MOORE SCATTERS FIVE HITS AND TWO RUNS OVER EIGHT
THERE'S AN OLD saying: there's no such thing as an "ugly win." Sure, Oregon State again stranded countless men in scoring position. Sure, this one wasn't settled until the final out and OSU scored the deciding run on an anticlimactic bases loaded walk. But the Beavs won Saturday, 3-2 over UC Santa Barbara, and just as surely as if they had won 10-0, OSU now sits a win away from the Super Regional.
Oregon State (47-10) has now won their first two games in the Corvallis Regional, meaning either Texas A&M or UCSB must beat them twice -- twice -- to advance.
And that's huge.
Give UC Santa Barbara credit, just as UTSA deserved multiple plaudits from Friday's game. There are no slouches in the NCAA baseball tournament.
This sure as heck isn't like college football, where teams ranked, say, 32-64 would have little chance of beating a Top 10 squad. Baseball is a wholly different animal. And pitching often renders much of everything else moot, as it did on Saturday.
Andrew Moore started for the Beavers and threw a gem, scattering five hits and two runs - one earned - over eight innings. He struck out six and walked two to pick up his 13th win of the season.
Max Engelbrekt, who earned his fifth save, was sharp as a farmer's scythe, retiring UCSB in order in the ninth. Every pitch he threw had a purpose.
Justin Jacome started for the Gauchos (35-24) and went 6 1/3 innings, allowing eight hits and two runs. He shut the Beavs down when he needed to, with OSU time and time again stranding men in scoring position. He was lifted for reliever Greg Mahle in the seventh, who allowed two hits and a run, and took the hard-luck loss.
AND OSU FLASHED SOME leather, too -- with none bigger than shortstop Tyler Smith's play in the eighth.
UCSB had the sacks full against Moore with the score tied 2-2. Cameron Newell, a Roseburg native who "was cut by OSU" after his freshman year according to the ESPN broadcasting crew, hit a rocket grounder to the hole. But Smith went to his right, handled a wicked hop to his backhand, and then off-balance, accurately flipped to second for the force.
"I thought that was a hit for sure, and he took it away," Moore said of Smith to the Oregonian.
THE FINAL BLOW came when Danny Hayes walked with the bases loaded in the ninth to send the third-ranked Oregon State baseball team to the win in front of an all-time Goss Stadium record 3,535 fans. OSU left 13 men on base in the game but Hayes' run ensured the Beavs would be celebrating in the end.
The Beavers' victory sends Oregon State to a place in the Corvallis Regional Championship Game against either the Gauchos or Texas A&M. Those clubs play at noon for the right to face the Beavers in the nightcap.
If OSU wins Sunday night, it's all over and they advance to the Super Regional -- which they will again host. If Oregon State loses on Sunday, the deciding game will be on Monday.
OSU is 12-2 in one-run games this season.
Barnes was nails for the Beavs on Saturday, plating two of the Beavs three runs. He opened the game's scoring with a solo home run in the second, but the Gauchos responded by jumping out to a 2-1 lead in the third. Three innings later, Barnes came up big again with a run-scoring single to right center.
Peterson, Barnes, Kavin Keyes and Dylan Davis all had two hits for the Beavers, who finished with 10 base knocks.
Oregon State was the "visiting" team on Saturday. Should UCSB win the first game Sunday against the Aggies, OSU will be the home team at 5 p.m. on Sunday. But if Texas A&M wins, Oregon State would again be designated as the visiting club.
The game will again air on ESPN3.com. ESPNU will carry live look-in updates of Sunday's game but if the first two games are any indication, they will be few and brief.