Oregon State built an eight-run lead in the middle innings and held off a furious Texas A&M surge to give the 25th-ranked Beavers a 9-8 win over the 18th-ranked Aggies before 2,822 fans Friday afternoon in opening-round NCAA Regional action for both teams at Lupton Stadium.
The Beavers (36-17) pounded out 13 hits on the day, scored seven of their nine runs with two outs, and got a strong start from freshman Sam Gaviglio to carry a 9-1 lead into the last of the sixth.
A&M (36-23), however, would score seven times and register 11 hits in the final four frames, with all but two of the hits coming off the OSU bullpen. The early deficit would prove just too much to overcome, however, as the Aggies fell one run short and will now face either TCU or Wright State in an elimination game on Saturday at 2 p.m.
Oregon State sent nine to the plate in a four-run second, tagging A&M starter Brooks Raley for five hits and taking advantage of an Aggie miscue to stake the Beavers to a quick lead.
A lead single by Carter Bell started the rally. The next batter, Koa Kahalehoe, dropped a bunt to the right side, but the throw to second by Luke Anders to try to get the lead runner sailed into center field and put runners at the corners with no outs. John Tommasini then drove a 2-0 pitch into the left center field gap to drive both home with the game's first runs.
Following a groundout and strikeout that held Tommasini at third, Ryan Ortiz and Adalberto Santos had back-to-back two-strike singles to make the score 3-0. Santos came home on an RBI single by Stefen Romero with the inning's final tally. All but one of the runs were unearned.
Bell delivered a big blow off reliever Alex Wilson in the fourth, lining a double off the chalk down the right-field line to drive home Santos and John Wallace--who had both walked earlier in the inning--to up the OSU lead to six. He would score two pitches later on an RBI single to left by Kahalehoe.
Kyle Colligan put A&M on the board in the last of the fourth with a solo home run down the left field line, his team-leading 15th of the season and 42nd of his career.
Kahalehoe struck again in the sixth, delivering a two-out, two-strike, two-run single to right to put the Beavers up eight at 9-1.
A&M climbed back in the game in the seventh off the OSU bullpen, as Caleb Shofner, Adam Smith and Brodie Greene all had singles to start the inning. Raley drove in the first run of the frame with a line-drive sacrifice fly to center and, following a walk to Luke Anders, Colligan drew a walk to force home Smith and make the score 9-3.
After a strikeout and a pitching change, Kevin Gonzalez quickly fell behind in the count before working it even and lifting a single to left center, scoring two more and cutting the deficit to four.
Reliever Shane Minks worked a quick eighth inning, and A&M fed off the momentum by leading off the bottom of the frame with back-to-back singles. Both runners moved into scoring position on a ground out, but the Aggies would leave both stranded as the game moved into the ninth.
Shofner launched a two-out, three-run home run just to the left of the scoreboard in right center field off Beaver closer Kevin Rhoderick to pull A&M within one, but Rhoderick was able to get the final out of the game on a strikeout to put OSU into the winner's bracket.
Gonzalez and Shofner had three hits apiece to pace a 16-hit attack for Texas A&M. Greene, Anders, Patterson and Smith had two hits each on the afternoon.
OSU was led by a 3-for-5, three RBI night from Kahalehoe, while Bell tallied three hits and a pair of RBIs as well.
Raley (7-3) lasted two innings and gave up five hits, four runs and three walks while striking out two. Only one of the four runs allowed was earned. Wilson was touched for eight hits and five earned runs in four innings of relief, while Estevan Uriegas retired the only batter he faced and Minks gave up one hit in 2.2 shutout innings out of the pen.
Gaviglio (10-1) gave up six hits and one run over 5.2 innings of work. He walked two and fanned six.
The Aggies will face the TCU/Wright St. loser tomorrow.
(Aggie Athletics Press Release)
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