Barden Slams Cougars

April 22, 2001

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Brian Barden's grand slam with two out in the bottom of the ninth inning gave Oregon State an 8-7 win over Washington State in Pacific-10 baseball Sunday afternoon and handed the Beavers a sweep of their three-game series at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field. OSU (25-16 overall, 8-7 Pacific-10) came back after giving up three runs in the top of the ninth inning and having the first two Beaver hitters retired in the bottom of the ninth.

'Obviously, it's a great way to win on a Sunday in that fashion,' said OSU coach Pat Casey, whose team won its fourth straight game and took sole possession of third place in the Pacific-10. 'You've got to credit our guys for staying with it in a game where we didn't have things going real good.'

OSU, winner of 17 of its last 25 games, now takes a week off from Pac-10 play. The Beavers will be at Portland on Tuesday at 3 p.m., then host the Pilots in a makeup of a rained-out game Wednesday at 3 p.m. Oregon State visits Hawaii for a three-game series Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Sunday against Washington State (14-27, 5-10), Barden's grand slam capped a phenomenal weekend against the Beavers' longtime Pacific Northwest rivals. In the three games against the Cougars, Barden batted .643 (9-for-14) with two homers, three doubles, 12 runs batted in and five runs scored.

More important, the homer helped OSU win the final game of a three-game series for the third time in nine tries this season.

'On Sundays, we've had our struggles,' said Barden, who was 3-for-5 on Sunday and also had a run-scoring double in Oregon State's four-run second inning. 'It's good to have a game like this that can get us over the hump and give us some momentum going into next week. We needed this one bad - you need to get every league game that you can.'

The sophomore third baseman nearly didn't get the opportunity for his last bit of dramatics. WSU lefthander Garrett Alwert retired pinch hitters Kerisi Reynolds and Jason McBride on popouts to second baseman Brent Robertson to start the ninth, he then got two quick strikes on pinch hitter Seth Pietsch.

'I didn't expect to come up,' said Barden, due to be the sixth hitter of the inning. But Pietsch fouled off a pair of pitches and then yanked double down the leftfield line, the Beavers then demonstrated why it's best to run out groundballs.

Eric Stark hit a grounder to WSU shortstop Bookie Gates and hustled down the line, Gates' throw was just a bit toward home plate and pulled first baseman Stefan Bailie off the bag to allow Stark reach base with Pietsch going to third. Bryan Ingram then hit a slow roller to Gates, who fielded the ball cleanly and threw accurately but Ingram reached first base perhaps a half-step ahead of the ball, Pietsch stayed at third and the bases were loaded for Barden.

'It's the little things that win big games,' Casey said. 'Stark and Ingram had been struggling at the plate all day, but they hung in there and put the ball in play ... it's those little things that make a big, big difference.'

Added Barden: 'When Ingram hit the ball, I thought the game was over. Going up, I was going to swing at the first good pitch I got.'

Barden took two balls, then a strike from Alwert.

'It was just a pitch I didn't want to hit,' Barden said of the strike. 'I figured I'd get another good pitch. He threw a changeup, and I'd been on that pitch all day. Everything he threw looked pretty good to me.'

Barden jumped on the next pitch and hit it high toward left-centerfield. However, the cool, damp day had held a number of well-hit balls inside the park - including a seventh-inning drive by Barden that Cougar centerfielder Evan Hecker caught just before running into the centerfield wall.

'I hit that ball even better than the one that ended the game,' Barden said. 'I figured the wind and rain were knocking down balls, but when I hit that one, I knew it - it was like `Oh, finally'.'

WSU leftfielder Adrian Thomas hurried back, eventually reaching the base of the wall, he could only watch as the ball sailed over the barrier for the game-ending grand slam.

'When he hit it, I didn't think there was any question,' Casey said of Barden's seventh homer of the season.

The ninth inning broke up what had been a pitching battle between Alwert and OSU righthander Stephen Copeland, who hadn't started a game on the mound since the first weekend of the season. After spending the last 10 weeks as OSU's closer and second baseman, the sophomore pitched into the ninth inning, allowing six runs (five earned) on 11 hits and two walks while striking out six.

