Baseball wins series against Arizona State, finishes 2-1

In+this+file+photo+from+2019%2C+OSU+Baseball+exchanges+high+fives+after+a+game+versus+Washington+State+in+late+April+2019+in+Goss+Stadium.+Oregon+State+will+begin+their+2021+season+on+Feb.+19+with+a+56-game+schedule.

By Ridwana Rahman│Orange Media Network

In this file photo from 2019, OSU Baseball exchanges high fives after a game versus Washington State in late April 2019 in Goss Stadium. Oregon State will begin their 2021 season on Feb. 19 with a 56-game schedule.

Sam Nickolus, Sports Contributor

The Oregon State’s Men’s Baseball team hosted conference opponent, the Arizona State University Sun Devils, for a three game series, which started on Friday March 18th.

The Sun Devils entered the weekend 8-10, and had just won two of three in their most recent series. The Beavers entered the weekend 12-3, with only one loss in Pac-12 play, and were ranked #5 in the nation.

Friday’s game saw a standout performance from Oregon State sophomore left-handed pitcher Connor Hjerpe. He threw a 7-inning one-hit game, with 12 strikeouts compared to only two walks, and no runs allowed. This marks Hjerpe’s fifth win of the season, improving his record to 5-0.

The Beavers had an impressive game offensively on Friday as well, scoring 21 runs on 17 hits. Oregon State freshman infielder Travis Bazzana started off hot for the Beavers, hitting a grand slam in the first inning. Bazzana finished the game 3-7, 8 RBI, and 3 runs scored himself. The Beavers scored 18 in the first four innings, and shut out the Sun Devils, leading to a 21-0 victory.

Saturday’s game was once again dominated by the Beavers, however the Beavers were unable to shutout the Sun Devils twice in a row. Oregon State freshman right-handed pitcher Jacob Kmatz started, pitched 5.2 innings, and got the win, improving his record to 4-0. Kmatz allowed 2 runs, struck out 5, and walked 2.

The Sun Devils struck first in game two of the series, off of an RBI double by Ethan Long. Yet the Beavers bounced back, scoring three of their own in the first inning. Oregon State sophomore infielder Garret Forrester hit a 2 RBI single, and then scored on a wild pitch later in the inning. In the second, Oregon State junior infield/outfielder Jacob Melton homered, extending the lead. After allowing just one more run to the Sun Devils in the third inning, the Beavers rattled off 8 unanswered runs throughout the rest of the game, capped by a Bazzana 3-run homer in the 8th. The game ended in a 12-2 Oregon State victory, improving their record to 14-3.

Finally, the third game of the series took place this Sunday. Arizona State finally held the Beavers offense in check, as Arizona State Sophomore RHP Tyler Meyer pitched 7 innings, allowed four hits and one run, while striking out 9.

The Beavers scored early, as Oregon State freshman catcher Tanner Smith hit an RBI double. From here, both teams went scoreless for 6 innings, until the ninth. After a long stretch from Oregon State junior right-handed pitcher Ben Ferrer, the Beavers turned to their bullpen to close out the game. Oregon State junior right-handed pitcher DJ Carpenter entered in the ninth, and allowed 3 runs. After finally ending the inning with Oregon State  redshirt-senior right-handed pitcher Mitchell Verburg, the Beavers attempted to get the bats rolling in the ninth. However, they were thwarted by Arizona State Sophomore RHP Brock Peery, who struck out the side, handing the Beavers a loss.

While the end of the series might be disappointing to the Beaver faithful, Oregon State was able to win the series 2-1, and proved that their offense is as explosive as anybody in the country. The Beavers now move to 14-4, and are 4-2 in Pac-12 play. The Sun Devils exit the weekend with a series loss, but some gained confidence with a win over a top 10 opponent. They move to 9-12 overall, and 1-2 in the Pac-12.

The Beavers will be home again on Wednesday, playing one game against Seattle University, before heading out for a three game road series at Cal, from March 25th to the 27th.