Thompson, Harrison lead OSU baseball in blowout

Thompson, Harrison lead OSU baseball in blowout

Mitchell Monge, Multimedia Contributor

Jake Thompson threw a career-high 11 strikeouts and KJ Harrison provided all of the necessary offense as the Beavers took the weekend series from USC.

OSU (34-4, 18-3 Pac-12) took the rubber match Sunday 10-1 to win their ninth straight Pac-12 series dating back to 2016. In addition, OSU baseball set the single-game regular season attendance record Saturday with 3,420 fans and a series regular season attendance record with 10,138 fans.

“Beautiful day, great crowds, great way to end the series,” Head coach Pat Casey said.

KJ Harrison started the offense early against the Trojans (19-22, 6-12) with a two-run homer to left that cleared the fence with ease. From there, Thompson handled the rest, going eight strong innings, while allowing only five hits.

“I thought Jake Thompson was the difference,” Casey said. “He was really, really good. We did enough to win, that’s for sure.”

Thompson’s season ERA now sits at 1.07, which ranks in the top five nationally.

“Our team’s been playing well on Sunday,” Thompson said. “Just trying to go really deep, the offense has been good on Sundays, and that’s worked out for me.”

Thompson earned his ninth victory, and has continued to be a reliable arm as the team’s Sunday starter.

“The thing I like about him the most is that he got better,” Casey said. “He had a little lull there in the middle, but he actually wanted to go back out there for the ninth. He was really competitive in the seventh and eighth innings. (Adley) Rutschman said his stuff looked better late in the game than it did earlier.”

While Thompson settled into a groove, Harrison was still firing on all cylinders offensively. Harrison nearly had a second home run in his third at-bat, but settled for a double off the wall instead.

“I knew that it possibly had a chance, just because I hit it so hard,” Harrison said.

With Thompson only allowing one run, Harrison’s three RBIs ignited an offense that provided more than enough run-support for the Beavers.

“KJ picked us up early,” Casey said. “I think that his home run numbers have been down a little this year, and the main reason is I think people pitch around him a little bit…the power’s always been there, it always will be there, regardless of how many home runs he hits.”

Harrison agreed, and said that pitchers have been avoiding him this season, even without runners on base.

Harrison also had his parents and grandparents in the stands, as he went 2-4 with three RBIs on the afternoon. Harrison is a native of Kailua, Hawaii, and his family made the trip to the mainland for the weekend.

“For them to be here and see what I did today, it’s awesome,” Harrison said. “I’m very thankful for them being here, and just having such great grandparents and parents, it’s amazing to have them out here.”

The Beavers will have another chance to try and impress their home crowd with the Civil War this Tuesday. First pitch is set for 5:30 p.m. in Goss Stadium.