden, who was 2-for-4 with two runs.
OSU's series with USC begins this Friday, with the first pitch scheduled for 3 p.m. at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field.
OREGON STATE 11, UCLA 8
Oregon State 430 010 012 - 11 12 2
UCLA 400 300 100 - 8 11 6
Mitchell, Johnson (1), Rowe (7), McLemore (9), Hays (9) and Ingram. Brandt, Jerkens (6), Castillo (8), Diaz (9) and Arhart. WP- Rowe (2-1). LP- Jerkens (3-2). Save- Hays (1). 2B- Biles (OSU), Pearl (UCLA). HR- Averill (UCLA).
HITS: Oregon State 12 (McBride 1x1, Barden 2x4, Biles 4x5, Stevens 1x4, Carter 1x5, Jarvis 1x5, Ingram 1x5, Stark 1x4), UCLA 11 (Francisco 1x6, Canales 3x4, Baron 1x4, Pearl 1x4, Averill 3x3, Shelley 2x4).
RBI: Oregon State 8 (Biles 4, Stevens 2, Carter 1, Ingram 1), UCLA 8 (Canales 1, Pearl 3, Averill 3, Shelley 1).