Beaver baseball showcases depth of their bench in 9-2 win

Nelson Keljo (#36) pitches to CSUN at Goss Stadium at Oregon State University on March 7th, 2024.
Nelson Keljo (#36) pitches to CSUN at Goss Stadium at Oregon State University on March 7th, 2024.
Miky Pope

Freshman Levi Jones displayed the sharpness of the Beaver baseball team in their 9-2 win as they extended their record to 12-1 over the California State University, Northridge Matadors on Thursday night in Corvallis.

“I thought that at-bat from (Levi) Jones was fantastic…it was nice to see Jonesy drive one right there and go through with confidence. All of the guys rally around him no matter what the outcome is going to be,” head coach Mitch Canham said. 

Jones went 1-for-2 at the plate and managed two runs batted in (RBI) for the first time in his career for the Beavers.

“The team is looking real good together and being able to get called on in that spot is nice for me, but also for everyone else,” Jones said. “I get to learn from so many guys who have waited their turn and obviously, there’s age and years of experience, but the guys really just know how to teach and help me and development will come no matter where I’m playing even if it’s coming off the bench.” 

To go from the bench to one of the top five offensive leaders of the game for the Beavers in half a second proves the skillset every player possesses. 

“Love the competition, don’t think of it as confrontation, it’s conversation. Don’t think of it as a threat, it’s an opportunity. I tell them from day one, whoever’s not on the first stop on the depth chart, I want you to take that guy’s spot and those guys should want you to do that too, it’s going to make you better,” Canham said. 

Junior Micah McDowell went 1-for-1 at bat during the first inning and was not seen on the field for the rest of the game. Senior Brady Kasper, freshman Dawson Santana, freshman Brandon Forrester, and Jones were the Beavers who performed in his place. 

“We got guys that are ready to go, they got a lot of speed too so we don’t have to press them for either Micah (McDowell) or Brady (Kasper) and so thought it would be a fun strategy to get them in there and get some at-bats. Micah always finds a way to get on base and he did the same with Brady,” Canham said. 

The sixth inning had the Beavers’ most offensive production as they scored five runs and ended up towering over the Matadors by six runs.

The Beavers immediately got bases loaded and the Matadors went in to change their pitcher from Blake Ignaciak to Thomas Bainton. 

Junior Travis Bazzana, sophomore Jacob Krieg, and junior Elijah Hainline all scored with sophomore Easton Talt and junior Mason Guerra gaining RBIs. 

Krieg was able to add to the number of homeruns the Beavers offensive has shown early in the season late in the seventh inning to 24. Krieg’s homer stirred up late offensive movement to drive the Beaver into a high-scoring win. 

“I think the guys have built an identity, they’re always ready and they are going to continue to push,” Canham said.

Up next, the Beavers play their second game of the series against CSUN Matadors on March 8, at 4:05 p.m.

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