The Nevada Baseball team upset the No. 2 ranked Oregon State Beavers in a two-game series on April 22-23. Dating back to 2012, each of Nevada’s last five games against OSU has gone to extra innings.
“I credit the resilience of our team,” head coach T.J. Bruce said. “Things could have really crumbled for us in the end.”
The two wins helped Nevada improve to 23-20 overall on the season.
April 22 vs. Oregon State
The Wolf Pack offense awoke in an 8-7 walk-off victory in the 12th inning to take game one of the series.
A throwing error from Oregon State third baseman George Mendazona scored pinch runner Daniel Perry, putting an end to the extra-innings nail-biter.
The Pack recorded 12 hits. Weston Hatten went 1-4 with a home run and 2 RBIs. Keaton Smith finished 3-5 with a triple and two RBIs. Joshua Zamora, Matt Clayton and Marco Valenzuela each tallied one RBI apiece.
Nevada struck out 20 Beavers, the most Oregon State has struck out in school history. Wolf Pack reliever Grant Ford earned his third win of the season with shutout innings in the 11th and 12th.
Joe Casey’s two-run blast over the wall in right-center field put Oregon State up 2-0 in the first inning. Clayton’s RBI double in the bottom of the first cut Oregon State’s lead in half.
Nevada’s offense continued to string together hits with a four-run second inning. Zamora and Valenzuela each laced RBI doubles before Hatten’s two-run shot put the Pack up 5-2.
The Beavers plated two runs in the top of the third and one more in the fourth. Smith’s RBI triple down the left field line kept Nevada’s lead at 7-5.
Junior catcher Adley Rutschman — the No. 1 prospect for the 2019 MLB Draft according to the MLB Pipeline — fueled a two-run sixth inning tying the game for OSU with an RBI double.
Wolf Pack relievers Shane Gustafson, Cooper Powell and Josh Congress blanked Oregon State through four frames to send the game into extras.
Nevada began the bottom of the 12th with a leadoff walk followed by a single from Tyler Bossetti. Nick Seamons bunt attempt advanced Perry to third followed by the errant throw to home plate to seal the upset.
April 23 vs. Oregon State
Keaton Smith’s walk-off homer in the 10th inning pushed Nevada past the defending national champions 7-6 on Tuesday.
Smith had the scouting report from his teammates, he jumped on a first-pitch fastball and launched it over the parking lot in left field. He was cooled down on a 74-degree day with an ice bath crossing home plate.
“I had a lot of good input from my teammates telling me what to look at,” Smith said. “I was just ready to go and got a good pitch. It was a rush of emotions.”
The Beavers took a 6-4 lead heading into the ninth inning off a two-run blast from Joe Casey. Nevada knotted the contest with a two-run, three-hit inning before walking it off in the 10th.
Southpaw Dalton Gomez got the start for the Pack, pitching 4.1 innings with four earned runs and four strikeouts. Grant Ford picked up his second-straight win of the season after coming into the game in the 10th inning.
“Our bullpen really has stepped up this series,” Bruce said. “Grant Ford pitched tremendously in that [10th] inning and everyone had each other’s backs on the mound.”
Oregon State jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the opening inning, just as they did in the first game. Jake Harvey’s solo shot to left field put the Beavers up 3-0 in the second. Nevada could not bring in any early runs as stranded runners on second and third in the bottom of the third inning.
Ryan Ober’s RBI single pushed the Beavers’ lead to 4-0 in the fifth. The Wolf Pack knotted the game 4-4 with a four-run fifth inning highlighted by Keaton Smith’s solo shot to left field.
Both teams were scoreless for the next three frames before chaos ensued in the ninth inning. Joe Casey’s two-run blast over the scoreboard in right field put the Beavers up 6-4. Nevada responded off a throwing error to score Otis Statum Jr. from third.
Smith’s homer in the 10th ended the extra-innings thriller.
Isaiah Burrows can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @SagebrushSports.