The Beavers rallied twice against the feisty Washington State Cougars and came out on top on a Danny Hayes walk-off single. The win extended the win streak to 11 games and moved their conference record to 10-1.
The Beavers didn’t play well, but their heart and their ability to fight and refuse to lose enabled them to come out on top.
It was clear from the start that this game would be anything but normal for the Beavers. Their ace and one of the best pitchers in the conference, Sam Gaviglio, struggled in the first inning. He didn’t have his good stuff, as his velocity was down on his fastball and his breaking ball was hanging up in the zone, allowing the Cougars to tattoo them. 3 of the first 4 guys that stepped delivered hits for the Cougars, giving them an early 2-0 lead. Then Jason Monda delivered a home run to the right field seats, the first home run off Sam Gaviglio all season, giving the Cougars an early 4-0 hole. The crowd was in shock and Sam look shook up as well.
After that home run Sam woke up. Suddenly his fastball had a lot of life and his breaking balls were sharp and virtually untouchable.
In the bottom of the first the Beavers began to strike back, as Michael Miller and Ryan Barnes got on base to start the inning with a single and a walk respectively. Miller would eventually come around to score on a Danny Hayes RBI groundout. The Beavers cut it to 4-1 after an inning.
In the bottom of the third the Beavers attempted to cut into the lead further. Tyler Smith led the inning off with a double. Two batters later Ryan Barnes singles him home to make it 4-2. Danny Hayes almost got a ball out of the ballpark but it held it in and it was just a fly out. Kavin Keyes then struck out, allowing WSU to get out of trouble and keep it 4-2.
In the 6th the Beavers were back at it again. Danny Hayes singled to start the inning, Kavin Keyes then walked to put runners on first and second. Parker Berberet then couldn’t get a bunt down and ended up striking out. At the time it looked to be a huge play and one that could derail the Beavers hopes for a win. The Beavers would then begin to catch some breaks. With Dylan Jones up at the plate, starting pitcher Chad Arnold threw a wild pitch to move the runners up to second and third. Next, Dylan Jones hit a chopper to the pitcher and he couldn’t get it out of his glove, allowing Hayes to score from third, Kavin Keyes to advance to third and Jones to reach first. It was now a 4-3 ballgame. Ryan Dunn then stepped up and hit a fly ball to right field and Kavin Keyes beat the throw to tie the game at 4.
Just when the Beavers got back into the game, they started to make mistakes. On a chopper back to the mound, Sam Gaviglio misplayed it and allowed the lead-off runner to get on base. Next on a bunt attempt, Jared Norris booted the ball while trying to pick it up and tag the runner. This put the Beavers in serious trouble. They should have had two outs and nobody on base, instead there was runners on first and second and no outs. After a sac bunt, Cody Bartlett for WSU hit a line drive to center field, which Brian Stamps botched, as he dove for the ball even though he had no chance to catch it. It let to a triple for Bartlett and a 6-4 Cougars lead. The Beavers were able to throw out Bartlett on the next play as Ponciano grounded to third and they got Bartlett at the plate.
The Beavers didn’t start their rally till the 8th, but they did it in a big way. Parker Berberet led off the inning with a walk, he then moved up to third on a Brian Stamps double off the left field wall with no outs. Ryan Dunn hit a sacrifice fly to score Berberet, making it 6-5. Next up, Tyler Smith hit a single to right field and Brian Stamps beat the tag to tie the game at 6. Just another day at the ballpark for the Beavers, coming back from constant deficits.
After Tony Bryant kept the game tied for the Beavers heading to the bottom of the ninth, they were looking to capitalize. Jared Norris led off the inning with a double. Ordinarily with a lead-off batter on base, especially at second base, Pat Casey goes with the automatic sacrifice bunt. For some strange reason he decided to let Danny Hayes hit away. As usual during the winning streak, it worked. Danny Hayes singled back up the middle, scoring Jared Norris, giving the Beavers a 7-6 walk-off win. It also extended the win streak to 11 games and moved them to 10-1 on conference play. They are the definition of a team on a roll.
Tony Bryant picked up the win and gave them a chance to pull out the win in the bottom of the ninth. That will be forgotten. Good outing as usual from him.
The Beavers had won the series and had won their first four Pac-10 series.