While the Pac12 conference seemed immune and impervious to the rash of upsets that swept through College Baseball on Tuesday night, the conference wouldn’t be as fortunate as the results finished rolling in from the Wednesday night’s action. Big innings paved the way in all three Pac 12 contests on the night.
The Oregon Ducks picked up another midweek win while the Oregon State Beavers simply stayed hot in winning their fifth in a row. However, the hottest team in the conference has been the No. 20 California Bears who had won 13-of-15 coming in but would find their latest test to be a little too much in falling to the upset.
No. 20 Cal Done In By Big Inning
Representing the Pac 12 as the only team ranked in the College Baseball Central Top 25 that was in action on Wednesday, the No. 20 California Bears suffered a setback, victims of a six-run, seventh-inning rally by the Fresno State Bulldogs in a 7-2 loss. Cal had shot its way up the rankings having won 10 straight games, but has gone 3-3 over the last six contests.
The Bears lost the getaway games of a series win over Oregon and then dropped a midweek context to the beasts of the midweek in the San Fransisco Dons before turning things around with a sweep at Washington this weekend.
Mitchell Kranston (Jr., DH) and Chris Paul (Sr., 3B) provided the Bears punch on offense as their solo home runs gave Cal a 2-1 lead heading into the seventh inning. Kranston went 2-for-3 at the plate with a double as well as the Bears’ leading hitter in the game.
However, clean-up hitter Manny Argomaniz (Sr., 3B) slapped a two-run double down the left field line and Jake Stone (So., DH) blasted a three-run homer, his first on the year, as the Bulldogs pushed six runs across to grab the 7-2 lead.
Cal looks to get back to winning on the road this weekend against the Utah Utes.
Oregon State, Oregon Win With Big Innings
The Oregon State Beavers are turning in wins like pro-golfers turn in score cards and are poised to snatch the mantle as the hottest team in the Pac 12, if not the nation. OSU turned in another with an 8-2 win over the San Jose State Spartans to sweep the two-game midweek set and extend its winning streak to five as the Beavers have won 16-of-18 after their 11-game streak was snapped by two straight losses at No. 8 Arizona State.
Oregon State used the same formula that has worked for a month of baseball, solid pitching on the hill with clutch hitting at the plate. Sophomore righty Kevin Flemer (1-1, 2.70) was the hurler of the hour, tossing 6.2 innings while allowing only an earned run on two hits but left with the game tied at 1.
The Beaver’s clutch bat was held by clean-up man Gabe Clark (Jr., DH) who provided the offensive spark with a three-run blast, the slugger’s seventh which is tied for the team lead with freshman stud KJ Harrison, that pushed his RBI total to 23 on the year. Senior right fielder Michael Howard made it back-to-back big flies adding his second on the year, a solo shot, in the next at bat.
Meanwhile, Oregon put together a seven-run third inning helped by Josh Graham’s (Jr., DH) grand slam, his second collegiate long ball, and Shaun Chase’s (Sr., C) two-run single to down the UC Riverside Highlanders 12-3 on Wednesday night.
Graham had a career-best 3-for-5 night at the dish with six RBI, knocking in two more on the night, with RBI singles in the first and fourth innings to compliment his third-inning power shot.
Freshmen dominated on the mound for the Ducks as southpaw Jacob Corn allowed three earned runs over five innings to improve to 2-0 while righty reliever Kohl Hostert spun four innings of no-hit ball to close out the win.