Baseball Falls to Oregon State
May 8, 1998
CORVALLIS, Ore. - Drew Hedges singled home the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning Friday afternoon as Oregon State beat UCLA 8-7 in non-league baseball at Coleman Field. The Beavers (33-14-1 overall, 15-9 Pacific-10 Northern Division) had to rally for the win after the Bruins (24-31, 11-19 Pacific-10 Southern Division) had scored twice in the top of the ninth to tie the game.
OSU and UCLA will continue the Bruins' first visit to Coleman Field since 1970 with a single game Saturday at 1 p.m., then conclude the regular season schedule with a single game Sunday at 1 p.m. Oregon State is trying to secure an at-large berth in the NCAA regionals, whose 48-team field will be announced May 18.
The Beavers, who picked up a win in the bottom of the ninth inning for the fourth time this season, were trying to get back on the winning track Friday after having their hopes of a division title die at Washington last weekend.
"There wasn't a lot of enthusiasm coming off some tough losses," Hedges said. "We should have been pumped to come out and try to get a berth, but it's hard when you fate is in the hands of someone else. We've got to come out and play hard and make it tough for them to say no to us."
OSU head coach Pat Casey didn't see any reason for a lack of motivation on his team's part.
"If our guys had trouble getting excited today, they shouldn't be playing college athletics," Casey said. "Every time we play, it's an opportunity to get the chance to play another day."
The Beavers found themselves having to scramble against the Bruins in the final inning after UCLA tied things at 7-7. Ben Bertrand drew a four-pitch walk from UCLA reliever Jon Brandt, then Joe Gerber and Troy Schader had back-to-back singles to right to load the bases with none out. UCLA brought in lefthander Bobby Roe to face the left-handed bat of Drew Hedges, and the Bruins drew both their infield and outfield close to the plate.
Hedges watched a ball and a strike, then sharply grounded the next pitch into right field to score pinch runner Casey Macomb and give the Beavers the win.
"I was looking to get a fly ball - anything out of the infield," Hedges said. "But I'll take it. He hung a change-up, and I might have been a little out in front of it. But I saw it big and turned on it."
UCLA's Nick Theodorou had homered off OSU reliever Matt Bailie to start the ninth and make it 7-6; that was the first earned run Bailie has allowed in over 13 innings this season. Bailie then hit Eric Valent with a pitch, and he wound up at third base after Beaver rightfielder Jason Stranberg made a shoestring catch to retire Cassidy Olson but threw wild trying to catch Valent off first.
Bailie struck out pinch-hitter Eric Reece for the second out, then got Jason Green to tap a soft grounder to second baseman Corrie Willkie. Willkie bobbled the ball and Valent scored to tie the game.
"For a moment, we were a little let down," Hedges said. "But once we got the third out, we said Let's get back on the horse and win this'."
OSU broke open a scoreless game in the bottom of the fifth inning, scoring six runs with the help of a Gerber grounder that got through Bruin first baseman Olson to allow two runs and then getting a three-run homer by Troy Schader. UCLA jumped right back in the game with four runs in the top of the sixth, though, on a three-run homer by Garrett Atkins and a solo homer by Chase Utley.
Both those homers came against OSU starter Andrew Checketts, who left with the lead after six innings but received no decision because the Bruins tied the game in the ninth. That broke a string of eight straight starts in which Checketts had picked up a win, while Bailie got credit for the win and improved to 3-0 this season.
OREGON STATE 8, UCLA 7 UCLA 000 004 102 - 7 13 3 Oregon State 000 061 001 - 8 9 2 Carter, Brandt (7), Roe (9) and Green. Checketts, Gerber (7), Bailie (8) and Bertrand. WP-Bailie (3-0). LP-Brandt (1-6). 2B-Olson (UCLA). HR-Theodorou (UCLA), Atkins 2 (UCLA), Utley (UCLA), Schader (OSU). HITS: UCLA 13 (Byrnes 2-3, Theodorou 2-5, Valent 1-3, Atkins 3-5, Utley 1-3, Green 1-5, Olson 1-4, Hymes 1-3, Johnson 1-1), Oregon State 9 (Stranberg 1-5, Bertrand 2-3, Gerber 1-5, Schader 2-3, Hedges 1-4, Lipe 1-4, Willkie 1-3). RUNS BATTED IN: UCLA 6 (Theodorou 1, Atkins 4, Utley 1), Oregon State 5 (Bertrand 1, Schader 3, Hedges 1). T-3:08. A-367.
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