9th-inning rally keeps Oregon State alive in College World SeriesBy Field Level Media
June 27. 2018 11:40PM
Cadyn Grenier drove in the tying run with two outs in the ninth inning, and Trevor Larnach followed with a two-run home run to keep Oregon State alive in the College World Series with a 5-3 win over the Arkansas Razorbacks on Wednesday in Omaha, Neb.
Arkansas won Game 1 of the best-of-three championship round 4-1 on Tuesday. The decisive Game 3 is Thursday.
Trailing 3-2 in the ninth inning, the Beavers were down to their last strike. Grenier was given a reprieve after a trio of Razorbacks were unable to make a play on a foul ball behind first base that would have ended the game and given Arkansas its first baseball national championship.
Grenier took advantage with a sharp single to left field off Razorbacks reliever Matt Cronin that brought home pinch runner Zach Clayton from third base. Larnach then launched his game-winning home run over the right field fence.
In the bottom of the ninth, after Arkansas got a leadoff single, Oregon State's Jake Mulholland entered and registered a strikeout before inducing a double-play grounder for the save.
In a finals matchup between two potent offenses, runs were surprisingly at a premium. The teams needed bunts, errors and wild pitches to score.
The Beavers took a 2-1 lead in the fifth inning, stringing together a single and two bunt singles to bring home Zak Taylor.
The Razorbacks answered back in the bottom half of the inning, capitalizing on two bloop base hits that fell just out of the reach of scrambling Oregon State outfielders. Arkansas took the lead on Carson Shaddy's two-out single that plated Heston Kjerstad.
Arkansas took advantage of a wild pitch from Oregon State starter Bryce Fehmel to grab a 1-0 lead in the second inning.
Oregon State switch-hitting catcher Adley Rutschman hit a solo home run in the fourth inning to tie the score 1-1.
The game was decided by the bullpens. Fehmel lasted only two innings before Beavers coach Pat Casey brought in left-handed reliever Brandon Eisert, who struck out five of the first six batters he faced.
Eisert tossed five innings of two-run ball, and Kevin Abel got the win with one scoreless inning.
Arkansas starter Kacey Murphy pitched into the fifth inning, surrendering two runs on six hits with four strikeouts and no walks.