Beavers Take Baseball Series at Washington State

May 23, 2004

PULLMAN, Wash. - Oregon State got the doubleheader split it needed to bolster its hopes of advancing to an NCAA Regional on Sunday, dropping the opener to Washington State 4-2 before coming back to win the second game 5-3 in Pacific-10 baseball at Bailey-Brayton Field. After winning the first game of the series 3-2, OSU (30-20 overall, 9-12 Pacific-10) won a conference road series for the third time in four tries this season.

The Beavers now return home to finish the regular season against UCLA next weekend at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field with games Friday at 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m.; all three games can be heard on KEJO-AM (1240) and www.osubeavers.com

A sweep could secure OSU a place in the postseason, while a loss to the Bruins could keep the Beavers from the 64-team field for the NCAA Regionals. But without Sunday's victory in the series finale, OSU's hopes would have been all but over.

'Until somebody hits me on the top of the head with a hammer, we're going to play for a regional,' OSU head coach Pat Casey said. 'I think if we get to 12-12 in the conference, there's no question we'll get in. We've even got an outside chance if we get to 11-13, depending on how the rest of the conference is. Our conference is so strong that our champion is going to have seven, eight, nine losses - in a 24-game season, that's crazy.'

In a strange weekend at WSU in which it took two days to play one game and then one day to play two, the Beavers got what they had to have.

'We wanted to win the series,' Casey said. 'We would have felt elated to win all three. We've struggled to score runs in the last couple weeks and that was evident in the first two games and then we did a better job of swinging the bats. We got great pitching, and I think all three games were well-played.'

The Beavers didn't commit an error in the series and gave up just nine runs in the three games. In the last game of the series, freshmen Jonah Nickerson and Kevin Gunderson combined with seniors Jared Sanders and Nathan Pendley on the victory; Gunderson won in relief to improve his record to 6-2 this season while Pendley got his first career save.

OSU took the lead for good in the top of the third inning, as Chris Kunda led off with a single, was sacrificed to second and then scored on a pair of wild pitches by WSU righthander Bryce Chamberlin. Oregon State tacked on another run in the top of the fourth when Cole Gillespie tripled and scored on Paul Richie's single through the right side for a 3-1 lead.

It was a Washington State error that put the Beavers somewhat in command, With two out and runners at second and third in the top of the fifth, Andy Jenkins hit a grounder to Cougar second baseman Jason Freeman; he left his throw short of first baseman Grant Richardson and it bounced past him, allowing both Jacoby Ellsbury and Tony Calderon to score to make it 5-1.

'When you're struggling to score runs, you try to do anything,' Casey said of a 13-hit OSU attack that included 11 singles. 'We played the short game here today and it worked out for us. I thought our guys played extremely well for sitting around and waiting. The conditions were good today; the ballpark (with a new FieldTurf surface) plays slow and that gives an advantage to the defender and the pitcher and the scores were indicative of that. I don't think I've ever been to Pullman and seen so few runs scored.

'The last time we were here (in 2002), we left in our uniforms to catch a jet and it was 22-21 in the final game. Our guy kicked the extra point, and that was it.'

The game's turning point came in the bottom of the second inning after Washington State scored to make it 1-1 and had runners at first and second with one out for the top of the order. With the runners going, Kaeo Rubin lined a pitch from Nickerson into leftfield but OSU's Tyler Graham made the catch and his throw to second doubled off Brandon Reddinger to end the inning with the game still tied.

Nickerson then retired the next eight hitters he faced before running into trouble in the bottom of the fifth, giving Oregon State the chance to build that 5-1 lead. He left the game with OSU leading 5-2 and the bases loaded with two out in the bottom of the fifth, but Gunderson came in and got pinch-hitter Zach Franklin to fly out to left to end the threat.

Gunderson worked three innings and also left with the Cougars threatening in the bottom of the eighth. With a run in, runners at the corners and two outs, Sanders went to the mound and walked Reddinger before getting Jeff Miller to foul out to rightfielder Aaron Mathews to end the inning with Oregon State up 5-3.

Pendley then worked a one-two-three ninth inning against the top of the order to send OSU home with the series victory.

Nickerson allowed the two runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out three, while Gunderson gave up the final run on two hits and two walks while striking out one. Gillespie was 3-for-4 for the Beavers while Richie and Graham were 2-for-4 and Lissman was 2-for-5.