'That was a great call by (pitching coach) Gary Henderson,' Casey said of giving Copeland the start. 'He wanted to go with Stephen and get as many innings from him as he could, and he did an outstanding job. He's made one start all year, and for him to give us that many innings in a conference game is a great job.'

Craig Hays and Ben Rowe relieved Copeland in the ninth as the Cougars scored three times on a pair of hits, including Gates' two-run single off Rowe. Rowe, a freshman, was credited with his first career win for getting the final two outs before OSU rallied.

Alwert went the distance for Washington State, falling to 2-2 this season. The sophomore lefthander stymied the Beavers from the third through eighth innings, allowing no runs on just one hit during that stretch, prior to Pietsch's double, Alwert had retired 11 straight Beaver hitters.

It was the second straight one-run win for Oregon State, which improved its record in one-run games this season to 10-3. The victory also gave the Beavers a 16-5 record this season at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field.

Ingram was 2-for-5 for the Beavers and had a two-run single in OSU's four-run second inning. Will Hudson also had a run-scoring single and Barden delivered his RBI double in that frame as Oregon State jumped in front 4-0.

Washington State came back with three runs in the top of the third inning, getting RBI singles from Jon Baeder and Hecker. The Cougars tied the game with an unearned run in the fifth on Gates' sacrifice fly.

Oregon State finished its season series against Washington State with five wins in six games, the Beavers had taken two of three games in a non-league series in Yakima in March. Sunday's win also put OSU nine games over the .500 mark, matching their high-water mark for this season.

Washington St. 7 (14-27,5-10 Pac-10) Oregon State 8 (25-16,8-7 Pac-10)                  AB  R  H RBI                         AB  R  H RBIThomas lf          5  1  3  0        Stark cf           5  2  0  0Hecker cf          4  0  2  1        Ingram c           4  2  2  2Bailie 1b          3  1  0  0        Barden 3b          5  1  3  5Gates ss           4  0  1  3        Davis dh           4  0  1  0Alwert p           4  0  1  1        Carter rf          4  0  0  0Robertson 2b       4  0  0  0        Jarvis 1b          3  1  1  0Williams rf        4  1  1  0        Howard lf          3  0  0  0Kahler 3b          4  1  1  0        Reynolds ph        1  0  0  0Baeder c           3  2  2  1        Gordon 2b          3  0  0  0Knight ph          1  1  1  0        McBride ph         1  0  0  0Reddinger c        0  0  0  0        Hudson ss          2  1  1  1                                     Pietsch ph         1  1  1  0                                     Copeland p         0  0  0  0                                     Hays p             0  0  0  0                                     Rowe p             0  0  0  0Totals......      36  7 12  6        Totals......      36  8  9  8

Score by innings: R H E----------------------------------------------Washington State 003 010 003 - 7 12 3Oregon State 040 000 004 - 8 9 3----------------------------------------------

Note: 2 outs, 0 runner(s) LOB when the game ended.

E - Gates 2, Alwert, Barden, Jarvis 2. DP - Oregon St. 1. LOB - Wash. St.8, Oregon St. 5. 2B - Williams, Barden, Jarvis, Pietsch. HR - Barden. SH -Hecker. SF - Gates, Alwert. SB - Ingram. CS - Hecker, Barden.

IP H R ER BB SO WP BK HP IBB AB BF Fly GndWashington StateAlwert L 2-2 8.2 9 8 1 2 2 0 0 1 0 36 39 13 10Oregon StateCopeland 8.0 11 6 5 2 6 0 0 0 1 33 37 10 6Hays 0.1 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 0 1Rowe W 1-0 0.2 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 3 1 0

HBP - by Alwert (Jarvis).

Strikeouts - Alwert 2, Robertson 3, Williams, Kahler, Carter, Howard. Walks- Bailie 2, Robertson, Ingram, Hudson.

Umpires - Home:Mark Beller 1st:Kevin Gilmore 3rd:Kevin GillmoreStart: 12:02 pm Time: 2:37 Attendance: 462Copeland faced 2 batters in the 9th.

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