OSU Beats USC 8-4 To Take First-Ever Series From Trojans in L.A.

Oregon State pitchers Jonah Nickerson and Kevin Gunderson combined to allow one run over the last 6 2/3 innings Sunday as the Beavers earned their first-ever series win at Southern California with an 8-4 Pacific-10 Conference victory at Dedeaux Field. The win finished a stretch of eight straight games on the road for OSU (26-12 overall, 6-6 Pacific-10), with the Beavers winning seven of those.

Oregon State now returns home to meet Washington next weekend with games Friday at 5 p.m., Saturday at 4 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. All three games can be heard on KEJO-AM (1240).

OSU's series win over the Trojans (20-21, 6-6) marked only the second time in history the Beavers have taken a series from USC, the other being the 1952 Pacific Coast Conference championship series on Oregon State's way to the College World Series. With the conference generally split into Northern and Southern divisions until 1999, the teams haven't met annually over all those years but it marked a milestone for the Beavers nonetheless.

'It's a good feeling - I'm happy for our guys,' OSU coach Pat Casey said. 'It's a great accomplishment to come here and win a series from a program with the tradition USC has.

'That gets us to .500 in conference play. We feel we let a few games get away early (this season) and we needed to play better, and we're doing that. We've been on the road for the last eight games and won seven of those. That's a good stretch. We've just got to keep getting better, and if we do, we'll be in the middle of things.'

The game's turning point came early with OSU starter Andy Baldwin on the mound with a 2-1 lead and the bases loaded in the bottom of the third inning. Baldwin hit USC's Joey Metropoulos to force in a run and make it 2-2, which brought Nickerson from the bullpen. After walking Daniel Perales to force in another run and give the Trojans a 3-2 lead, Nickerson coaxed a popout from Jon Brewster and then fanned Baron Frost to get OSU out of the inning down only one run. The Beavers regained the lead in the top of the fourth when Paul Richie and Chris Campos each delivered two-out run-scoring singles to make it 5-4. Oregon State never trailed over the final five innings.

'Jonah Nickerson came in with the bases loaded and only gave up one run to get us out of a jam, and Kevin Gunderson was sharp again,' Casey said. 'When you pitch and play defense, you've got a chance to win.'

Nickerson and Gunderson allowed just five hits over the final 6 2/3 innings. Nickerson improved to 4-0 this season, while Gunderson earned the save for the second straight game for his third save of the season.

After USC tied the game with a run in the bottom of the fourth, OSU took the lead for good in the top of the fifth. Mike Hass led off with looping double down the leftfield line, advanced on a groundout and scored on a wild pitch to make it 5-4. OSU bumped its lead to 6-4 in the top of the seventh when Mike Lissman led off with a walk, was sacrificed to second and scored on Shea McFeely's single to center.

The Beavers picked up two more runs in the top of the ninth inning after McFeely drew a leadoff walk and Chris Kunda singled him to third with one out. Ellsbury grounded out to score McFeely and move Kunda to second, then an error on a pickoff play advanced the runners to second and third. Tyler Graham hit a routine grounder to short but outraced the throw to first for a run-scoring infield single that made it 8-4.

Aaron Matthews extended his hitting streak to 18 games with a run-scoring single in the first inning; one of 16 OSU hits on Sunday. Ellsbury, Richie, Hass, McFeely and Kunda all contributed two hits, and seven different Beavers drove in a run.

'We finally got ourselves on track offensively,' Casey said. 'Some of our guys who have been struggling offensively have been doing a great job defensively; they haven't been taking their at-bats into the field, and that's been a key.'

OREGON STATE 8, SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 4Oregon State		101 210 102 - 8 16 1Southern California	102 100 000 - 4 10 5

Baldwin, Nickerson (3), Gunderson (7) and Richie. Wentworth, Williams (2),Ganser (5), Friedman (5), Miller (8) and Clement. W-Nickerson (4-0). L-Ganser (1-1).Sv-Gunderson (3). 2B-Hass (OSU), Clement (USC), Hankerd (USC).

