OSU's Baseball Winning Streak Ends At 10 Games

May 22, 2005

CORVALLIS, Ore. - No. 5 Oregon State's winning streak ended at 10 games as the Beavers closed their Pacific-10 baseball schedule with a 12-2 loss to No. 20 Southern California on Sunday afternoon at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field. A sellout crowd of 2,431 saw OSU fall short in its bid to win the Pac-10 outright; the Beavers (41-9 overall, 19-5 Pac-10) had assured themselves of at least a share of the title by winning the first two games of the series.

Oregon State now goes to Portland to make up a rained-out game on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m., and the game can be heard on KEJO-AM (1240) and www.osubeavers.com.

The Beavers will then be idle until the NCAA Regionals from June 3-6. OSU could be one of the 16 host schools for the NCAA Regionals; those sites will be announced May 29 and the rest of the 64-team field will be announced May 30.

OSU can still win sole possession of the Pac-10 title if Arizona loses any games in next weekend's three-game home series against California. As it is, the Beavers have earned their first title in a unified Pac-10 since 1952 and their first championship of any type since the 1994 Northern Division pennant.

'It's like I told our guys, we're the team that's won 14 of our last 16, and not a team that's 0-1 on a Sunday,' OSU head coach Pat Casey said. 'We're disappointed because we didn't sweep USC. We've played 50 ballgames and won 41, and I can't tell you how proud I am of our club. Today was the day we didn't play as well as we can play; today's the day USC played better than us.

'We're not going to spend one second worrying about that; we're going to focus on the fact that we're Pac-10 champions and we're going to walk around like champions and we're going to play in a Regional like champions. Every guy who leaves that locker room today is going to feel that, and we're going to go back to work and that's the way it is.'

Oregon State's 19 Pacific-10 wins equal the most by any team since the conference merged its Northern and Southern Divisions prior to the 1999 season. The only other team to win that many was Stanford in 1999.

On Sunday, USC (34-18, 13-8) scored three runs in the top of the first inning against OSU sophomore righthander Jonah Nickerson. The Beavers got back within 3-2 in the bottom of the inning but USC tacked on single runs in the top of the second and fourth to make it 5-2, then broke the game open with a four-run seventh inning.

'We knew USC was going to come out and play tough, and they're a real good team,' said OSU leftfielder Tyler Graham, who extended his hitting streak to 11 games. 'Obviously, we're having a real good season and they played a great game today; we just didn't come and hit today. This one game isn't going to affect us. I think we're going to come out and get focused in practice again and come out and be ready to play in the Regionals.'

USC starter Brett Bannister allowed two hits in the first 2 2/3 innings, then reliever Anthony Encinas went 5 1/3 hitless innings and Paul Koss pitched a perfect ninth for the Trojans. The Beavers had chances to cut into the deficit while it was still manageable but left two runners on in the second and fifth innings and the bases loaded in the third.

'Usually when we get down, we get those hits and someone always comes up clutch and we put some runs on the board and make a comeback,' Graham said. 'But that's how baseball is - you don't always get those hits and today wasn't the day.'

Nickerson became the final member of OSU's weekend starting rotation to suffer a loss, falling to 8-1 this season. He allowed just one well-hit ball as the Trojans scored their three runs in the first, but wound up giving up nine earned runs in 6 1/3 innings after allowing just 12 earned runs in 82 1/3 innings prior to Sunday.

The crowd of 2,431 for Sunday's game was the largest at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field since the ballpark was renovated for the 1999 season. The USC series crowd of 6,918 was also a post-renovation record.

'It was great - playing in an atmosphere like this in front of the great fans we have is an opportunity most guys don't get,' Graham said. 'It couldn't have been any better than to win a Pac-10 championship in front of our home fans. It was a great weekend for Beaver baseball.'At game's end, the crowd gave the Beavers a standing ovation as they left the field.

'I'm disappointed from the standpoint of the excitement here, and having the people here and the crowd here,' Casey said of the loss, then noted, 'And virtually nobody really left and they were on their feet for us after losing at home - that's all a tribute to Oregon State baseball and the program and the people and the whole thing. To be part of that is just an outstanding feeling. Everybody who has played this game has won some games they thought they should have lost, and lost some games they should have won, and had their butt kicked. But we're 41-9 and Pac-10 champions.'

Now the Beavers await word on whether they will return to Goss Stadium at Coleman Field for a NCAA Regional, and Casey anticipates they will.

