Cougars steal the series in a close game three, backed by unearned runs


Lily Middleton

The Oregon State Beavers come together at a mound visit in hopes of regrouping in their last game against the Washington State Cougars at Goss Stadium on March 12

Casey Smith, Sports Contributor

After tying up the series at one win each, the Oregon State Beavers hosted the Washington State Cougars Sunday afternoon. The Beavers ended up losing the series to the Cougars with a final score of  3-1.

In the first inning of the contest, the Cougars took advantage of defensive mistakes made by the Beavers. A two out rally sparked by a walk would be followed up by an error from Beaver shortstop Kyle Dernedde, advancing runners into scoring position. An RBI-single from Cougar catcher Jacob Morrow got Washington State out to an early lead.

Moments later, right fielder Bryce Mathews added one more to the Cougar rally on a single up the middle.

Beaver starting pitcher Jaren Hunter, found a way to bounce back from the harsh first inning, escaping multiple run threatening situations to keep Oregon State within reach during the contest.

After six innings of pitching, Hunter was replaced by freshman Aiden Jiminez and helped the Beavers escape a jam in the seventh inning. Hunter finished the game with six strikeouts on 88 pitches and two unearned runs on three hits.

Offensively, the Beavers struggled to string hits together throughout the game. Finishing the game with seven strikeouts of their own, catcher Tanner Smith provided the team’s only hit scoring on a sacrifice fly from infielder Travis Bazzana.

“We had a big opportunity to go out there and win the war. . . We’ve got to do a better job at responding to adversity,” said Coach Mitch Canham. “You don’t ever want to lose the series, but sometimes you’ve got to take a licking to figure things out. I think it’s important for our young guys to learn from that and our older guys to take hold of different situations as opposed to just letting it happen.”

In the top of the ninth inning following a pitching change from the Beavers. Washington State arun to extend their lead 3-1. Cougar second baseman Elijiah Hainline sent a line drive into the right field gap with two strikes for a standup double.

Shortstop Kyle Russell made use of the runner in scoring position by bringing Hainline around to score on a single to center. Beaver reliever Ryan Brown was able to escape the inning but could not come out unscathed.

In their final chance to put points on the board, the Beavers leadoff with a hit by pitch from Garrett Forrester forcing a final pitching change from Washington State. Pitcher Chase Grillo entered the game and went right to work, picking up the save for the Cougars.

In his second at-bat of the game pinch hitter Brady Kasper walked on four pitches to add another base runner for Oregon State. However, the Beavers rally was never set forth as Grillo retired the side to pick up the series win for Washington State.

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