On the road taking on the Oregon State Beavers, who are No. 1 in the country, the University of Utah baseball team (12-16, 3-9 Pac-12) was given the tall task of breaking OSU’s 20-game win streak. While things looked up as the Utes took several leads throughout the three-game series, the Beavers found ways to come back each time, and they clinched three more victories to give them a 23-game win streak.
Utah lost 5-4 in the series opener before dropping game two in 16 innings, also by a score of 5-4. Closing out the weekend on Sunday, the scoreboard read 5-1 in favor of the home team.
On Friday evening, Oregon State jumped out to an early 3-0 lead scoring two runs in the first and one in the fourth. Utah got its first run in the fifth when DaShawn Keirsey, Jr. batted in Josh Rose who was previously walked. Keirsey Jr. had another RBI single in the seventh to score Ellis Kelly who doubled earlier. Although the Utes were still down, the score was now 3-2. Utah added its final two runs of the game in the eighth to take a 4-3 lead. Hunter Simmons walked before Zack Moeller hit a double. Rose stepped up to the plate and drove in runs on a two-RBI single. The Beavers tied it up in the bottom of the eighth, and they capped the game off with a run in the ninth. On the mound, Jayson Rose allowed three runs on five hits with one walk and eight strikeouts over seven innings. Dylan Drachler earned the loss after he entered in the eighth.
Saturday’s showdown on the diamond was a tough loss for the Utes’ as they competed through 16 innings before Oregon State came away victorious. Utah got on the board in the top of the first inning after Keirsey Jr., Oliver Dunn, and Simmons were walked, Wade Gulden reached on a fielder’s choice to send Keirsey Jr. home, but OSU tied everything up in the bottom of the first. The Utes pulled ahead by one in the fifth when Kelly scored as Dallas Carroll reached on a fielder’s choice. Oregon State fired back tying things up in the sixth before taking a 3-2 advantage over Utah in the seventh.
Keirsey Jr. and Carroll both singled in the ninth. Dunn reached on a fielder’s choice before scoring on a wild pitch to even out the score at 3-3 to send the game to extra innings. In the 16th inning, Carroll came up big for the Utes after smacking a home run to give Utah the edge, but two runs in the bottom of the inning gave the Beavers the win.
Riley Ottesen pitched seven innings allowing three runs on seven hits with two strikeouts and three walks. Tanner Thomas pitched four scoreless innings. He allowed one hit and struck out five. Chase Bauerle earned the loss after pitching 4 2/3 innings allowing two runs on two hits with three walks. Both teams finished with ten hits on the night.
“We played great,” said head coach Bill Kinneberg. “Oregon State played great too, and both games on Friday and Saturday both teams had opportunities to win early … with our opportunity in the 16th after Dallas hit that home run, it was disappointing that we didn’t hold onto that.”
In game three the Utes’ only put one run on the board and that was in the third inning when Keirsey Jr., who was the only Ute with a hit in the game, scored Rose on an RBI double. The Beavers scored three runs in the bottom of the third off a three-run home run. They added one run in the fourth before long balling another home run in the fifth. Earning the loss was Josh Lapiana who threw six innings and allowed five runs on seven hits with five strikeouts and two walks.
“We grinded to the very last game,” said right fielder Josh Rose. “They just came out on top.”
Utah returns home to Smith’s Ballpark for a three-game series against the California Bears that gets underway on Thursday.