May 29, 2009

Courtesy: osubeavers.com

FORT WORTH, Texas - Carter Bell set a season-high with three hits and Koa Kahalehoe drove in three RBI on three hits as the Oregon State baseball team opened the Fort Worth Regional with a 9-8 win over Texas A&M Friday afternoon at Lupton Stadium.

The Beavers held on late, allowing seven Texas A&M runs over the final three innings. That included a three-run home run with two outs by Caleb Shofner in the ninth off Kevin Rhoderick. But the OSU reliever got Adam Smith out to end the game.

Bell singled in each of his first three at bats, driving in two runs in the fourth. Bell, making the start at third base, surpassed his previous season high of two hits against Washington State on May 16.

Kahalehoe also finished with three hits. He singled in the third, singled home a run in the fourth and singled again in the sixth, bringing in two. He set season-highs in both categories.

"Koa and Carter had big offensive days for us," head coach Pat Casey said. "They came up big in important situations and helped get us ahead early which proved to be vital."

Bell and Kahalehoe helped the Beavers improve to 36-17 this, dropping the Aggies to 36-23. Oregon State is also now 51-32 all-time in postseason play and 28-6 under Casey. The Beavers have won four straight NCAA Regional openers.

Sam Gaviglio started for the sixth time this season and impressed for the third straight game. He limited Texas A&M to six hits and a run over 5 2/3 innings. He did walk two but struck out five and improved to 10-1 this season.

The Ashland, Ore., native did allow five hits over his last three innings of work, prompting pitching coach Nate Yeskie to replace him with Greg Peavey in the sixth. Despite the hits, Gaviglio's only blemish came in the fourth when A&M center fielder Kyle Colligan hit a one-out, solo home run over the left field fence. The solo shot was insignificant at the time as the Beavers already had a 7-0 lead and after the round-tripper, added to the lead with two runs in the sixth.

In that sixth inning, which proved to be vital in the win, Koa Kahalehoe singled to right, scoring Ortiz and Romero. It gave the Beavers even more breathing room, putting them up 9-1.

The runs were valuable after Texas A&M mounted multiple rallies late in the game. The Aggies scored four in the seventh off three Oregon State relievers, putting the score at 9-5 in favor of the Beavers.

In the eighth, Texas A&M put runners at second and third with one out. Kraig Sitton, the Beavers' sixth pitcher of the game, came on and got the final two outs of the inning to keep Texas A&M from inching closer.

Benefited by a Texas A&M throwing error, the Beavers did their initial damage in the second, scoring four runs to take an early lead. Carter Bell reached on a single, then moved to third when A&M's Luke Anders threw a Kahalehoe bunt into center field. John Tommasini then hit a two-run triple to the left center gap. Tommasini didn't stay there long as three batters later, Ortiz singled to center.

Ortiz then moved to second when Adalberto Santos singled and then scored with a Romero single through the right side.

A&M was able to get out of the second with just four runs allowed, three of which were unearned because of the throwing error. But Texas A&M starter Brooks Raley did not make it out of the inning - Alex Wilson came out to start the third. Raley allowed five hits and four runs with three walks to drop to 7-3 this season.

Wilson had about just as much luck with the Beavers' lineup. After allowing two hits and no runs in the third, he ran into trouble in the fourth. Oregon State managed to get three runs off the Aggies' reliever.

Santos walked, stole second, and then stole third, when, two batters later, John Wallace walked on a 3-2 count. Both Santos and Wallace scored when Bell stroked a double down the right field line, giving the Beavers a 6-0 advantage. Bell made it 7-0 when Kahalehoe singled through the left side.

Ortiz, Miller and Romero both finished with two hits in the win. For Ortiz, it was his team-leading 23rd multiple-hit game of the season while it marked Romeros' 22nd. For Miller, it was his 11th of the season.