By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
OMAHA, Neb. | Recapping No. 14 MSU’s 5-4 win over No. 4 Oregon State in the first round of the College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park on Saturday.
• The buzz: The Bulldogs (49-18) won a CWS opener for the fifth time, doing so despite the efforts of Oregon State All-American pitchers Andrew Moore and Matt Boyd. Wes Rea doubled home two runs in the eighth inning to put MSU ahead, and the big first baseman continues to have a strong NCAA postseason. MSU will play the Indiana-Louisville winner at 7 p.m. Monday, while Oregon State (50-12) draws the loser at 2 p.m.
• Big inning: In the eighth, MSU got a one-out single from Alex Detz, then Moore was pulled for Boyd, who’s normally a starter. Hunter Renfroe lined a shot off Boyd and beat the throw for an infield single, and after a Boyd strikeout, Rea laced the double to right-center field. Renfroe just beat the throw home for the go-ahead run.
• Key stats: MSU was 3 of 8 with runners in scoring position, while OSU was 2 of 13. … The Bulldogs made two errors, with Sam Frost‘s throwing error in the first leading to two unearned runs.
• MSU at the plate: State had eight hits. … Rea had two hits, both doubles, and is now hitting .360 (9 of 25) with seven RBIs in NCAA play. … Adam Frazier had two hits, the second one his 104th of the season to set a school record. … MSU left just four runners on base.
• Oregon State at the plate: The Beavers had 10 hits. … Michael Conforto was 4 of 4 with two doubles, an RBI and a walk. … Tyler Smith had two hits, as did Kavin Keyes.
• MSU on the mound: Starter Kendall Graveman lasted 4 2/3 innings, giving up four runs – two earned – on six hits with two strikeouts and a walk on 76 pitches. He left after Dylan Davis gave OSU a 4-3 lead with an RBI groundout. … Ross Mitchell (13-0) worked 2 2/3 innings of shutout relief. He allowed three hits, fanned one and walked one. … Jonathan Holder got his 19th save by working the final 1 2/3 innings. He let two runners reach in the ninth with one out, but he struck out Davis and then got Danny Hayes to fly out to the wall in right field.
• Oregon State on the mound: Moore, a freshman, went 7 1/3 innings, giving up four runs – all earned – on six hits with two strikeouts and two walks on 105 pitches. The four earned runs was a season high for Moore. … Boyd (10-4), normally a starter, tossed an inning. He allowed the go-ahead run and gave up two hits. … Scott Schultz got two outs and allowed no runs.
• Quotable: “I went up there sitting changeup, he threw one over the middle of the plate I was able to do something with.” – Rea, on his two-run double
• Bottom line: The Bulldogs started fast, scoring three times in the second inning for a 3-2 lead, and then finished strong by getting Moore out of the game and again executing with two outs. Graveman did enough, leaving his bullpen in fine shape to keep the Beavers’ offense in check.
More in Sunday’s NEMS Daily Journal newspaper.