Bats hotter than the sun

Bats hotter than the sun

Mitchell Monge, Multimedia Contributor

Madrigal homers as OSU sets Conference record

The sun wasn’t the only thing scorching Sunday afternoon.

Oregon State’s offense was on fire, putting up 14 runs in a rout of Washington State (24-26, 10-17), the final being 14-3. Nick Madrigal totaled five RBIs on the afternoon, including a three-run home run–part of a seven-run fifth inning.

Oregon State (45-4, 27-3) won its 27th conference game with the completion of the sweep, setting a new conference record.

“Crazy,” head coach Pat Casey said. “I just can’t tell you how proud of them for the way they played 30 games, winning 27. That’s crazy. That’s really good.”

The top-ranked Beavers have played well all season, but put on a show of offensive firepower Sunday.

“Our bats were hot today, and we felt good about it,” Madrigal said. “I think the whole series we were having good at-bats, but it was just one of those days where one guy got a big hit, and it kinda just carried over to the next guy.”

Madrigal took a fastball on a 2-0 count over the left field wall for his fourth blast of the year, extending the lead 10-0 in the fifth inning.

“It felt good. I was thankful enough just to square up a ball, last couple at-bats I just missed, but it definitely felt good.”

Michael Gretler had a strong series, vacating his usual spot at the hot corner to fill in for KJ Harrison (ankle) at first. Gretler went 3-for-4 Sunday, with three RBIs–which all occurred in the first five innings.

“Great weekend for Michael (Gretler), great weekend for Rutsch,” Casey said. “C-Boy (Christian Donahue) swung the bat really well today. Hopefully can get some guys hot; we only struck out three times, which I think we struck out 10 times for the weekend, so happy about that. These guys were hot coming in, and I thought we played really well.”

The victory also gave Drew Rasmussen his second win in as many starts since coming back from Tommy John surgery in late April.

“It’s nice to get back in the swing of things, where I’m a little more comfortable,” Rasmussen said. “Not saying the bullpen is bad, but I’m a little more comfortable (in the starting rotation), been there my whole life. It allows you to go through your routine, pregame.”

Rasmussen went 5 2/3 innings, allowing no runs on three hits. He also threw 74 pitches on the afternoon, a step up from his last start against the Ducks which was closer to 50 pitches.

“It’ll be nice to have three starts before postseason gets here, and just continue to build that pitch count up so that by the time postseason gets here, who knows what my number will be,” Rasmussen added.

With Rasmussen as the third starter, the Beavers add another weapon to a pitching staff owning the lowest ERA in the nation.

“Those are the three best guys in the country in my opinion,” Gretler said. “Whoever’s taking the mound that day, we’re going to play great defense behind them, and we know that they’re going to give us their all, and going to compete.”

As Oregon State gets set to take on Abilene Christian before NCAA Regionals, the starters will have a lighter workload this week.

“You gotta get them their work,” Casey said. “I don’t want to commit to anything because we don’t know, but we’ll be cautious with what we do.”

Looking Ahead: OSU faces Abilene Christian Thursday, the start of a four-game series. First pitch will be at 5:35 p.m.

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