EUGENE — Scott Heineman delivered a two-run single to left field to break a 5-5 tie in the bottom of the eighth inning and give No. 15 Oregon a 7-5 win over No. 2 Vanderbilt on Sunday at PK Park.
Heineman's hit capped a five-run eighth inning for the Ducks, helping Oregon avoid a series sweep at the hands of the Commodores. Oregon's five-run inning came with just one hit, while the Ducks manufactured the runs behind three walks, two hit batters, a fielder's choice and an error and wild pitch by Vanderbilt (15-2).
Jimmie Sherfy (1-0) picked up the win despite allowing a run in the eighth inning. He struck out two Commodores in the ninth (three for the game), before finishing the game with a slow ground out by Jack Lupo to second base.
Brett Thomas paced Oregon (11-5) at the plate, going 2-for-2 with two RBIs and a run scored. Heineman was 2-for-5 with two RBIs and a run scored, while Ryon Healy went 2-for-4 with two runs scored.
Freshman pitcher Cole Irvin got out of early trouble, allowing just one run in the bottom of the first despite a bases-loaded, no-out situation. After allowing three hits to open the inning, Irvin gave up a sacrifice fly by Connor Harrell to give the Commodores a 1-0 lead.
Irvin then got a big out, getting the runner — Lupo — out at third in a rundown on a squeeze bunt attempt by Mike Yastrzemski. Irvin struck out Vince Conde to end the inning.
Oregon got the run back in the bottom of the first. The Ducks loaded the bases on three bunts to lead off the inning, hits by Heineman and Healy sandwiching an error by second baseman Tony Kemp on an Aaron Payne bunt. Thomas drove in Heineman with a sacrifice fly to centerfield to tie the game at 1-1.
Thomas gave Oregon its first lead of the series in the third with a two-out RBI single to centerfield to score Healy, who reached on a double.
Vanderbilt answered with two runs in the top of the fifth. Back-to-back doubles by Spencer Navin and John Norwood tied the game at two. Norwood moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a sacrifice fly by Kemp.
Yastrzemski hit a solo home run to right field with two outs in the sixth to push the lead to 4-2, and the Commodores made it a three-run lead in the eighth on an RBI double by Yastrzemski off Sherfy, the first earned run of the season off the All-American closer.
The Ducks, who went into the bottom of the eighth 4-fo-28 with runners in scoring position in the series and were 4-for-30 by the time Heineman stepped to the plate, loaded the bases with two outs with a pair of hit batters, a walk and a fielder's choice.
Oregon got its first run of the inning when Healy scored on a wild pitch by Jared Miller to cut the lead to 5-3. Pinch-hitter Tyler Baumgartner walked to load the bases again, and then third baseman Conde threw wildly on a slow chopper by Steven Packard allowing two runners to score and the Ducks to tie the game. Packard moved to second and Baumgartner to third on the error.
J.J. Altobelli walked loading the bases for Heineman, who lined a single to left field on a two-and-one count to score Baumgartner and Packard capping the five-run inning.
The Ducks return to action Tuesday and Wednesday for a two-game series against Texas State at PK Park.
OREGON STATE 5, TEXAS STATE 4 — At Corvallis, Tyler Smith's first home run of the 2013 season was a big one.
The senior launched a three-run home run over the left field fence in the sixth, snapping a 3-3 tie and sending the fourth-ranked Oregon State baseball team to a sweep of Texas State with a win at Goss Stadium.
Smith took a 1-0 pitch from Texas State starter Scott Grist and narrowly cleared the wall in left field, driving in Jake Rodriguez and Andy Peterson. It was his fourth career round tripper and the sixth overall home run for the club this season.
His sixth-inning heroics sent the Beavers to their 15th consecutive win to open the season. Oregon State remains as one of four teams in the nation with a perfect mark, joining North Carolina and Florida State at 15-0 while Dartmouth is 3-0.
Scott Schultz picked up the win for OSU after working 21/3 innings of scoreless relief. The righty struck out four and walked one and is 1-0 on the year. Max Engelbrekt, meanwhile, gave up a run in the ninth but closed out the game for his third save.
Ben Wetzler started for the Beavers and worked three innings. He allowed three hits and two runs and did not figure in the decision. He was relieved by Tony Bryant in the fourth. Bryant went 22/3 innings and struck out one while allowing one unearned run.
Texas State (5-10) held a 2-0 lead after three with Kevin Sah serving as the catalyst for both runs. He doubled, stole third and scored in the first and tripled in the third and scored when Cory Geisler grounded out. Geisler had singled home Sah in the first.
The Beavers bunted three consecutive times in the fifth to tie the game at two, with Ryan Barnes driving in the second run after a Texas State error led to OSU's first run. Davis drove in the inning's third and final run when grounding into a double play.
Pinch hitter Ben McElroy tied the game for the Bobcats in the sixth with a single but the 3-3 deadlock was lifted in the bottom half of the inning when Smith homered.
Oregon State stays at home for a two-game midweek series with San Francisco that starts on Tuesday.