June 10, 2013
Game 1, KSU 6, OSU 2 (10)
Game 2, OSU 12, KSU 4
Beavers Slip Past Wildcats
By Patrick Meyers
Special to CollegeBaseballInsider.com
Ore. – Oregon State eliminated
tenacious Kansas State 4-3 Monday night to advance to the
College World Series, the Beavers’ fifth trip – and fourth in
the past nine years – to Omaha.
Danny Hayes (left) hit a two-run home run in the
second inning to give the Beavers a strong start, and with
outstanding pitching from Ben Wetzler, OSU (50-11) seemed in
control of the game. But like in Game 1 of the Super Regional,
Kansas State (45-19) kept nipping and crawling its way back.
It almost seemed like déjà vu when the Wildcats’
Shane Conlon stepped up to the plate for the eventual final out
with Oregon State leading 4-3 – the Beavers led by a run on
Saturday before the Wildcats rallied in the ninth and won the
game in the 10th. This time, the Beavers actually were able to
close it out, and Game 1 starter Matt Boyd was able to get some
revenge as he was called on to close the game just a little over
48 hours after pitching seven innings.
“It is a grind and we played a very good Kansas
State team that just never quit,” Beavers coach Pat Casey said.
“Ben Wetzler was tougher than nails, and Matt Boyd coming out
and finishing with Max not being able to throw. Just a fantastic
team effort and I’m proud of all of these guys.”
Casey said he predicted this trip to Omaha last
year after being eliminated in Regionals and after a pleasant
phone call in the offseason.
“We were in the locker room at LSU last year and
I said I don’t know when, but the guys on this roster are going
to go to Omaha,” Casey said. “When Matt Boyd called me this
summer and said he was coming back, I said we’re going to go to
Boyd, who was a reliever until becoming a starter
this year, was chosen in the 13th round of last year’s draft by
the Cincinnati Reds and did not sign. After a trip to the
College World Series, the senior will report to the Toronto Blue
Jays organization, which drafted him in the sixth round this
Wetzler’s grinding performance appeared like it
might last the whole game but lasted 7.2 innings, with nine
hits, three runs and five strikeouts on 131 pitches.
“It takes everybody one through nine in the
lineup, the guys on the bench and the bullpen behind us,”
Wetzler said. “I couldn’t be happier with it happening to
another team. Everybody loves each other, there’s not one guy
who doesn’t like another guy. It’s truly a family. It is truly a
blessing to be going to Omaha.”
The resilient Wildcats played from behind most of
the series, but continually showed its mettle.
Kansas State trailed 4-0 after Kavin Keyes
doubled in the fourth and the Beavers added another run in the
fifth on an error. Wildcats closer Jake Matthys (9-2), making
his first start of the year, allowed three hits and four runs
(two earned) and struck out five in 4.2 innings.
Trailing 4-1 in the eighth, Blair DeBord had a
two-run double down the left-field line to score two and chase
Wetzler. Boyd came on and allowed a single to left to RJ
Santigate. DeBord tried to score the tying run from second, but
Michael Conforto got up from his diving attempt and threw to the
plate to nail DeBord and preserve the 4-3 lead.
As he did Saturday, Ross Kivett got on base in
the ninth, this time with a single. But Boyd was able to close
out the Wildcats on a pair of fly outs.
“This is one of the only times that I have been
speechless all year,” Kansas State coach Brad Hill said. “I have
to give a lot of credit to Oregon State. They pitched a great
starting pitcher and really held us down and we could never
really gain any momentum until late in the game.”
(photo courtesy of OSU Media