An inning of wildness cost OSU freshman righthander Dallas Buck in the first game. Oregon State took a 2-1 lead into the bottom of the fourth inning, but Buck gave up two hit batters, a walk and two hits as WSU scored twice for a 3-2 lead. The Cougars plated the tying run as OSU turned a double play, then got the go-ahead run when J.J. Burress - who had just one hit this season going into the game - grounded a no-ball, two-strike pitch up the middle with two out.

Washington State added a run in the seventh inning for a 4-2 lead when Pendley gave up a pair of one-out singles, then pinch-hitter Collin Henderson singled off reliever Andy Baldwin to drive in a run.

OSU had gone in front 2-1 in the top of the second inning but missed out on a chance to take control of the game. A two-base Cougar error started the Beavers to a bases-loaded, no-out situation and Shea McFeely blooped a two-run single to right-center field.

Billy Munich was then asked to sacrifice the runners over but couldn't get a bunt down, then grounded into a double play. Kunda walked to put runners at the corners, but WSU righthander Aaron MacKenzie got Jacoby Ellsbury to tap back to the mound for the final out with the score still 2-1.

McKenzie pitched a seven-hitter for the complete-game win, as the senior walked two and struck out five.

After pitching his sixth save of the season in Saturday evening's completion of the series-opener, Buck dropped to 3-5 this season with the loss; in 5 1/3 innings, he allowed three runs on six hits and one walk while striking out four.

GAME ONE: WASHINGTON STATE 3, OREGON STATE 2Oregon State         020 000 000 - 2  7 0Washington State     100 200 10x - 4 10 1

Buck, Pendley (6), Baldwin (7) and Munich, Richie (7). MacKenzie and Reddinger. W-MacKenzie (6-7). L-Buck (3-5).

HITS: Oregon State 7 (Ellsbury 1x4, Graham 2x4, Calderon 1x3, Jenkins 2x4, McFeely 1x4), Washington State 10 (Rubin 1x5, Jas. Freeman 2x5, Ja. Miller 2x4, Richardson 2x3, Kosturos 1x2, Henderson 1x1, Burress 1x2). RUNS BATTED IN: Oregon State 2 (McFeely 2), Washington State 3 (Richardson 1, Henderson 1, Burres 1).

GAME TWO: OREGON STATE 5, WASHINGTON STATE 3

Oregon State 010 120 000 - 5 13 0Washington State 010 010 000 - 3 9 1

Nickerson, Gunderson (5), Sanders (8), Pendley (9) and Richie.Chamberlin, Alwert (5) and Reddinger. W-Gunderson (6-2). L-Chamberlin (7-3).Sv-Pendley (1). 2B-Lissman (OSU), Ja. Miller (WSU), Hart (WSU). 3B-Gillespie (OSU).

HITS: Oregon State 13 (Graham 2x4, Lissman 2x5, Calderon 2x5, Gillespie3x4, Mathews 1x4, Richie 2x4, Kunda 1x4), Washington State 9 (Rubin 2x5, Jas. Freeman1x5, Ja. Miller 1x3, Franklin 1x2, McAngus 1x4, Hart 1x2, Reddinger 1x3, Burress 1X3).RUNS BATTED IN: Oregon State 2 (Jenkins 1, Richie 1), Washington State 3 (Ja. Miller 1,Henderson 1, Burress 1).

GAME ONE

Oregon State 2 (29-20,8-12 PAC-10) Washington State 4 (27-24,7-13 PAC-10)

Player AB R H BI Player AB R H BI--------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------Jacoby Ellsbury cf......... 4 0 1 0 Kaeo Rubin lf.............. 5 0 1 0Tyler Graham lf............ 4 0 2 0 Jason Freeman 2b........... 5 1 2 0Chris Campos dh............ 4 0 0 0 Jay Miller rf.............. 4 1 2 0Aaron Mathews rf........... 4 1 0 0 Grant Richardson 1b........ 3 1 2 1Tony Calderon ss........... 3 1 1 0 Zach Kosturos dh........... 2 0 1 0Andy Jenkins 1b............ 4 0 2 0 Collin Henderson ph....... 1 0 1 1Shea McFeely 3b............ 4 0 1 2 Zach McAngus 3b............ 3 0 0 0Billy Munich c............. 2 0 0 0 Justin Hart cf............. 2 1 0 0 Cole Gillespie ph......... 1 0 0 0 Brandon Reddinger c........ 3 0 0 0 Paul Richie c............. 1 0 0 0 J.J. Burress ss............ 2 0 1 1Chris Kunda 2b............. 2 0 0 0 Zach Franklin ph.......... 1 0 0 0Dallas Buck p.............. 0 0 0 0 Justin McClure ss......... 1 0 0 0 Nathan Pendley p.......... 0 0 0 0 Aaron MacKenzie p.......... 0 0 0 0 Andy Baldwin p............ 0 0 0 0Totals..................... 33 2 7 2 Totals..................... 32 4 10 3

