FINAL: Oregon State 5 – Texas 4
The Texas Longhorns lost a heartbreaker to Oregon State in Game 1 of the Dallas Regional. The Beavers won the game 5-4 on an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning.
The game was filled with dramatic plays on offense and spectacular plays on defense. At the plate, Brooks Marlow’s 8th inning homerun that tied the game at 4-4 was one of the most memorable moments of the day.
Texas struck first in the top of the fourth inning when Tres Barrera hit an RBI single, scoring Joe Baker, and giving the Horns a 1-0 lead. Four batters later Kacy Clemens struck out with the bases loaded, ending the Texas scoring threat.
OSU seized momentum at that point, scoring four runs over the next three frames. The Beavers countered Texas’ brief lead by scoring a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, using a hit batter, a wild pitch and three consecutive singles to take a 2-1 lead.
Trailing 4-1, Texas scratched a run across in the top of the seventh frame on a sacrifice fly by Ben Johnson. Marlow’s blast knotted the game an inning later. Zane Gurwitz robbed OSU of a homerun in the bottom of the seventh inning, keeping Texas within striking distance.
Starting pitchers Andrew Moore (Oregon State) and Parker French (Texas) kept the game scoreless for the first three innings. Both pitchers allowed four runs on the day, and neither factored in the decision.
After recording the last out in the top of the eighth frame, Sheldon Church (1-0) got the win for Oregon State courtesy of their game-winning hit later that inning. Kirby Bellow walked the batter that scored the game-winning run, and although Jake McKenzie gave up the RBI double, the runner belonged to Bellow. Bellow suffered the loss, dropping to 3-2 on the year.
The Longhorns fall in the loser’s bracket and are scheduled to play an elimination game on Saturday morning at 11:00am. Texas will face the loser of the game between Dallas Baptist and Virginia Commonwealth.
Opening Statement: “Extremely disappointing, but that’s been our Friday several times this year. It’s disappointing in the result, but the effort was there, and the will to win was there and I thought both teams played hard, played well. The separation was as a result of two strike hitting and two out hitting and the RBIs with runners in scoring position when we needed them. We got one out of the rally that we started early, with a base hit there with the bases loaded would’ve made a huge difference, but we didn’t sustain it, but the fight was there. Proud of the team, I think they did a really great job battling to win the game and perform offensively and defensively and as a team, very proud of them. Disappointing, but not discouraging.
They are very well coached. I say that, because of the two strike adjustments they made, they hit with confidence with two strikes, they hit with confidence with runners in scoring position and they were satisfied to be themselves. They’re not a power baseball team, they’re an efficient baseball team based on quality at bats and pecking away at you until they score runs and that’s there game, but they play it well. They play it very well. The play the first basemen made on CJ (Hinojosa), the defensive play that was outstanding, the play at center field on Ben’s (Johnson) ball was outstanding, so they’re a defensive team that has been very well coached, very efficient in what they do, very confident in the kind of game they’re going to play, and they play it well. They played it against an excellent pitcher today, Parker French.”
On why they didn’t pitch Connor Mayes longer: “The left handed hitters and we felt Travis Duke would be a good choice. In hindsight it cost us a lot and he got behind on the second hitter as well, but he has been very good in those situations against left handed hitters. Kirby Bellow, excuse me.”
On having Kacy Clemens in the lineup instead of Michael Cantu: “There’s nothing more to it than Cantu struggling offensively and isn’t as good as a defensive first basemen as KC is. With Parker pitching we didn’t want to give away any bases. Our infield has to be the best possible defense we can put out there.”
On if he’s seen any catches better than the one Zane Gurwitz made: “Well, Collin Shaw is in the running for all that for sure, but we don’t have a chance to make that play at home because the fence is so much higher, but that’s as good as it gets at the time he made it especially. It picked us up and put us in a good position. “
On his conversation with the umpire during the bottom of the 8th inning: “I couldn’t figure out, the guy that they substituted went to first base and then he came back and then I don’t know what happened to him. Did he bat? Decided to hit? So is he reporting into first base or is he hitting, or what’s he doing here? How can you do both? He (The umpire) said “well I don’t know”. Somebody’s got to know.”
On Saturday’s starting pitcher decision: “No, I have to talk about it with Skip, we had a lot of people in the bullpen. No, you’re in a situation where you’ve got a five game journey ahead, four more games ahead of you. There’s 16 of these tournaments going on, you’ll see two or three teams that lose on the first day win, before it’s over. It’ll get done throughout the country; this might as well be one of them.”
On whether the strike zone bothered players: “I don’t think so, I think it was the quality of the pitcher and I think our hitters were trying to get a sense of how he was going to pitch. From the second time around I think all of the hitters made good adjustments and took quality at bats. They just wanted to see what he was all about and what he’s all about is very good. “
On his performance: “I felt like my stuff was really good today. The best it’s felt in a while. If you would’ve told me that there would’ve been one out in the air and the rest were on the ground or strikeouts I would’ve that we would’ve been successful today. That’s just baseball. We didn’t make any errors behind any plates, solid defense, they just had mores ball find holes than we did.”
On Oregon State matching the Longhorn’s intensity: “I think we came out with a lot of good energy today. We faced a really good pitcher; we did a really good job of just grounding out at bats against him making it tough. For example Brooks got a big hit off him. So I think the energy was there, the attitude was there, the confidence was there. It’s just baseball is a funny game sometimes. It knocks you down when you play well and have the right attitude.”
On the rain fall and if he’s ever seen a helicopter hover a baseball field to dry it: “I think that’s the first time I’ve seen a real helicopter in my entire life, but not to dry off a baseball field, no. That’s just baseball, it’s an outdoor sport. You’ve got to deal with weather. Things can delayed, I’ve had a number of starts get pushed back to Saturday or weird stuff happening so you just got to roll with the punches and go out there and compete when it’s time.”
On Zane Gurwitz’s catch and if it helped momentum: “It definitely turned it around a little bit for us and it saved a run. To answer it is probably one of the best I’ve seen. Just the momentum change for us in the dugout kind of got hyped up a little bit and the homerun the next inning made everything feel like it was going our way and then the game of baseball can turn around and just punch you in the face, but it’s how you react to it. I feel we played well enough to win today.”
On his homerun: “Yeah, just trying to get things started for this team. We’ve been through a lot all year long and to be able to bounce back after hitting the home run and get the momentum back a little bit, and then they found some holes in the eighth inning and you know it’s baseball that’s the way it’s going to go.”
On the playing conditions: “I guess you can see by Collin’s (Shaw) uniform. It was pretty bad out there, but nobody better to have out there in that kind of stuff than Shaw. Nothing bothers him. It’s a big affect outfield. You can’t come in and throw people out because you have to get your feet underneath you. Ball’s wet, but Shaw fought it out. It’s pretty wet out there.”
On the next game and getting one last shot at Omaha: “I say all the games are important. Definitely for us it’s win or go home, but we’re not thinking about going home in our mind. We have the team, we have the pitching, we have the hitters, we have the defense to win this whole thing and proceed later in the season. We’re going to come out, we’re going to fight and give it everything we got and after the night inning and third out we’ll see what happens.”
- May 29 2015 09:32 PM
- by Matt Cotcher