LOS ANGELES – Michael Gretler’s ninth-inning RBI single snapped a 1-1 tie and helped send the top-ranked Oregon State baseball team to a come-from-behind 2-1 win over UCLA Sunday afternoon at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
Adley Rutschman walked to open the ninth, moved to second on a passed ball, and scored when Gretler, second batter of the inning, chopped a 2-2 pitch from UCLA reliever Jake Bird up the middle.
The game wasn’t without some more dramatic movements, however, in the bottom of the ninth as UCLA loaded the bases with two down. But Brandon Eisert was able to end the game with a bases-loaded strikeout of UCLA pinch hitter Jeremy Ydens, on a 2-2 pitch, to claim the series victory.
Jake Thompson started, and was masterful, holding UCLA hitless through six. The right-hander ended up scattering three hits and a run in seven innings, striking out three. UCLA did not put a runner in scoring position until the seventh inning.
UCLA’s starter, Jon Olsen, was also sharp, working 6 1/3 scoreless innings, holding the Beavers to two hits and four walks. Like Thompson, he did not figure in the decision.
The Bruins (18-18 overall, 10-8 Pac-12 Conference) broke through on the scoreboard with a two-out double by Jack Stronach in the seventh that hugged the left field line.
Oregon State (32-3, 16-2), however, answered with a run of its own in the eighth. Nick Madrigal doubled, moved to third on a single by Steven Kwan, and scored when Tyler Malone lined a sacrifice fly to center.
Mitchell Verburg, who came on in relief in the eighth and worked an inning, picked up the win, the first of his career. Jake Mulholland then came in and got an out before the Bruins were able to load the bases. Eisert, the fifth pitcher of the ninth inning, picked up his first career save after getting out of the bases-loaded jam in the ninth.
Bird took the loss for UCLA, dropping to 4-2 on the year.
Oregon State’s victory gave the Beavers a series win at UCLA. That pushed the Beavers to their ninth consecutive series victory dating back to the 2016 season. OSU has swept four conference series this season, and have taken the last two by 2-1 counts.
The Beavers’ series victory at UCLA marked the team’s first since the 2013 season. But it was Oregon State’s fifth in its last seven trips to Jackie Robinson Stadium.
Last Game Out Of State
Sunday’s game marked the final contest for the Beavers outside the state of Oregon through the regular season. Oregon State has 15 home games remaining, three road games at Oregon and a neutral-site contest against Portland in Keizer, Ore.
Oregon State returns home to start an eight-game homestand in the first of five meetings between the Beavers and Oregon this season. TheCivil War, presented by PacificSource Health Plans, Spirit Mountain Casino, Safeway/Albertsons and Your Local Toyota Dealers, gets underway at 5:35 p.m. PT at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field.