Oregon State head coach Pat Casey, Michael Conforto, Kavin Keyes and Jake Thompson:
Courtesy: OSU Sports Information
CORVALLIS, Ore.– Oregon State’s bid to advance to the NCAA Super Regional fell just short on Monday night as the Beavers lost 4-2 to UC Irvine at Goss Stadium in the championship game of the Corvallis Regional.
The Beavers (45-14) fell one win short of hosting a Super Regional matchup against Oklahoma State. Instead the Anteaters (38-23) will head to Stillwater, Okla., this weekend for their first Sweet 16 appearance since 2011.
Oregon State mounted a late comeback that fell just short. Trailing 4-1 after seven innings, they scored once in the eighth on a pinch-hit triple by Nick Rulli and a wild pitch and had the tying runs aboard in the ninth before Irvine reliever Elliot Surrey induced a 6-4-3 double play to end the game.
Surrey pitched seven-plus solid innings in a crucial 14-2 triumph over the Beavers in a second-round game on Saturday night and finished the regional with a victory and a save. Reliever Evan Manarino allowed one run in 3 1/3 innings and got the win.
The Beavers took a 1-0 lead off starter Andrew Morales in the third inning on singles by Logan Ice and Trever Morrison and an RBI fielder’s choice by Jeff Hendrix. However, they stranded two runners in the fourth, another at second base in the seventh, and hit three balls to the warning track in center field that were caught.
OSU’s Jake Thompson gave up three runs in 5 1/3 innings in his first start since April 1 at Portland and took the loss. Irvine tied the game 1-1 in the fifth, went ahead 3-1 in the sixth and added a valuable insurance run off reliever Andrew Moore in the seventh.
The Beavers had the tying or go-ahead run at the plate in the eighth and the ninth innings.
In the eighth, Rulli knocked a pinch-hit triple off the left-field fence and scored on a wild pitch with Michael Confortoat bat. Manarino eventually walked Conforto and was replaced by Mitch Merten. Dylan Davis then flew out to the warning track in straightaway center field to end the threat.
Surrey replaced Merten to start the ninth and gave up a leadoff single to Kavin Keyes. After a flyout, Surrey walked Logan Ice to put the tying runs aboard; he then induced the 6-4-3 double play on a full-count pitch to Caleb Hamilton to send the Anteaters off to Oklahoma.
Kayes and Ice had two hits each and Hendrix added a double for the Beavers, who repeated as Pacific-12 Conference champions and won 40 or more games for the fourth year in a row.
The season-high crowd of 3,435 raised the final season total to 82,085 in 28 openings, an average of 2,932 per date. The Beavers drew 2,032 or more fans to every home game.