April 25, 2009


CBI Live
Oregon State rallies to even series at UCLA


By Abbey Mastracco

Special to CollegeBaseballInsider.com

LOS ANGELES - UCLA clung to a 3-2 lead for most of Saturday afternoon, but failed to hold on late in the game as No. 20 Oregon State mounted a comeback in the ninth to split the series with one game left to go. Using three pinch-hitters in four at-bats, the Beavers tagged closer Gavin Brooks for three runs to take a 5-3 win at Jackie Robinson Stadium.

Kevin Rhoderick got the win in 1.2 innings of relief, moving to 2-1 on the season. Brooks took the loss, and is now 0-3. Bruin starter Trevor Bauer got the no-decision after pitching eight strong innings giving up just two earned runs on seven scattered hits. Bauer walked just one and fanned seven.

Ryan Ortiz led the Beavers (9-5 Pac-10, 24-10 overall) going 3 for 4 and leadoff man Joey Wong went 1 for 5, driving in two, including the game-winning run.

Casey Haerther went 2 for 4 and drove in one for UCLA (10-7, 18-21) and Cody Decker and Chris Giovanazzo both hit solo homers. For Decker, it was his second consecutive home-run game and his 15th on the season. For Giovanazzo, it was his first collegiate shot.

The game became heated in the fifth when Oregon State head coach Pat Casey was ejected the minute he left the dugout to argue a check swing call first base umpire Ted Kovach made.

With two outs in the fifth and a 2-1 UCLA lead, Blair Dunlap drilled a ball down the left field line for a double, bringing up Decker. Decker worked Oregon State starter Greg Peavy for a long at-bat. Peavy assumed he had struck Decker out after a questionable checked swing and started to walk off the mound until Kovach called Decker safe on the appeal. Decker fouled off a few more pitches, working the count full and checked his swing again on the payoff pitch but Kovach once again called him safe, awarding him first base.

Casey ran out of the dugout to argue the call but had yet to even reach the infield grass when Kovach tossed him. A heated argument ensued and Casey eventually left the game.

Instead of the inning ending with the Beavers unscathed, Haerther laced an RBI single into left. But the Bruins’ luck only held out until the ninth.

“The umpires were never really a factor,” said UCLA head coach John Savage.

At the end of eight, Bauer’s pitch count had reached 127 making Brooks, who earned his sixth save the night before, the obvious choice to close out the game. But Brooks had yet to pitch on back-to-back days this season and got into trouble fast.

Rob Folsom smacked a pinch-hit single up the center to lead off and was advanced on a sac bunt. Pinch-hitter Adalberto Santos was then walked and both runners were advanced on a wild pitch. Another pinch-hitter, Max Shupe, then hit a ball right back to Brooks that he couldn’t get a handle on to drive in a run and tie the game at 3-all.

Another single up the center, this time by lead-off man Wong, drove in two more. UCLA then went down quietly in the ninth.

“Bauer was at a pitch count issue, we can’t run him out more than that,’ Savage said. “We had our closer who has done a very good job in that role and will continue to do so. That’s baseball. You live with it, and you move on.”

Sunday’s series conclusion is set to feature two junior right-handers, Oregon State’s Jorge Reyes (5-1, 3.68) and UCLA’s Charles Brewer (1-4, 3.86).