CORVALLIS, Ore. – Luke Heimlich held USC to one hit over eight innings to pace top-ranked Oregon State to a 3-1 series-opening win over USC Friday night in front of a sold out Goss Stadium at Coleman Field.
Heimlich, who earned the win to improve to 6-1 on the year, gave up a second-inning single to USC’s Brandon Perez. The Trojans later scored on a squeeze by Cris Perez, but Heimlich, who has thrown 10 consecutive quality starts, got out of the inning without any more damage. He ended his night having struck out seven, with just one walk, on 107 pitches.
Heimlich was backed up Jake Mulholland and Drew Rasmussen, the latter making his 2017 debut. Mulholland earned the first out of the ninth via a flyout before giving way to Rasmussen, who came on to a standing ovation from the 3,367 in attendance. He got his first out on a flyout to center before getting a groundout to KJ Harrison at first to end the game.
Rasmussen earned his first career save as the Beavers improved to 33-3 overall and 17-2 in Pac-12 Conference play. The Trojans dropped to 18-21 on the year, and 5-11 in conference action.
Down 1-0 after 1 ½, the Beavers pushed two runs across the in the second. Christian Donahue walked, and moved to second when Nick Madrigal singled. Steven Kwan then singled on a bunt and an errant throw from USC starter CJ Stubbs enabled both Donahue and Madrigal to score.
Cadyn Grenier singled home a run in the eighth for insurance.
Stubbs took the loss after seven innings of work. The right-hander tossed a quality start, allowing seven hits and two runs but dropped to 0-3 on the year.
Junior Luke Heimlich has allowed three hits, a run and four walks while striking out 17 over his last two outings, a stretch of 15 1/3 innings. His outing Friday marked his 10th consecutive quality start. He has gone at least 6 1/3 innings in every start since opening the season with 5 2/3 innings in a no decision on opening day against Indiana.
The one run allowed by the Beavers lowered the team’s earned run average to a miniscule 1.85. Heimlich’s ERA now stands at 0.78, up from 0.75 prior to the game. The team’s ERA in Pac-12 play, meanwhile, is 2.24.
Oregon State rapped out nine hits on the night, with Nick Madrigal, Steven Kwan and Jack Anderson all posting two hits. Madrigal now has 18 multi-hit games on the year, Kwan has nine and Anderson with six.
The 3,367 in attendance at Friday’s game was the 12th-largest crowd in the Goss Stadium at Coleman Field era, and third-largest in a regular-season game. The crowd brings Oregon State’s total attendance to 37,504 this season, an average of 2,885. That would mark the third-best single-season average at Goss, if the season ended today.
Oregon State and USC continue the series Saturday at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field. First pitch is set for 1:35 p.m. PT and the game can be heard live on the Beaver Sports Network, TuneIn and OSUBeavers.com.
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Story Courtesy Oregon State Athletics.