Oregon State Forces Tuesday Game; Arizona's Season Comes To An End

June 5, 2007

No. 25 OSU Rallies Past No. 7 VirginiaCourtesy: Oregon State Sports Information

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Oregon State scored four runs in the final two innings and the 25th-ranked Beavers beat seventh-ranked Virginia 5-3 Monday evening at the NCAA Charlottesville Regional baseball tournament. The win by OSU (41-18 overall) forces a single game Tuesday at 9 a.m. PDT to decide which team will advance from the tourney to this coming weekend's NCAA Super Regionals against Michigan. OSU is trying to reach the Super Regionals for the third straight season.

Earlier on Monday, OSU had beaten Rutgers 5-2 to advance to the championship pairing of the tournament. Oregon State has now won eight straight elimination games in postseason play, dating back to the Beavers' six elimination-game wins at the College World Series en route to the 2006 national championship.

'The only thing we asked our club to do today was to play with everything they had,' OSU head coach Pat Casey said. 'Obviously, our backs were pinned to the wall and we had to come out and play two games today, and you just want them to play hard.'

Said OSU first baseman Jordan Lennerton: 'Playing two games always takes a toll on you. Mentally, we were there. No matter what we were going to have to go through, we were determined to win ... it's what you have to do on the road to Omaha.'

Tuesday's game can be heard live on KEJO-AM (1240) in the Corvallis area, KUIK-AM (1360) in the Portland area, KKNX-AM (840) in the Eugene area and KICE-AM (940) in the Bend area and KMED-AM (1440) in the Medford area. Live audio is available via subscription on the internet through Beaver Nation Online at www.osubeavers.com. Live stats are available at www.ncaasports.com.

On Monday evening, OSU trailed 3-1 going into the eighth inning, Chris Hopkins' solo homer started a three-run eighth inning that put the Beavers in the lead; Jason Ogata and John Wallace added run-scoring singles in the frame.

'We have nine innings in the game for a reason,' Lennerton said. 'We always have it in the back of our head that late in the game, if we're down, we can come back, that we're capable of doing it.'

Joe Paterson, who pitched six innings to earn the win against Rutgers on Friday, pitched the final 3 2/3 innings to earn the win. He didn't allow a run, hit or walk, striking out five.

'When I came in, I was ready to go,' Paterson said. 'I thought I was going to finish the game, and I was going to finish it strong. I was going to go out fighting or we were going to win.'

Paterson was the third OSU reliever to follow Daniel Turpen to the mound. Turpen, who had pitched a scoreless three innings to earn the save in the afternoon win over Rutgers, didn't allow the Cavaliers a run in the first four innings and at one point retired nine of 10 hitters from the second through fourth innings. For the day, Turpen pitched 7 1/3 innings and allowed three runs on five hits and three walks while striking out six.The Beavers took Turpen off the hook when they went in front 4-3 with a trio of runs in the top of the eighth inning against Cavalier relievers Jake Rule and Michael Schwimer. Hopkins led off the inning with his second homer of the year, a fly that carried over the left-centerfield wall.'It didn't even cross my mind,' Casey said of the possibility of Hopkins homering as he went to the plate. 'I can hear him now: `Coach, why do you have me dragging and pushing (bunting) all year when I've got all that power?' Once in a while, you throw that barrel out there and run into it. I was glad he chose tonight to do that.'

Said Lennerton: 'That was a big lift. It came from a guy who doesn't hit many home runs, and it just gave us that lift and motivation to keep going ... in our dugout, we heard the volume increase and in the stadium, we heard it decrease. That was the deciding factor right there, the play of the game.'

Joey Wong poked a single down the leftfield line to knock Rule from the game. Darwin Barney greeted Schwimer with a single down the rightfield line that sent Wong to second, then Mike Lissman sacrificed the runners to second and third. Ogata grounded an infield single to the left side that scored Wong and moved Barney to third to tie the game, then John Wallace lined a single to right-center that drove in Barney to give the Beavers the lead.

As Virginia tried to respond in the bottom of the eight, Sean Doolittle started the inning by lofting a fly to centerfield. Centerfielder Hopkins couldn't see the ball in the twilight, but shortstop Barney raced into medium-depth centerfield and made the catch diving away from the plate. The Cavaliers didn't have a baserunner the rest of the evening.

'I honestly think that was the best defensive play I've ever seen in college baseball in the 20 years I've been coaching,' Casey said. 'I really do, because of the way it happened and where it was. Nobody could see the ball, and how far it went - it was phenomenal.'

OSU extended its lead to 5-3 in the top of the ninth inning as Lennerton homered to left-centerfield, his seventh homer of the year. To that point, Lennerton had been 0-for-6 on the day with four strikeouts and a pair of errors.'The strikeouts and the errors and letting my team down , and time after time they kept picking me up,' Lennerton said. 'I wasn't doing anything to contribute, so it felt great to hit the ball out of the park and give us a little insurance.'

Oregon State had gotten on the scoreboard to pull within 3-1 in the top of the sixth inning. Virginia starter Pat McAnaney hit Wong to begin the inning and Barney dunked a single into centerfield. The Cavaliers turned to Rule and he got Lissman to hit a grounder to third baseman Patrick Wingfield; Wingfield stepped on third base to retire Wong, then his throw across the diamond got away from first baseman Doolittle. Barney tried to round third and collided with Wingfield, who was called for interference to allow Barney to score as Lissman went to second.

Virginia took a 3-0 lead with three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning against Turpen and reliever Blake Keitzman. Beau Seabury started the inning by grounding a single through the left side and Jeremy Farrell singled to center, then Wingfield sacrificed them to second and third. Mike Mitchell hit a sinking line drive under the glove of onrushing OSU rightfielder Braden Wells and it got past him for a double, scoring both runners. Keitzman entered the game at that point and got Tim Henry to fly out, then Tyler Cannon doubled to the wall in rightfield to score Mitchell.

Oregon State is now 19-6 in the postseason over the past three years. The game was the 29th time in 60 games this season that the Beavers have held an opponent to three or fewer runs.

Arizona's Season Comes to an end at Wichita State

WICHITA, Kan. - Wichita State right-hander Travis Banwart tied his career-high with 12 strikeouts and teamed up with closer Noah Krol on a two-hit, 3-0 shutout of Arizona in the Wichita Regional final on Monday. The Shockers will host UC Irvine next weekend with a berth to the College World Series on the line, while the Wildcats wrapped up their season with a 42-17 overall record.

Banwart (10-5) dominated the Arizona batting order over 7 2/3 innings, allowing just a base hit in the fifth and one in the sixth. He retired the side in order in each of the first four innings and at one point struck out six of seven batters.

Krol, who entered with two outs in the eighth inning, struck out all four UA batters he faced to seal WSU's first-ever trip to a super regional and record his 12 save of the year.

Offensively, the Shockers exploded for all three runs in the fifth inning, with Tyler Weber snapping a scoreless tie with a solo home run to lead off the frame and regional MVP Derek Schermerhorn adding a RBI single.

The Wildcats, who will return the majority of their club next season, got a fine pitching performance out of three sophomores and a freshman. Sophs Mike Colla, Preston Guilmet and Ryan Perry struck out 10 batters over the first eight innings, while frosh sensation Jason Stoffel capped off an impressive initial postseason with two strikeouts in the ninth. In three regional appearances, the right-hander retired 11 of the 16 hitters he faced via the strikeout, walked none and surrendered just a lonely single.

Colla (3-3) was charged with the loss despite allowing just three runs on five hits over four innings. He struck out five and walked none in his start of the year.

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