Oregon State blitzes Bears in series opener

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. –Oregon State unleashed a power display matched by just one previous Missouri State foe in the 15-year history of its home facility, belting five long balls in a 17-6 series-opening victory in a battle of nationally-ranked clubs Friday afternoon at Hammons Field.

Seventh-ranked OSU (25-6), which also held a 10-1 lead in game two of the scheduled twin bill before rain halted play, scored in seven of the nine innings of the opener, as all five home runs netted multiple runs to help the Beavers break a Bears opponent Hammons Field single-game scoring record.

Trevor Larnach hammered a pair of two-run homers and reached base in five straight plate appearances and scored four runs of his own as part of a 3-for-4 effort. His opposite-field blast broke a 1-1 deadlock in the top of the third, before his 10thround-tripper of the year highlighted the Beavers’ six-run fourth that broke the game wide open.

OSU’s 17 runs eclipsed the previous Hammons Field opponent scoring mark of 16, posted by Arkansas on April 18, 2007. The Beavers also matched a five-home run performance by Wichita State (April 22, 2007) as the best single-game effort by a Missouri State foe at Hammons.

The Beavers scored in seven of the final eight innings after MSU starter Dylan Coleman struck out the side in a scoreless first. OSU scratched out a second-inning tally after Tyler Malone drew a leadoff walk—the first of 10 total free passes (nine walks, plus one hit batsman) handed out by Bears pitching—and Kyle Nobach’s one-out single plated the game’s first run.

MSU (22-9) evened the score in the home half of the second, manufacturing a run of its own on a walk to Matt Brown, a Jack Duffy sac bunt, a wild pitch and an RBI ground ball off the bat of Logan Geha. The Bears added a third-inning score as well, as three consecutive singles by Hunter SteinmetzJeremy Eierman and Drew Millas produced a run.

In all, the visitors cashed those opportunities in for eight runs, as eight of OSU’s nine position starters either scored a run or drove one home. After Larnach’s first homer handed OSU the lead in the third, Andy Armstrong made it a 5-1 game to kick off the Beavers’ fourth-inning scoring bonanza. A walk and a Cadyn Grenier single set up Adley Rutschman’s two-run double, before Larnach went deep to right-center for a 9-2 OSU advantage.

Malone stretched the margin to nine runs with another two-run shot in the sixth, and Grenier added a three-run bomb in the seventh.

MSU, ranked as high as 19th in this week’s national polls, was able to mount an offensive surge of its own in the late innings, getting an RBI single from Millas in the fifth, before plating three runs in the seventh. Ben Whetstone drove home two with a two-out single, before Duffy made it a 14-6 game with his second base hit of the day.

OSU capped the scoring with three more runs over the final two frames, including a two-run double by Steven Kwan in the ninth.

Millas turned in his second four-hit performance of the season, finishing 4-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored, while both Eierman and Duffy logged two-hit afternoons, as the Bears dropped back-to-back games for the first time this season.

OSU starter Luke Heimlich (8-1) notched his eighth mound victory of the season, striking out 10 Bears and allowing three runs on seven hits over 6.0 innings. Nathan Burns closed out the win for the Beavers, holding the Bears scoreless on two hits over the final 2.1 frames.

Complementing Larnach’s four-RBI day, five additional OSU hitters drove in multiple runs, led by Grenier’s three RBIs.

Coleman (5-2) suffered the setback in his shortest appearance of the season, permitting six earned runs on four hits and four walks in his 3 1/3 innings. The junior struck out five to match Brett Sinkbeil in fourth place on the Bears’ career strikeouts list (256).

Oregon State continued its long ball onslaught in the opening innings of game two, as three different Beavers went deep in helping build a nine-run lead over the Bears before inclement weather suspended play with MSU batting in the home half of the second.

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