How Oregon State won: Didn't take long for the No. 1 overall seed Oregon State Beavers to get their first run across the board. It only took seven minutes and the third Beaver in the lineup, redshirt junior Jack Anderson, to cash in a home run deep into right-center field to give OSU an early 1-0 lead and all the momentum. But it didn't end there. Next up to the plate was sophomore Trevor Larnach who doubled to left-center, and freshman Adley Rutschman brought him home on an RBI single. What a way to start off round two in this regional. The bats kept coming for Oregon State the whole night and of those 16 total Beavers hits, eight differenet Beavers contributed demonstrating the Beavers impressive offensive prowess anywhere in their lineup.
A sold out crowd of Beavers fans were out of their seats in no time cheering on their No. 1 team to a 11-0 NCAA Corvallis Regionals round two victory over Yale.
"I thought we played a lot better tonight," Beavers head coach Pat Casey said following the game. "Obviously big home run from Jack [Anderson] got us very excited in the first inning. Thought we played much, much better, and obviously Luke [Heimlich] was good, real good. We made some really good plays, boy we defended for him. Like I sais we got going early and that really helped us out today."
What it means: Oregon State is in control of this NCAA Corvallis Regional with a record of 2-0. One more win and the Beavers cash in their spot in the Super Regionals, likely to host once again. Oregon State will play the winner of Holy Cross vs. Yale (1:04 PM Sunday afternoon) at 7 PM Sunday evening.
Oregon State pitching: Starting tonight on the mound was junior Luke Heimlich, who extends his record to 11-1 on the season, leads the nation with the lowest ERA of .81. Not bad at all. Heimlich sure proved that number correct and finished allowing zero runs, zero earned runs, two hits, one walks, and eight strikeouts. His night ended having pitched seven innings and was relieved by sophomore right-handed pitcher Sam Tweedt (2.78 ERA).
It wasn't just Beavers head coach Pat Casey who was impressed with Heimlich's performance, but the pitcher turned the head of Yale head coach John Stuper as well:
"I'm sure this joke has been used before, but I feel I need a 'Heimlich Manuever' right now. The kid is liegitimate. I think he is, I've been here 25 years, I've pitched in the big leagues, he is the best pitcher I've seen in college baseball. I think he is the kind of kid to be a first round pick without question.... I said on the air that he repeats his delivery, his breaking ball is outstanding, he has great composure, great stuff, clearly."
"Getting the lead early really helped," said Heimlich. "I was able to pitch off my fastball then and really be aggressive in the zone. You know, you don't really have to pick around. And then late in the game I was able to, they were being aggressive, so I was able to throw some change-up and then my slider was pretty good for the most part."
When told about Stuper's comments, Heimlich responded, "Yeah that's cool to hear. There's always something to improve on. Tonight, I felt like I didn't necessarily command my glove-side of the plate very well, so there's always that to improve on. But like I said I was able to pitch of my fastball and kind of stay ahead in the count."
Oregon State defense: Just as solid as Heimlich's pitching performace, the Beavers defense laid down a secure foundation for Heimlich allowing him to trust his defense and get creative with his pitches. The defense finished with just one error on the game. Not just the infield, but it was a complete, all-around effort from this Beavers defense that included two incredible, leaping grabs at the warning track from the outfield to compliment Heimlich's game.
Oregon State offense: Junior infielder KJ Harrison added another home run to the firery Beavers bats as well, to extend Oregon State's lead to 4-0 early in the third. An interesting element to this Beavers offensive success, is that the first four runs for the Beavers all came with two outs already on the board, proving that this offense can catch fire at any moment. There were hits all over the Beavers lineup, but starting this hitting train off right was sophomore Steven Kwan who went four-for-five with four hits and one RBI. The only Beaver, in the starting lineup, to not get a hit tonight was sophomore shortstop Nick Madrigal, but then again he did have two RBI's.
"We jsut came ready to play," said Beavers outfielder Jack Anderson. "We had a good game plan coming in... it was pretty crazy, pretty cool way to start the game. I mean, I think once that kind of thing happened we were kind of ready to go."
A flaw in the Oregon State dynamic offense, however, was leaving 10 runners stranded on the game.
Up next: No. 1 Oregon State awaits the winner of Yale-Holy Cross and will play next at 7 PM tomorrow night in the NCAA Corvallis Regionals final.