No. 1 Oregon State uses walk-off walk to rally past Cougars - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

No. 1 Oregon State uses walk-off walk to rally past Cougars

Courtesy: WSU Athletics Courtesy: WSU Athletics

By WSU Athletics

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Washington State nearly pulled the upset against No. 1 Oregon State but the Beavers scored twice in the ninth on bases-loaded walks to take the series-opener 4-3 in front of a sold out Goss Stadium crowd of 3,583 Friday afternoon.
 
The Cougars (24-24, 10-15 Pac-12) collected eight hits including three from freshman second baseman Dillon Plew and two from junior third baseman Shane Matheny. Washington State received RBI-hits from junior first baseman James Rudkin and junior designated hitter Ryan Ramsower in the sixth and took a 3-1 lead into the eighth. OSU (43-4, 25-3 Pac-12) scored once in the eighth on a sacrifice fly and twice in the ninth on the bases-loaded walks to avoid just their second home loss this season. Beaver lefthander Luke Heimlich entered the game with nation's best earned-run average (0.76) and allowed three runs, two earned on eight hits in nine innings.
 
Oregon State was the first to get on the board, pushing a run across in the second. The Beavers used a single, a walk and a two-out single back up the middle for a 1-0 lead.
 
Washington State answered back with a two-out run in the third inning. Alvarez reached base after the OSU shortstop fell down after fielding a ground ball and Plew followed with a line drive single to right field. Shane Matheny slapped a single the other way for an RBI-single, scoring Alvarez from second for a 1-1 game.
 
Jones settled down after the second inning run came across, retiring the next batters he faced before giving way to junior righthander Colby Nealy in the fifth. The Beavers loaded the bases with two outs but Nealy ended the inning with a fielder's choice ground out to Alvarez at shortstop who flipped to Plew who stepped on second for the final out.
 
The Cougars got to OSU starter Luke Heimlich in the sixth, scoring twice to take a 3-1 lead. Plew led off the inning with his third hit of the game, a double down the right field line. Matheny bunted Plew to second and James Rudkin followed with a RBI-double off the left field wall, just inside the foul line that scored Plew. JJ Hancock added a single through the right side to put runners on first and third before Ramsower pulled a two-out single through the left side to score Rudkin for a 3-1 lead.
 
OSU cut the lead to one in the eighth inning. The Beavers started the inning with a walk and the next batter reached with an infield bunt single. A sacrifice bunt moved runners up a base and a sacrifice fly brought home a run. Junior reliever Ryan Walker ended the inning with a strikeout, preserving a 3-2 lead.
 
Oregon State started ninth with a single to center and bunted the runner up to second and the next batter walked. The Cougars received a great defensive play for the second out as the right fielder Hancock charged a shallow hit ball and made a diving catch. The next batter drew a walk to load the bases and the next batter worked a 3-2 count before drawing a walk to force in the tying run. With two outs, OSU's next hitter Jack Anderson worked a 3-2 count and also drew walk, forcing in the game winner.
 
Redshirt-junior lefty Damon Jones allowed just one earned run while striking out two in 4.1 innings. Nealy fired two scoreless innings of relief. Junior lefthander Scotty Sunitsch took the loss in the ninth.
 
The series continues Saturday at 1 p.m. on the Pac-12 Network.
 

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