OSU baseball honors ’06 championship team with a comeback victory

Brian Rathbone sports contributor

Beavers complete the comeback to clinch series against Huskies

Playing wiffle ball in his Lake Oswego backyard, Jack Anderson imagined a similar situation that he found himself in on Saturday’s 5-4 victory against Washington.

With a runner on third of a 4-4 ballgame in the eighth inning, the sophomore right fielder delivered the game winning single, completing the comeback on the day that the 2006 College World Series team was honored.

“Big, big hit by Anderson,” said head coach Pat Casey. “He is one of those guys who exudes what it means to play baseball at Oregon State.

Anderson has deep roots in Corvallis, and was in the stands at Goss Stadium when that team made their run to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb.

“My parents went to school here, my grandparents live in town so I was always around for the regionals and super regionals watching those guys” said Anderson. “It was special to see some of (the 2006 team) today, and get the win too.”

The 2006 team had to play in six elimination games to win it all in Omana a decade ago — the first team to accomplish such a feat. Against the Huskies, wearing replica uniforms that were worn of Game 3 of the CWS, the 2016 team had to score five runs in the seventh and eighth innings to steal a victory from the Huskies.

“There is no possible way we can lose in these things,” said Anderson talking about the cream-colored jerseys. “I want to keep wearing them because they are so special, especially with all those ‘06 players here…it was great to come back and get the win like they always did.”

In the early stages of the game it was Huskies (13-10, 4-4 Pac-12) who looked like they were going to spoil the homecoming celebration from the Beavers (19-6,5-3 Pac-12.) Taking advantage of several miscues from junior right-hander Jake Thompson in the third inning.

Thompson started the inning off with a walk to junior first basemen John Naff, then was not able to execute a pitch-out allowing junior third basemen Chris Baker to get an infield single. After a strikeout,  sophomore catcher laced a two-out double to bring home Naff.

The next pitch Hubbs singled home Baker, and by the time the Thompson recorded the final out of the inning, the Huskies built a 3-0 lead.

As the game progress, freshman right-hander Joe DeMers got stronger as he retired eight straight Beaver hitter in the fourth, fifth and sixth inning. DeMers finished the day with a 6 1/3 innings of shutout baseball, giving up five hits and two hits batsmen.

“We got good swings early, but then he shut us down,” said Casey.

Once the Huskies went to the bullpen, the Beaver’s bats awakened.

With one out, sophomore second basemen Christian Donahue and Anderson hit back-to-back singles to set the stage for junior center fielder Kyle Nobach–who grew up 34 miles from Seattle and grew up a fan of the Huskies. Nobach drove a 2-2 pitch into the right-center game bring home Donahue and Anderson to cut the lead to 4-2.

The Huskies then turned to their closer, Troy Rallings for the six-out save. Entering the game, Rallings had gone 32 consecutive innings dating back to last season without giving up a run.

That changed after three consecutive singles from junior shortstop Trevor Morrison, freshman second basemen Nick Madrigal and sophomore first basemen KJ Harrison. Harrison’s RBI tied the game and ended Rallings’ streak.

“We just tried to stay up in the dugout, we knew we were getting good swings on the ball so that was keeping our confidence going,” said Anderson. “We know we are a good hitting team, so we just try and stay confident up there and just swing hard.”

With the win, the Beavers clinch the series against Washington. First pitch for Sunday’s game will be a 4 p.m.

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