Beavers break tie in Corvallis Regional baseball game with Aggies for last-minute win

Oregon+State+Junior+Wade+Meckler+slides+into+home+Friday+night+at+Goss+Stadium+as+part+of+the+two+runs+he+contributed+to+the+Beaver+win.+

Jason May, OMN Photographer

Oregon State Junior Wade Meckler slides into home Friday night at Goss Stadium as part of the two runs he contributed to the Beaver win.

Zeva Rosenbaum, News Contributor

The 10th inning of the Corvallis Regional against New Mexico State Aggies saw Justin Boyd take the win for Oregon State with a base-heavy walk, bringing the score to 5-4.

“It’s good to get the W but obviously we had a lot of jitters in there,” Oregon State Baseball Coach Mitch Canham said afterwards, “It was good to get them out of the way with the W in the first game.” 

The rain-drenched game was filled with strikeouts and many a walk was given up, but the Aggies managed 4 hits while OSU pulled through with 10. OSU first baseman Garret Forrester managed one run, having stolen five bases, while Matthew Gretler scored twice out of three AB’s. 

The Aggies took the lead with 3-2 in the 7th inning, scoring two runs when Oregon State starter Cooper Hjerpe walked a batter. Hjerpe ultimately walked two and struck out 10, and Oregon State pitchers gave up three balls and hit four batters overall. 

According to Hjerpe, he was starting to get tired towards the end of the game, and he wasn’t sure what happened in the 7th, but he felt good throughout. 

“Seeing what [Goss Stadium] is like when everyone is there going wild, on their feet,” Hjerpe said. “… A lot of our fans were on their feet clapping for [the Aggies] because they were impressed, they appreciate good baseball.”

Jabin Trosky played well, according to Hjerpe, like he didn’t even notice the crowd and treated it like any game or practice session. 

Canham said he always expects the best from his team, but it is possible to push too hard. 

“We expect more out of ourselves, from coaches or players, whatever,” Canham said. “To be able to go out there and make quick adjustments.” 

New Mexico State starter Ian Mejia threw 124 pitches, a season high, and was rewarded with an ovation from Oregon State fans when he was relieved in the eighth inning by Alex Bustamante.

“I’m really proud of my team, they came out and really competed well,” said Aggies coach Mike Kirby. “I think it was a great baseball game all around… We didn’t swing bats as well as I would like, but we’re facing, if not the top pitcher in the country, then really close.”

Mejia’s standing ovation felt awesome, according to Mejia, and was (1:30) surprised to learn that his season-high pitch count was during the game.

Hjerpe is easily the best pitcher in the country, according to Aggie senior outfielder Tommy Tabak, and going up against such an accomplished opponent was “impressive.” According to Tabak, he used to let things get to him emotionally, but he had “nothing to lose” this time.

“He got everybody to strike out today except for me,” Tabak said. 

Mejia said it was a huge difference having 4,000 fans in the audience vs. their usual 200 or so back in New Mexico. 

 Kirby added it was a “phenomenal” experience and they’ve never played in the rain before, and overcoming throughout the year despite some players being absent or injured was “really special.” 

Following the last minute success, the Beavers will play San Diego at 7 p.m. on June 4. The game will be broadcast by ESPN2. The Aggies also played Vanderbilt, which lost the first Corvallis Regional game to San Diego, at 1 p.m. on June 4 in an elimination game. 

 

OREGON ST: 5, NEW MEXICO ST: 4

NEW MEXICO ST: 4/ 4/0

OREGON ST: 5/10/2

Mejia, Bustamante (8). Hjerpe, Ferrer (7), Brown (9). WP: Brown (5-1). LP: Bustamante. 2B: Tabak (NMS), Boyd (OSU).

Hits: NMS 4 (Tabak 2, Funke, Godfrey). OSU 10 (Forrester 3, Gretler 2, Boyd, Meckler, Melton, Bazzana, Dukart).

RBIs: NMS 4 (Tabak 3, Godfrey). OSU 4 (Forrester 2, Boyd, Melton).