Aiden May shines, Beavers continue in-state dominance

Aiden May celebrates the end of the inning against Oregon at Goss Stadium in Corvallis OR on April 26 2024.
Aiden May celebrates the end of the inning against Oregon at Goss Stadium in Corvallis OR on April 26 2024.
Landon Marks

The umpires made their way to the mound in the beginning of the sixth, per request of Oregon’s Head Coach Mark Wasikowski. They checked the glove and hand of Beavers junior starting pitcher Aiden May, who had already racked up seven strikeouts. 

After deliberating, and finding nothing, May proceeded to strike out two University of Oregon batters, tying his career high in strikeouts with nine and celebrating off the mound, tapping his glove in the direction of the opponent’s dugout.

The Beavers won the first game of a crucial series 2-0 against the Ducks Friday night at Goss Stadium. May continued his dominance through the eighth inning, where he recorded a career-high 14 strikeouts, and only allowed one hit. 

Junior Bridger Holmes relieved May in the top of the ninth and he seemed to return to form after his disappointing outings against Cal last week.

“To see him bounce back is awesome, and everyone has the same faith in Bridger,” May said. “He’s the best closer in the country.”

The offense was light for the Beavers on Friday night, but a solo shot from senior Brady Kasper in the second and junior Travis Bazzana’s 20th home run of the year in the third was all that was needed to secure the victory.

After the substance check in the top of the sixth inning, May recorded seven more strikeouts.

“I was trying to keep it under wraps a little bit, and I may have taunted them,” May said, “but something like that is going to fire up the crowd, and fire me up.”

“They do that because they can’t hit him,” Holmes said, “They think it’s going to mess with him, but his stuff is too nasty.”

The combined pitching effort of May and Holmes held a surging Oregon Ducks offense to only one hit.

“I loved the pitching performances tonight,” head coach Mitch Canham said. “His stuff must be pretty good if they want to come out and see what’s going on.”

Holmes retired the Ducks in order in the ninth to record his ninth save of the season. This came after being named to the NCBAWA’s Stopper of the Year watch list earlier this week.

“It’s part of the role, giving up late-inning runs,” Holmes said. “But I just flushed it and still trusted my stuff.”

The Beavers only recorded five hits of their own and made two errors in the field, but May’s brilliance lifted the Beavs to their 32nd win of the season. The Beavers are now 8-1 against the Ducks going back to 2022.

The Beavers continue the rivalry series with game two on Saturday at 6:05 p.m. at Goss Stadium.

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