Jake Thompson

UPDATED: Thompson, Harrison key Beavers' win to open Super Regional

UPDATED: Thompson, Harrison key Beavers' win to open Super Regional

UPDATED WITH QUOTES

CORVALLIS – Right-hander Jake Thompson, thrust into the role of No. 1 starter, ran his season record to 14-0 Friday night as the Beavers defeated Vanderbilt 8-4 in Goss Stadium. It was the 53-4 Beavers' 20th consecutive win.

"Thompson was really, really good," OSU Coach Pat Casey said afterward. "If we catch a ball there for him he gives up only one run and that's a really good team there."

Oregon State took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series with the win. The series continues Saturday night at 6 o'clock.

The Beavers struck first, getting on the board in the first inning on K.J. Harrison’s three-run homer to left field. But the Commodores bounced right back for three of their own in the top of the second, aided by a misjudged fly ball in left field by Christian Donohue.

"It was nice to get off to that good start," Casey said. "I thought we played with a lot of energy tonight."

Oregon State came back in the bottom of that inning, tallying two runs on Nick Madrigal’s two-out double down the left-field line.

"My hand is fine," said Madrigal, who had been bothered with a painful bone bruise after being hit by a pitch in conference play. "I'm good. No worries."

The Beavers added another run in the fifth when Trevor Larnach singled home Steven Kwan to make the score 6-3. Will Toffey got that run back for Vandy with a towering solo homer in the seventh.

Oregon State scored two more in the eighth on a single by Cadyn Grenier and a sacrifice fly by Kwan.

Thompson allowed four runs, seven hits, fanned seven and walked two before departing with two outs in the eighth. Sam Tweedt came on with a runner at second in the ninth and shut the Commodores down to seal the win.

OSU left-hander Luke Heimlich, the Beavers' ace all season, was originally expected to be the starting pitcher but, following the disclosure of his admission of guilt in a child molestation case as a 15-year-old, his participation has become a hot-button issue. Heimlich was required to register as a sex offender because of that incident.

Casey would not name a starting pitcher for Saturday's game and offered Drew Rasmussen and Bryce Fehmel as possibilities, as well as most of his bullpen.When asked about the availability of Heimlich through the rest of the series Casey said, "That's his decision. He's a team guy and he said he didn't want to be a distraction. I can just tell you that he's a fine young man and for every second he's been on this campus, on and off the field, he's been a first-class individual -- someone that his family should be proud of, the community should be proud of and our team is proud of him. I believe in Luke."

Heimlich was in uniform and introduced with the rest of his teammates prior to the game  He issued this statement Friday:

STATEMENT OF LUKE HEIMLICH

I have taken responsibility for my conduct when I was a teenager . As a 16 year old,  I was placed on juvenile court probation and ordered to participate in an individual counseling program.

I’m grateful for the counseling I received, and since then, I realized that the only way forward was to work each day on becoming the best person, community member and student I can possibly be.

I understand that many people now see me differently, but I hope that I can eventually be judged for the person I am today.

I’m so proud of our team’s accomplishment and don’t want to be a distraction. Therefore, I’ve respectfully requested to be excused from playing.

:

 

 

Pac-12 honors: Beavers, Beavers everywhere

Pac-12 honors: Beavers, Beavers everywhere

It has been a busy day in Beaver Nation, as a record-setting season was rewarded with numerous individual accolades.

The Pac-12 conference announced its season awards today, and it was littered with Beavers.

Oregon led the conference with six players named to the All-Pac-12 Team: RJr. OF Jack Anderson, So. SS Cadyn Grenier, Jr. 1B KJ Harrison, Jr. LHP Luke Heimlich, So. 2B Nick Madrigal, and RJr. RHP Jake Thompson. Arizona had the second most selections, with five players making the team.

Oregon State also was one of only two schools, Utah being the other, to have multiple players named to the Pac-12 All-Defensive Team: So. 2B Nick Madrigal and So. OF Steven Kwan.

Oh, but the Beavers weren’t done. Oregon State also won four of the six individual awards.

Madrigal added to his accomplishments this season by being named both the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, and the Pac-12 Player of the Year. Madrigal batted .377, with 77 hits, four home runs, and 31 RBIs this season.

Madrigal was among the top five in the conference in multiple offensive statistics including batting average, slugging percentage, on base percentage, hits, doubles, and stolen bases.

Defensively Madrigal committed just four errors on the season, good for a .981 fielding percentage, and was named to the All-Defensive team for the second year in a row.

Moving to the mound, star Pitcher Luke Heimlich was named Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year. Not only is Heimlich the best pitcher in the conference, he is one of the best in the entire nation. His .81 earned run average is the best in the country, he boasts the fourth best WHIP (.80), and his 10 victories tie him for third most on the season. He is also one of five finalists for the College Baseball Hall of Fame’s National Pitcher of the Year award.

The final individual award the program took home went to a very deserving Pat Casey, who was named Pac-12 Coach of Year.  The man who helped put OSU baseball on the map takes the award for the fifth time in his career, first winning it in 2005. Behind Casey the Beavers set a Pac-12 record with 27 conference wins, and are on pace for the greatest single-season winning percentage in history.

But wait, there’s still more.

Heimlich and fellow pitcher Jake Thompson were named First-Team All-Americans, and Madrigal was named a Third-Team All-American. The All-American selections are a first for all three players.

The future may bring some more hardware the Beavers’ way. Both Heimlich and Madrigal have been named semifinalist for the 2017 Golden Spikes Award, an award given annually to the top amateur player in the nation. The finalists for the award will be announced on June 14.

The Beavers get to put all this talent to good use on Friday when they host Holy Cross in the first game of the NCAA Regionals. First pitch is set for 8:00 at Goss Stadium.