Game 1: Oregon St. def. Belmont, 2-1
BATON ROUGE -- Oregon State left fielder Ryan Barnes doubled and scored in the second inning then pushed across the game-winning run with a safety squeeze single in the sixth, as the Beavers advanced past Belmont, 2-1, in the NCAA Regional on Friday afternoon at Alex Box Stadium.
Oregon State (39-18), the No. 2 seed, moved into the winner's bracket and will face the winner of LSU and Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday at 7 p.m. CT.
Barnes, the cleanup hitter, had two of the Beavers' three hits. His teammates were 1-for-23 combined against Belmont pitching.
Bruins starter Chase Brookshire (8-4) was the hard-luck loser, as he allowed only two runs on three hits with two walks and three strikeouts in seven innings of work. Josh Davis threw a perfect inning in relief, as third-seeded Belmont (39-23) fell into Saturday's 2 p.m. CT elimination game where it will meet the loser of tonight's LSU-ULM matchup.
Five of the Bruins' six hits came with two outs, as their only run came after a leadoff triple in the fifth.
Oregon State took advantage of a leadoff double in the bottom of the second by Barnes who came around to give the Beavers a 1-0 lead following a sacrifice bunt and sacrifice fly by Kavin Keyes.
Beavers left-handed starter Jace Fry allowed three two-out hits and two walks in the first four frames, but worked his way through the trouble to strand all six Bruins.
To open the fifth, Belmont No. 1 hitter Dylan Craig hit a sharp grounder into the right field corner and legged out his fourth triple of the season. Craig scored on a groundout to short by second baseman Zac Mitchell to knot the game at 1-1.
Four pitches into the top of the sixth, Fry was pulled with an injury after allowing one run on four hits and throwing 86 pitches. Right-hander Tony Bryant (6-2) warmed quickly and retired the side on three-straight groundouts.
Oregon State managed only two base runners in the first five innings against Brookshire. But, for the second time in the game, a leadoff double in sixth by Joey Matthews led to a run. Matthews moved to third on a groundout and scored on safety squeeze bunt by Barnes that remained fair as it tracked along the first-base line until hitting the bag. The RBI single by Barnes gave the Beavers a 2-1 through six innings.
In the top of the seventh, Belmont chased Bryant with their fourth two-out hit of the game, a single through the left side by right fielder Drew Turner that put the tying run aboard. Lefty Matt Boyd came on in relief and struck out Mitchell to end the threat.
After seven innings, Brookshire exited and was replaced by Davis, who pitched a perfect eighth to keep the Bruins within a run entering its final at bat.
Boyd earned his third save of the year after getting the Bruins up and down in order in the ninth. Boyd
Actual attendance for the opening game of the regional was 1,481.
Top-seeded LSU faces fourth-seeded Louisiana-Monroe in the nightcap at 7 p.m. CT.
2012 NCAA Baseball Championship
Baton Rouge Regional
Game 1: Oregon State vs. Belmont
June 1, 2012
BELMONT HEAD COACH DAVE JARVIS
Opening statement ...
"Just the fact that if you are a fan sitting in the stands you got to enjoy a tremendous college baseball game. What a pitching performance these two left-handers went out to give us at the beginning of the day. Hopefully (Jace) Fry is going to be okay. I do not know what the injury was that took him out of the ball game, but what a tremendous job the young man did. Of course Chase (Brookshire) was able to perform every bit as well as he did and gave us every opportunity to win that ball game. We just could not string anything together. They always had us in a two out hole. It seemed like with the exception of the time Dylan (Craig) led off the inning with a single, and then our kids were able to execute and get the run home in that situation. Other than that, we were not able to come up with a hit that we needed when we did have him on the ropes a couple of times."
On being able to absorb the loss ...
"I think anytime you have been there and done that, it is an advantage. We have talked about that already after the game was over. We made mention of the fact that we suffered that loss at Vanderbilt last year, which was a more demoralizing defeat in that very first game. This was a much closer ball game, but we have a lot of resolve on this team. The high character of our kids and we feel like we have the opportunity in front of us to go out tomorrow and there is work to be done tomorrow. If we can take that first step, then the next step get a little bit easier, and so on from there. We believe we have a pretty solid pitching staff and a very strong bullpen to give us the opportunity and put us in a position to try to do that, but it got to become one step at a time."
BELMONT PITCHER CHASE BROOKSHIRE
On his starting performance ...
"It felt good. I just wanted to come out early and execute early, not get behind in counts, and give our team a chance to win. I wanted to give our guys a chance to scrap a few runs together early. Overall it felt good."
BELMONT CENTERFIELDER DYLAN CRAIG
On his triple in the fifth inning ...
"He started off with a hanging breaking ball that at bat, I remember, that went away. Then, I guess, a breaking ball the next pitch and he hung it again and I just decided to swing on it. Overall, I thought their pitching went well. They got the victory. We had six hits, but we could not string anything together that game."
OREGON STATE HEAD COACH PAT CASEY
On the game...
"Both starters were outstanding, obviously. Chase Brookshire held us. We couldn't get anything started with him, we couldn't get good swings on him and we couldn't get consistent. We were looking for a breaking ball and he threw fastball. We were looking away and he threw inside, so he was outstanding. I thought Jace Fry was on his game too. It was big for Tony Bryant to come in and hold us and get to Matt Boyd. I thought Boyd did a nice job there striking Zac Mitchell out. That was a key because he is tough to strike out."
On the reason starting pitcher Jace Fry left the game...
"We don't know to what extent (he got injured). He just felt a little twinge in the arm. Being a freshman, we are going to protect him. He wanted to throw a couple to see how it felt, but we are not going to go down that road with him. We have a good bullpen and we are going to protect him."
On RHP Tony Bryant's Performance...
"Tony and I had a discussion the other day about what role he should be ready to pitch in. I said just be ready to pitch. Tony was closing for us and we changed that a little bit and put him in some other situations. There was a period of time where he didn't throw as much as he wanted to or as much as we wanted him to. When you get to this time of the year sometimes you have to mix things up a little bit. He was ready for any role."
OREGON STATE LF RYAN BARNES
On the game...
"We just had to execute when we had the chance. We didn't swing it as well as we would have liked to. I got some good pitches to hit and I took advantage of a bunt situation where we could get a run."
On his sixth-inning safety squeeze...
"I had taken a fastball right down the middle on the first pitch. On the second pitch I was looking to widen up a little bit to make sure I got my bunt down. The dirt stayed pretty true. Once it rolled off the lip of the grass it just kept going. I was running making sure I didn't run into (the fielder) or the ball as it was rolling. It was luck I guess. I just put it down and it stayed fair for us."
OREGON STATE RHP TONY BRYANT
On coming into the game suddenly...
"It's one of those things where you have to set your mind that you are going to be ready to pitch at any time. You need to be mentally engaged in the whole game so you can be ready. It was kind of tough to get warm in such a short period of time."