After losing game one of the NCAA Corvallis Regional on Friday, the Oregon State Baseball team fell to the Creighton Bluejays on Saturday afternoon, with a final score of 4-1, finalizing their 2019 season.
With the loss, the Beavers finish their season 36-20-1, including a 21-8 record in conference play and a third place finish in the Pac-12.
Just like the previous game, OSU fell behind early. In the third inning, Creighton scored three runs off a home run and fielding error by the Beavers. According to Oregon State Interim Head Coach Pat Bailey, the early deficits in both games were simply a matter of the Beavers not playing good baseball.
The Beavers fought back, scoring a run in the bottom of the fourth inning when junior infielder Beau Philip scored on a sacrifice fly, cutting the Creighton lead to 3-1.
In the bottom of the sixth, OSU was close to tying the game back up, after senior infielder Zak Taylor walked and found his way to second base after a groundout in the next at-bat. Following Taylor’s move to second base, Junior outfielder Andy Armstrong flied out to deep left field - a play where the Bluejay left fielder Parker Upton had to jump into the wall to make the catch.
As the leadoff hitter in the bottom of the eighth inning, junior catcher and projected No. 1 pick for the 2019 MLB draft Adley Rutschman came to the plate for what could possibly be his final at bat in Corvallis. Before he could even get to the plate, he was met by a standing ovation. After a fly ball to the warning track ended the AB, Rutschman was the recipient of more cheers as he walked back to the dugout.
“The character piece to him I think that is his biggest thing. He’s an honest person, keeps his word, and you know at the end of the day he’s got my back and I’ve got his back,” said Taylor, who’s been friends with Rutschman since middle school. “I know I can go to him at any point in life, whether it's a phone call if he’s across the country he’ll pick up, he would be there for me.”
Also receiving an ovation was OSU senior pitcher Dylan Pearce, who was replaced in the top of the ninth after allowing four hits, no earned runs and striking out two Bluejays in four innings on the mound.
“This community is just a class act. There’s so much respect for the players and our team, it's just been an honor for the last four years to represent them and Beaver Nation as a whole,” Taylor said. “I am forever grateful and blessed to be a part of this program.”
With one out in the inning and the deficit at three runs, sophomore infielder Joe Casey walked, and was followed by a fielder’s choice that put runners at first and second after an error by Creighton. Junior outfielder Tyler Malone then grounded into a double play, and the season was over for the former College World Series champions.
“I told our players when I went in there just how much I cared for them and appreciated just how none of our guys - I can’t remember the last time any of our guys got in trouble within the community,” Bailey said. “We just have really good guys who are good students and they really represent Oregon State University really well.”
While Bailey’s season as Interim Head Coach may have drawn to a close, he did reference a conversation with OSU Athletic Director Scott Barnes regarding his future with the program.
“I can tell you that Scott and I have talked and he asked me if I was interested in applying for the job, and I said absolutely.”
The 2019 MLB Draft starts Monday, June 3, at 7 p.m.