Solid Pitching helps OSU sweep Ball State Saturday afternoon


Mitchell Monge, Multimedia Contributor

Quality start from Jake Thompson paves path to victory

Jake Thompson’s dominating  afternoon on the mound along with an eight-run performance from the offense gave the Oregon State baseball team their second straight weekend sweep.

In a four-game series, the Beavers (14-1) took all four from the Ball State Cardinals, including an 8-4 victory Saturday afternoon.

After Ball St. (8-8) snapped the OSU pitching staff’s 27-inning scoreless streak Friday night, Jake Thompson took the mound for the Beavs to see if he could continue the great pitching.

“I thought he was good. I thought he was sharp,” said head coach Pat Casey. “He did some things that last year maybe he wasn’t able to get through. I really liked his start, he had really good command of his stuff. I thought he had mound presence, all the things that we look for.”

Thompson, a redshirt Junior, has noticeably improved since last season, and will be looking to build on today’s quality start.

“There’s a definite level of maturity there, and confidence,” Casey said. “He’s taken a huge leap, and I’m happy for him.”

Sophomore shortstop Nick Madrigal provided a pair of hits, a stolen base, and two runs scored, attempting to jumpstart an offense that has been slow getting started most of the year.

“I think it’s huge when you can lead off an inning getting things going,” the 2016 freshman All-American said. “That’s my job as a player: to try and get things rolling whether that’s a walk, or a hit–it definitely helps the momentum.”

Although the Beavers scored 20 runs in the series, including eight today, Casey still isn’t satisfied with his offense.

“We were at our very highest level for 36 innings on the mound,” Casey said. “I can’t say that about how we played offensively.”

Trevor Larnach is one of those guys Casey might look to to provide a spark. Batting in the clean-up position, Larnach went 3-3 with an RBI and two walks–reaching base every at-bat in Saturday’s game. Larnach possesses a .517 on-base percentage on the year, which is 40 points ahead of Madrigal, the next closest player.

“I was just seeing (the ball) well,” said Larnach, Saturday’s designated hitter. “That’s really a key part of hitting: just see it well, especially if you can lay off pitches and just swing at the good ones.”

Larnach may be the most patient hitters on the team, as he has drawn a team-high 15 walk on the season so far.

“I like seeing pitches,” Larnach said. “If (the pitches) are there, I’m swinging. But if they’re not, I’ll lay off of it. If they make a good pitch, then you tip your hat to them.”

For most of the weekend, the Beavers were the more dominant team on the mound. That sort of dominance really shows how much this team feeds off of the pitching staff.

“It’s great. Whether I’m in the field, or supporting them on the bench, it’s fun to watch,” Larnach said with a grin. “You see how confident and strong they are on the mound, it’s a thing of beauty, and I have no doubt in my mind that they’ll keep this up, and we’ll do our best to come behind them, support them, and give them runs.”

The Beavers now head down to Tempe, Ariz. for a three-game series with the Sun Devils beginning Thursday to open conference play. OSU will be looking to take another step forward as a team, especially on the road against a Pac-12 foe.

“It’s baseball,” Larnach explained. “You can’t always be perfect, but there are things that we can get better at, and we will.”

On Twitter @mitchmonge55

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