HITS: Oregon State 16 (Ellsbury 2x5, Richie 2x5, Campos 1x4, Graham 2x2,Mathews 1x5, Hass 2x3, Gillespie 1x4, McFeely 2x3, Calderon 1x4, Kunda 2x5), SouthernCalifornia 10 (Fogel 1x1, Sharpe 3x5, Clement 2x4, Brewster 1x4, Hart 1x4, Hankerd 2x4).RUNS BATTED IN: Oregon State 7 (Ellsbury 1, Richie 1, Campos 1, Graham 1, Mathews 1,Gillespie 1, McFeely 1), Southern California 4 (Sharpe 1, Clement 1, Metropoulos 1,Perales 1).

Oregon State 8 (26-12,6-6 PAC-10) Southern California 4 (20-21,6-6 PAC-10)

Player AB R H BI Player AB R H BI--------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------Jacoby Ellsbury cf......... 5 2 2 1 Michael Moon 2b/3b......... 3 1 0 0Paul Richie c.............. 5 1 2 1 Josh Fogel ph............. 1 0 1 0Chris Campos lf............ 4 0 1 1 Blake Sharpe ss............ 5 1 3 1 Tyler Graham lf........... 2 0 2 1 Jeff Clement c............. 4 0 2 1Aaron Mathews rf........... 5 0 1 1 Joey Metropoulos 1b........ 2 0 0 1Mike Hass dh............... 3 2 2 0 Daniel Perales cf.......... 2 0 0 1 Mike Lissman ph/dh........ 1 1 0 0 Hector Estrella ph/2b..... 1 0 0 0Cole Gillespie 1b.......... 4 0 1 1 Jon Brewster dh............ 4 0 1 0Shea McFeely 3b............ 3 1 2 1 Baron Frost lf............. 4 0 0 0Tony Calderon ss........... 4 0 1 0 Billy Hart 3b/cf........... 4 0 1 0Chris Kunda 2b............. 5 1 2 0 Cyle Hankerd rf............ 4 2 2 0Andy Baldwin p............. 0 0 0 0 Clayton Wentworth p........ 0 0 0 0 Jonah Nickerson p......... 0 0 0 0 Jon Williams p............ 0 0 0 0 Kevin Gunderson p......... 0 0 0 0 Cole Ganser p............. 0 0 0 0 Michael Friedman p........ 0 0 0 0 Austin Miller p........... 0 0 0 0Totals..................... 41 8 16 7 Totals..................... 34 4 10 4

Score by Innings R H E-------------------------------------------Oregon State........ 101 210 102 - 8 16 1Southern California. 102 100 000 - 4 10 5-------------------------------------------

E - Campos; Moon; Sharpe; Perales; Williams; Miller. DP - Oregon St. 2. LOB - OregonSt. 14; So. Calif. 7. 2B - Hass; Clement; Hankerd. HBP - Richie; McFeely;Metropoulos 2. SH - Mathews; Gillespie. SB - Ellsbury; Hass; Kunda. CS - McFeely;Hart.

Oregon State IP H R ER BB SO------------------------------------------------Andy Baldwin .............. 2.1 5 3 2 1 3Jonah Nickerson W,4-0..... 3.2 3 1 1 1 3Kevin Gunderson S,3....... 3.0 2 0 0 0 3

Southern California IP H R ER BB SO------------------------------------------------Clayton Wentworth ......... 1.2 6 1 1 0 2Jon Williams .............. 2.1 3 3 1 1 1Cole Ganser L,1-1......... 0.1 1 1 1 1 0Michael Friedman .......... 3.1 4 1 1 1 3Austin Miller ............. 1.1 2 2 1 1 0

WP - Nickerson; Ganser. HBP - by Baldwin (Metropoulos); by Ganser (McFeely); byGunderson (Metropoulos); by Miller (Richie). BK - Wentworth.

Umpires - HP: Darrel Mason 1B: Gus Rodriguez 3B: Ken EldridgeStart: 12:04 pm Time: 3:18 Attendance: 419

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