Beavers Win Slugfest 22-21
May 5, 2002
PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State scored four runs in the bottom of the ninth, but fell short in a 22-21 loss to Oregon State in a Pacific-10 Conference baseball game Sunday at Bailey-Brayton Field.
The loss dropped the Cougars to 18-27 overall and 4-14 in the Pac-10. Oregon State improved to 30-15 and 9-6 after sweeping the Cougars in three games.
WSU reliever Billy Gorrell (0-5) received the loss. Gorrell threw 1 1/3 innings, allowing five hits and five runs, three of which were earned. Ty Kline (6-0) notched the win in relief for the Beavers, pitching 1 1/3 innings and allowing five hits and four runs.
The Cougars pounded out 19 hits in 46 at-bats. Steve Mortimer was 3-for-4 with seven RBI and hit his second home run of the series, a two-run blast in the bottom of the fifth. Jeff LaRue was 2-for-5 with five RBI and twice hit two-run home runs - in the bottom of the first and the bottom of the eighth. Derek Bruce was 3-for-6 and hit his team-leading ninth home run, a two-run shot in the fifth. Wes Falkenborg also had three hits, while Bookie Gates and Tyson Boston had two hits apiece.
Oregon State pounded out 22 hits. Brian Barden led the way, going 4-for-7 with three RBI. Three Beaver players had three hits each and three had two hits.
After a 35-minute rain delay before the game started, WSU got on the board in the bottom of the first inning on LaRue's blast over the left center field wall, giving the Cougars a 2-0 lead.
The Beavers tied the game by scoring single runs in the third and fourth, before WSU regained the lead in the bottom of the fourth when Bruce scored on a wild pitch by Oregon State starter Mark McLemore, giving the Cougars a 3-2 lead.
A six-run bottom of the fifth then pushed WSU's lead to 9-2. Justin Hart singled home Evan Hecker to begin the scoring. LaRue's sacrifice fly to right center field then plated Hart, while Bruce followed two batters later with a two-run home run that brought home Falkenborg. Two hitters later, Mortimer, pinch-hitting for Bruce Jacobsen, hit a home run to right center field that brought home Boston.
Oregon State, however, rallied with seven runs in the top of the sixth to tie the score at nine and added four runs in the top of the seventh to take a 13-9 lead.
WSU responded with three runs in its half of the seventh on Boston's double to left field that scored Falkenborg and Bruce and Mortimer's RBI groundout that plated Boston, cutting the Beavers' lead to 13-12.
Once again Oregon State answered the Cougars, this time with seven runs in the top of the eighth, to build its lead to 20-12.
The Cougars rallied with five runs in their half of the eighth, slicing the Oregon State lead to 20-17.
With Gates on first, LaRue homered to right field to begin the rally. Mortimer followed four batters later with the bases loaded and doubled to right field to plate Falkenborg, Bruce and Boston.
WSU surrendered two more runs in top of the ninth, trailing 22-17, before making one final comeback in its half of the final frame.
Bruce scored LaRue on an RBI groundout to shortstop to ignite the comeback attempt. Boston then doubled down the left field line, plating Falkenborg. Mortimer followed with a single to right center field to score Boston. Evan Hecker then reached on a fielding error by Beavers' first baseman Kevin Jarvis, allowing Mortimer to score from third. The comeback fell one-run short, as Oregon State reliever Jared Sanders recorded the game's final out on a fielder's choice force out at second base to retire Hecker.
WSU resumes play with a three-game series with Lewis-Clark State beginning Saturday at 6 p.m. at Bailey-Brayton Field.
Oregon State 001 107 472 - 22 22 4
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