April 25, 2009
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
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
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).