Beavers Clinch Tie For Pac-10 Baseball Title
May 21, 2005
CORVALLIS, Ore. - No. 5 Oregon State assured itself at least of at least a tie for the Pacific-10 baseball championship Saturday afternoon, rallying from a four-run deficit to beat No. 20 Southern California 10-7 at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field. The Beavers (41-8 overall, 19-4 Pac-10) used a seven-run fifth inning to earn their 10th straight win before a sellout crowd of 2,322.
OSU can wrap up sole possession of the title when it hosts the Trojans (33-18, 12-8) on Sunday at 12 noon in the Beavers' final game of the conference season. The contest can be heard on KEJO-AM (1240) and www.osubeavers.com.
'We want it outright, there's no question,' OSU junior outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury said. 'We're going to be ready to go, we're going to be hungry and it's just an awesome opportunity to have.'
Oregon State's conference title is its first in a unified Pac-10 since 1952, when it swept the conference's best-of-three championship series over USC in Corvallis. It's the Beavers' first title of any kind since 1994, when it won the Pac-10 Northern Division championship.
The Beavers became at least co-champs when Kevin Gunderson fanned Blake Sharpe swinging to end the game.
At that point, Gunderson said, 'It crossed my mind that we had just done something extremely special for Oregon State University and the City Corvallis.'
Added OSU head coach Pat Casey: 'It's an unbelievable feeling. There are a lot of times these (OSU baseball) athletes get overlooked. It's all about winning, as far as perception, and there's been some very good clubs that came through here and maybe didn't have the success they've had but have worked as hard. It's just a great tribute to the athletes and what they do, and to have it pay off and win a championship is just a dream.
'There are so many people out there who are a part of this and it's just awesome, it really is. I'm humbled by it and I'm thankful I get to work with this group of guys.'
The Beavers had to come back from a 4-0 deficit but took the lead with their fifth-inning outburst, and four of the seven runs scored with two out.
'We just absolutely find ways to win,' said junior second baseman Ryan Gipson, who had a two-run double in the inning and finished the day 3-for-4 with two runs scored. 'Our pitchers will get it done for us and put up low enough runs; if not, then we're going to give them enough runs. Like today, they scored seven runs against us but we put 10 on the board. We're going to find a way to win, regardless.'
It was in the top of the eighth inning, with OSU leading 9-7, that a mild roar went up from those in the crowd with radios as OSU broadcaster Mike Parker announced that Stanford had scored a run in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat Arizona 5-4. That meant that OSU would be assured of at least a co-championship by winning Saturday.
'I had heard that Stanford had won, but I didn't really want to make it a big deal because I wanted our guys to go out and stay poised,' Casey said. 'But somebody else in the dugout heard it and said, `Let's go, we win this inning and we win a Pac-10 championship'.'
Gunderson struck out the Trojans' Cyle Hankerd with two runners on base to end the eighth. OSU tacked on a run in the top of the ninth when Jacoby Ellsbury singled and eventually scored on Andy Jenkins' two-out single to make it 10-7.
Gunderson retired the side in order in the ninth and the Beavers came out of their first-base dugout to congratulate their teammates on the field. Public address announcer Paul Rada then read off the afternoon's other Pac-10 final scores, finishing with Stanford's win over Arizona; the Beavers who hadn't yet heard the news thrust their arms in the air in celebration.
OSU sophomore lefthander Anton Maxwell got the win, improving his record to 10-1 this season to move into a tie for ninth place on the Beavers' all-time list of single-season victory leaders. Junior righthander Nate Fogle then held the lead for 2 2/3 innings before Gunderson picked up his second save in as many games and his 13th of the season.
'I'm so proud of these guys and what they do and how they show up,' Casey said. 'The crowd was quiet and it was 4-0 and I just knew our guys would find a way. I knew they'd compete and they did, and the ball bounced our way.
'We got huge innings out of Nate Fogle and Kevin Gunderson, and Anton Maxwell has been fighting some illness and for him to come out and give us that kind of start ... I'm just really proud of the club. I'm proud of their effort and of who they are, and I'm proud of what they represent.'
USC lefthander Jack Spradlin had blanked the Beavers on two hits through four innings as the Trojans built a 4-0 lead. He retired Shea McFeely on a flyout to start the fifth, then Mike Lissman singled to left and Casey Priseman bounced a double just inside third base to put runners at second and third.
Gipson drove a double into the right-centerfield gap to score them both and make it 4-2. He took third on a wild pitch and scored on Jacoby Ellsbury's sacrifice fly to left to get OSU within 4-3.
With two out and the bases empty, the Beavers started again. Tyler Graham singled to left and Darwin Barney singled to center; Graham advanced to third and Barney moved up to second on the throw on the play. The Trojans intentionally walked Andy Jenkins to load the bases and then and replaced Spradlin with righthander Josh Fogel.
Cole Gillespie greeted Fogel by poking a double just inside the rightfield line to drive in two runs and give OSU a 5-4 lead, advancing Jenkins to third. Lissman followed with a single to right, scoring both runners and making it 7-4.
Barney added a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the sixth to make it 8-4, then USC picked up a pair of runs in the seventh to get within 8-6. After Danny Anderson's pinch-hit single drove in Gillespie in the bottom of the seventh, the Trojans' Jeff Clement led off the top of the eighth with his 11th home run of the season go make it 9-7.
