Beaver baseball gets win over Huskies in 10th inning

Oregon+State+sophomore+infielder+Garret+Forrester+walks+to+first+base+against+the+University+of+Washington+Huskies+on+April+22+at+Goss+Stadium.+Forrester+would+later+hit+the+single+that+allowed+teammate+Travis+Bazzanna+to+score+the+last+run+needed+to+win+against+the+Huskies+4-3.%0A

Sam Misa, OMN Photographer

Oregon State sophomore infielder Garret Forrester walks to first base against the University of Washington Huskies on April 22 at Goss Stadium. Forrester would later hit the single that allowed teammate Travis Bazzanna to score the last run needed to win against the Huskies 4-3.

Ben Pahl, Sports Contributor

The Oregon State baseball team walked it off for a 4-3 extra-inning win in a thrilling game against the Washington Huskies at Goss stadium on Friday night.

After a game-tying home run from Oregon State junior outfielder Wade Meckler in the bottom of the eight, the #2 Beavers found their way into the 11th inning when Oregon State sophomore infielder Garrett Forrester hit the walk-off base hit to propel the Beavers over their pacific northwest rival.

Despite the result, the Friday night’s game was anything but easy, and the contest saw a rollercoaster of momentum changes.

Things turned sour for the Beavers in the top of the sixth inning. With runners on first and second bases and two outs, Washington sophomore outfielder Wil Simpson hit a towering fly ball directly into the Corvallis sun.

“I just never saw [the ball],” said Meckler.  “I’m covering the sun with my glove, but the rays shoot out, and when the ball left the bat, I just never saw it.”

As a result the ball dropped in, allowing two runners to score, flipping the game on its head.  In the next at bat, Washington freshman outfielder AJ Guerrero hit a base hit to center field, driving in Simpson and giving the Huskies a 3-2 lead.

“It’s on me,” Meckler said.  “I feel bad I kinda snaked a win from Cooper there, he threw great.  It just can’t happen.”

Most people would see it rather harsh for Meckler to be so critical of himself for losing a ball that was directly in the sun.  Nevertheless, Wade made up for his mistake a few innings later.  Leading off the 8th inning, Meckler came through.

“I went first pitch, he’s a pretty heavy fastball guy, so I was looking for a fastball there,” Meckler said.

Meckler drove the first-pitch fastball just over the left-field fence for an impressive game-tying opposite field home run, igniting the crowd at Goss stadium.

“I got a good pitch to hit, and I felt the barrel on it.  I mean it’s a one pitch at bat, so, not a lot to it.”

Defense dominated the next few innings of the contest, eventually leading to the bottom of the eleventh.  After a triple from Oregon State freshman infielder Travis Bazzana, the Huskies decided to walk not just one but two batters in order to load the bases, bringing Forrester to the plate.

“I was pointing at their coach,” Forrester said in regards to the intentional walks. “I said ‘walk him too, walk him too,’ I was like ‘that might be the dumbest idea you ever have [done].’”

Needing just a fly ball to the outfield to win the game, Forrester got up 2-0 in the count, and then drilled a pitch over the head of Washington’s right fielder, bringing in Bazzana for the winning run.

“Dead-right fastball out over the plate, something I can drive or get in the air,” Forrester said. “Before I got in the box I told myself ‘it’s just another day at the office, another day at the yard.’  The energy at Goss right there, that was awesome.”

Despite earning only a no-decision, Oregon State sophomore left-handed pitcher Cooper Hjerpe was phenomenal, fanning 12 batters through six innings and throwing a no-hitter through the first five.  In relief, the Beaver bullpen was lights-out.

Oregon State junior right-handed pitcher DJ Carpenter pitched 2.2 innings giving up no runs and just one hit, and Oregon State redshirt-freshman right-handed pitcher Ryan Brown struck out the only batter he faced in the top of the 11th inning.

On the offensive side, Meckler had a huge game, going three for five with a tying home run in the eight, and also scored two runs. Bazzana went three for five as well, with two singles and a double on Friday night.

With the extra-inning win, the Beavers improved to 29-8 overall on the season and 11-5 in PAC-12 play.  Next up, the Beavers will take on the Huskies again tomorrow at Goss stadium, with the first pitch scheduled for 1:45 PM.