'I think we've done everything we have to do,' Casey said. 'Not only us, but the support they've showed for what could happen here with a regional - not just for us, but for all the clubs that could come in here. We add more seating and all of a sudden you've got 3,500 people in here, and they'll fill it if you put 5,500 seats in here. We're hoping the NCAA finds out this sleepy little down here in the mid-Willamette Valley is a hotbed for good baseball fans and we'll fill this place for them.'

NO. 20 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 12, NO. 5 OREGON STATE 2

So. California	310 100 403 - 12 14 0Oregon State		200 000 000 -  2  2 0

Bannister, Encinas (3), Koss (9) and Clement. Nickerson, Kunz (7), Joslyn (8), Turpen (9), Campos (9) and Canham, Priseman (9). W-Encinas (6-3). L-Nickerson (8-1). 2B-Cusick (USC), Hart 2 (USC), Estralla (USC), Lopez (USC). HR-Vieiera (USC), Frost (USC).

HITS: Southern California 14 (Kalter 3x6, Cusick 2x3, Hart 2x4, Estrella 1x4, Vieira 2x4, Frost 1x2, Lopez 2x3, Pabst 1x2), Oregon State 2 (Graham 1x2, Gillespie 1x3). RUNS BATTED IN: Southern California 12 (Cusick 1, Legaspi 1, Hart 4, Estralla 1, Vieira 4, Frost 1), Oregon State 1 (Jenkins 1).

Southern California 12 (34-18,13-8 PAC-10)    Oregon State 2 (41-9,19-5 PAC-10)

Player AB R H BI Player AB R H BI--------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------Zack Kalter cf............. 6 2 3 0 Jacoby Ellsbury cf......... 3 1 0 0Matt Cusick 1b............. 3 2 2 1 Tyler Graham lf............ 2 1 1 0 Dale Legaspi ph/lf........ 0 0 0 1 Darwin Barney ss........... 2 0 0 0Jeff Clement c............. 6 0 0 0 Andy Jenkins 1b............ 4 0 0 1Billy Hart 3b.............. 4 2 2 4 Mitch Canham c............. 3 0 0 0Hector Estrella 2b......... 4 1 1 1 Casey Priseman c.......... 0 0 0 0Darin Vieira lf/1b......... 4 1 2 4 Cole Gillespie rf.......... 3 0 1 0Baron Frost dh............. 2 1 1 1 Shea McFeely 3b............ 3 0 0 0 Lucas Duda ph............. 1 0 0 0 Geoff Wagner ph........... 1 0 0 0Blake Sharpe ss............ 4 1 0 0 Mike Lissman dh............ 3 0 0 0Roberto Lopez rf........... 3 1 2 0 Ryan Gipson 2b............. 2 0 0 0 Spencer Pabst pr/rf....... 2 1 1 0 Joey Ledesma ph........... 1 0 0 0Brett Bannister p.......... 0 0 0 0 Jonah Nickerson p.......... 0 0 0 0 Anthony Encinas p......... 0 0 0 0 Eddie Kunz p.............. 0 0 0 0 Paul Koss p............... 0 0 0 0 Kevin Joslyn p............ 0 0 0 0 Daniel Turpen p........... 0 0 0 0 Chris Campos p............ 1 0 0 0Totals..................... 39 12 14 12 Totals..................... 28 2 2 1

Score by Innings R H E-------------------------------------------Southern California. 310 100 403 - 12 14 0Oregon State........ 200 000 000 - 2 2 0-------------------------------------------

DP - Oregon St. 1. LOB - So. Calif. 9; Oregon St. 7. 2B - Cusick; Hart 2; Estrella;Lopez. HR - Vieira; Frost. SH - Barney. SF - Cusick. SB - Canham.

Southern California IP H R ER BB SO------------------------------------------------Brett Bannister ........... 2.2 2 2 1 4 1Anthony Encinas W,6-3..... 5.1 0 0 0 3 5Paul Koss ................. 1.0 0 0 0 0 2

Oregon State IP H R ER BB SO------------------------------------------------Jonah Nickerson L,8-1..... 6.1 9 9 9 4 6Eddie Kunz ................ 1.1 2 0 0 1 1Kevin Joslyn .............. 0.2 1 2 2 1 0Daniel Turpen ............. 0.1 2 1 1 2 1Chris Campos .............. 0.1 0 0 0 0 0

PB - Clement.

Umpires - HP: Kelly Gonzales 1B: Joe Burleson 3B: Mark BellerStart: 12:08 pm Time: 3:13 Attendance: 2431

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