Score by Innings R H E-------------------------------------------Oregon State........ 020 000 000 - 2 7 0Washington State.... 100 200 10X - 4 10 1-------------------------------------------

E - Burress. DP - Oregon St. 1; Wash. St. 2. LOB - Oregon St. 6; Wash. St. 10. HBP -Richardson; Kosturos; Hart; Reddinger. SB - Graham 2; Jas. Freeman; Hart. CS -Graham; Henderson.

Oregon State IP H R ER BB SO------------------------------------------------Dallas Buck L,3-5......... 5.1 6 3 3 1 4Nathan Pendley ............ 1.0 2 1 1 0 1Andy Baldwin .............. 1.2 2 0 0 1 2

Washington State IP H R ER BB SO------------------------------------------------Aaron MacKenzie W,6-7..... 9.0 7 2 1 2 5

WP - Baldwin 2. HBP - by Buck (Richardson); by Buck (Reddinger); by Buck (Kosturos); byBuck (Hart). BK - MacKenzie.

Umpires - HP: Phil Benson 1B: Tony Norris 3B: Terry MannStart: 10:07 am Time: 2:47

Game notes:Game postponed from May 22.

GAME TWO

Oregon State 5 (30-20,9-12 PAC-10) Washington State 3 (27-25,7-14 PAC-10)

Player AB R H BI Player AB R H BI--------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------Tyler Graham lf............ 4 0 2 0 Kaeo Rubin lf.............. 5 1 2 0Mike Lissman dh............ 5 0 2 0 Jason Freeman 2b........... 5 0 1 0Jacoby Ellsbury cf......... 4 1 0 0 Jay Miller rf.............. 3 1 1 1Tony Calderon ss........... 5 2 2 0 Grant Richardson 1b........ 2 0 0 0Cole Gillespie 1b.......... 4 1 3 0 Zach Kosturos dh........... 2 0 0 0Aaron Mathews rf........... 4 0 1 0 Zach Franklin ph/dh....... 2 0 1 0Andy Jenkins 3b............ 2 0 0 1 Zach McAngus 3b............ 4 0 1 0 Shea McFeely 3b........... 1 0 0 0 Justin Hart cf............. 2 1 1 0Paul Richie c.............. 4 0 2 1 Collin Henderson cf....... 0 0 0 1Chris Kunda 2b............. 4 1 1 0 Brandon Reddinger c........ 3 0 1 0Jonah Nickerson p.......... 0 0 0 0 J.J. Burress ss............ 3 0 1 1 Kevin Gunderson p......... 0 0 0 0 Jeff Miller ph............ 1 0 0 0 Jared Sanders p........... 0 0 0 0 Justin McClure ss......... 0 0 0 0 Nathan Pendley p.......... 0 0 0 0 Bryce Chamberlin p......... 0 0 0 0 Garrett Alwert p.......... 0 0 0 0Totals..................... 37 5 13 2 Totals..................... 32 3 9 3

Score by Innings R H E-------------------------------------------Oregon State........ 011 120 000 - 5 13 0Washington State.... 010 010 010 - 3 9 1-------------------------------------------

E - Jas. Freeman. DP - Oregon St. 2; Wash. St. 1. LOB - Oregon St. 10; Wash. St. 9.2B - Lissman; Ja. Miller; Hart. 3B - Gillespie. HBP - Ja. Miller. SH - Graham;Gillespie; Mathews. SF - Henderson. CS - Rubin.

Oregon State IP H R ER BB SO------------------------------------------------Jonah Nickerson ........... 4.2 7 2 2 2 3Kevin Gunderson W,6-2..... 3.0 2 1 1 2 1Jared Sanders ............. 0.1 0 0 0 1 0Nathan Pendley S,1........ 1.0 0 0 0 0 0

Washington State IP H R ER BB SO------------------------------------------------Bryce Chamberlin L,7-3.... 4.0 7 3 3 1 2Garrett Alwert ............ 5.0 6 2 0 1 5

WP - Nickerson; Chamberlin 2. HBP - by Nickerson (Ja. Miller).

Umpires - HP: Tony Norris 1B: Terry Mann 3B: Phil BensonStart: 1:31 pm Time: 2:39 Attendance: 334

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