CORVALLIS, Ore. – No. 14 Auburn was able to bring the potential tie home run into the ninth inning’s bottom however, no. 3. Oregon State held on to beat the Tigers 4-3 on Sunday in the second game in the Corvallis Super Regional. The win sets the stage for a decisive third match on Monday.
“I thought the guys were still competing,” Auburn coach Butch Thompson said. “Just a great college baseball game. We’ll be back tomorrow.”
In search of his third strike of the game Brooks Carlson Hit a hard-hit baseball to the first base to get the first strike, then Brody Moore The ball flew over the warning track before a third strike that was called to end the game.
The Tigers were within striking distance due to a flawless throw from right fielder Bobby Peirce to hit Matthew Gretler trying to score on Justin Boyd’s third hit of the night.
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“We fought to keep the game close,” Thompson stated. “Bobby’s got a great arm. He attacked the play.”
Auburn catcher Nate LaRue The pitcher tossed the ball away from Boyd in an attempt to steal after he started the game by scoring one.
“Right out of the game he was tested,” Thompson stated. “I thought his arm made an impact.”
Oregon State, the visiting team in game two and took a two-to-one advantage in the first half of the fourth with single home runs from Jacob Melton and Travis Bazzana. Auburn outfielders Mike Bello and Kason Howell used highlight reels to minimize the damage.
“They made great plays,” Thompson stated. “We’ve seen it for a majority of the year. We had to hang in there to keep it close.”
Auburn was quick to respond with three doubles in the middle of the fourth Cole Foster, Carlson, and Moore.
“Second time through at least we answered,” Thompson stated. “I thought that was big in the ballgame.”
Foster was Auburn’s first batter of the contest off Oregon State ace Cooper Hjerpe and advanced to third Sonny DiChiara’s Grounder and scoring with a wild pitch to score the Tiger’s first hit. Carlson scored a run after two outs and got a run on Moore’s 2-bagger to make the score to be tied at 2-2.
“We made our adjustments,” Carlson explained. “He had a pretty efficient fastball. We ended up getting a couple of runs and trying to battle it out.”
Oregon State regained the lead in the fifth inning in the fifth Gretler started the game with a single. He then moved to second with a sacrifice bunt and scored after a throwing error.
The Beavers added another run, leading 4-2 in the sixth inning on Jake Dukart’s RBI single which brought home Bazzana who was walked. stole second, and moved to third after an error is throwing.
Auburn reduced the deficit by 4-3 late in the 6th when Peirce took a walk with two outs which ended Hjerpe’s game. moving to third after Carlson’s single and scored by the pitch that was thrown wild.
Hjerpe increased his score to 11-2 and struck out six, in the process, while also allowing 3 runs off three hits.
LaRue’s seventh-inning hit proved to be the final Auburn hit. Oregon State reliever Ben Ferrer took out the Tigers the team’s last eight batters for his third save.
Joseph Gonzalez (7-3) lost (7-3) suffered the loss, striking out five over five innings and the team allowed the team to score two runs.
Chase Allsup, Chase Isbell, and John Armstrong pitched four innings together, including Isbell pitched 2.2 scoreless innings while hitting four times to keep Auburn in the game.
With an opportunity to travel to Omaha shortly and a trip to Omaha on the horizon, the Tigers, as well as the Beavers, will meet on Monday at 7:25 p.m. CT in game three on ESPN2 and the Auburn Sports Network.
“That’s what we signed up for,” Carlson declared. “This opportunity is what every college baseball player dreams of. If you don’t grab it by the throat, you’re not supposed to be here. Every single one of us is prepared to play tomorrow and we know that we’re not done yet. We’re ready to go. We’ve got one more shot at this thing.”
“This has been an exciting two days,” Thompson stated. “This is what it’s supposed to be like. This is what it’s supposed to come down to. I know I’m excited to get to come back out here and be able to compete again.”
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