The Beavers held on, though, and are now one win from wrapping up sole possession of the title. Graham was 2-for-3 for the Beavers and Lissman was 2-for-4.
It was the fourth straight game that the crowd was a post-1999 renovation record for Goss Stadium at Coleman Field, with the game sold out just prior to the first pitch.
'It's awesome when you have that pitcher up there and the crowd starts getting into it for him and it makes you feel good,' Gipson said. 'And when you get a big at-bat and you get in the box and you can hear the crowd start picking you up - a feeling like that, it's awesome.'
OSU's winning streak is its longest since another 10-gamer in the latter part of the 1998 season. The Beavers are now 21-3 this season at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field to set a record for home wins in a season; the old mark was 20-4 by the 1998 club.
NO. 5 OREGON STATE 10, NO. 20 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 7
So. California 001 210 210 - 7 11 0Oregon State 000 071 11x - 10 13 1
Spradlin, Fogel (5), Aguilar (6), Friedman (7), Smith (8) and Clement. Maxwell, Fogle (6), Gunderson (8) and Priseman, Jenkins (8). W-Maxwell (10-1). L-Spradlin (5-3). Sv-Gunderson (13). 2B-Frost (USC), Hanker (USC), Gillespie (OSU), Priseman (OSU), Gipson (OSU). HR-Clement (USC).
HITS: Southern California 11 (Sharpe 1x6, Clement 2x5, Hart 1x4, Frost 1x5, Estrella 2x3, Cusick 1x2, Hankerd 1x4, Vieira 1x5, Kalter 1x2), Oregon State 13 (Ellsbury 1x4, Graham 2x3, Barney 1x4, Jenkins 1x4, Gillespie 1x4, Lissman 2x4, Priseman 1x3, Anderson 1x1, Gipson 3x4). RUNS BATTED IN: SouthernCalifornia 5 (Clement 1, Cusick 1, Vieira 1, Lopez 1, Kalter 1), Oregon State 10 (Ellsbury 1, Barney 1, Jenkins 1, Gillespie 2, Lissman 2, Anderson 1, Gipson 2).
Southern California 7 (33-18,12-8 PAC-10) Oregon State 10 (41-8,19-4 PAC-10)
Player AB R H BI Player AB R H BI--------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------Blake Sharpe ss............ 6 0 1 0 Jacoby Ellsbury cf......... 4 1 1 1Jeff Clement c............. 5 1 2 1 Tyler Graham lf............ 3 1 2 0Billy Hart 3b.............. 4 1 1 0 Darwin Barney ss........... 4 1 1 1Baron Frost dh............. 5 1 1 0 Andy Jenkins 1b/c.......... 4 1 1 1Hector Estrella 2b......... 3 1 2 0 Cole Gillespie rf/1b....... 4 2 1 2Matt Cusick 1b............. 2 1 1 1 Shea McFeely 3b............ 2 0 0 0Cyle Hankerd lf............ 4 1 1 0 Mike Lissman dh............ 4 1 2 2Darin Vieira cf/rf......... 5 0 1 1 Casey Priseman c........... 3 1 1 0Roberto Lopez rf........... 0 1 0 1 Joey Ledesma ph........... 0 0 0 0 Zack Kalter ph/cf......... 2 0 1 1 Danny Anderson ph/rf...... 1 0 1 1Jack Spradlin p............ 0 0 0 0 Ryan Gipson 2b............. 4 2 3 2 Josh Fogel p.............. 0 0 0 0 Chris Kunda 2b............ 0 0 0 0 Richard Aguilar p......... 0 0 0 0 Anton Maxwell p............ 0 0 0 0 Michael Friedman p........ 0 0 0 0 Nate Fogle p.............. 0 0 0 0 Nate Smith p.............. 0 0 0 0 Kevin Gunderson p......... 0 0 0 0Totals..................... 36 7 11 5 Totals..................... 33 10 13 10
Score by Innings R H E-------------------------------------------Southern California. 001 210 210 - 7 11 0Oregon State........ 000 071 11X - 10 13 1-------------------------------------------
E - Graham. DP - Oregon St. 1. LOB - So. Calif. 12; Oregon St. 7. 2B - Frost;Hankerd; Gillespie; Priseman; Gipson. HR - Clement. HBP - Cusick 2; Graham;Gillespie. SH - Cusick. SF - Lopez; Ellsbury; Barney. SB - Hart; Ellsbury;Gillespie; Gipson. CS - Graham 2.
Southern California IP H R ER BB SO------------------------------------------------Jack Spradlin L,5-3....... 4.2 7 6 6 2 5Josh Fogel ................ 0.2 3 2 2 1 0Richard Aguilar ........... 1.1 0 1 1 1 0Michael Friedman .......... 0.1 2 1 1 0 0Nate Smith ................ 1.0 1 0 0 0 1
WP - Spradlin; Maxwell 2; Fogle 2. HBP - by Maxwell (Cusick); by Fogel (Graham); byAguilar (Gillespie); by Gunderson (Cusick). BK - Gunderson. PB - Priseman.
Umpires - HP: Mark Beller 1B: Kelly Gonzales 3B: Joe BurlesonStart: 1:05 pm Time: 3:44 Attendance: 2322
Game notes:Friedman faced 1 batter in the 8th.Oregon State clinches at least a tie for the Pacific-10 championship.
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