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MailTribune.com
  • Beavers learn lessons in close calls at regional

    Oregon State readies for Kansas State at super regionals starting Saturday
  • If there's a lesson for the Oregon State baseball team to take from the Corvallis Regional, it's every postseason opponent is looking to advance.
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  • If there's a lesson for the Oregon State baseball team to take from the Corvallis Regional, it's every postseason opponent is looking to advance.
    Yes, the Beavers managed to sweep the regional and move on to this weekend's super regional against Kansas State at Goss Stadium.
    There were, however, a few close calls along the way.
    The Beavers were pushed to the brink by both Texas-San Antonio and UC Santa Barbara, needing ninth-inning heroics in both games.
    Even the 6-1 win over Texas A&M was a 1-1 game until the seventh.
    "Obviously, we played some real tough games. All three of them were close games, until the end of the last game there where we started to pull away a little bit," OSU catcher Jake Rodriguez said.
    "The first two games both teams had us on our toes and everybody's playing to get to Omaha now and everybody has an opportunity to get there and every team's going to give you everything they have and throw everything they have at you. So for us we just have to take that and stay with our game. We can't get ahead of ourselves. We've just got to keep doing what we're doing."
    It didn't help that the Beavers' offense went through some struggles.
    The Beavers out-hit the Roadrunners 9-6 but left 10 runners on base, had 10 hits to the Gauchos' five but left 13 and had a 14-4 advantage over the Aggies with 11 runners stranded.
    The Beavers had to overcome solid pitching and good defense. They too often hit the ball right at defenders or simply came up short with runners in scoring position.
    "Every game's going to be tough," OSU shortstop Tyler Smith said. "We didn't take anything for granted, but it's hard to come up with those big-time hits in pressure situations, things like that. We've just got to be on our game at all times and just be focused and realize that wins aren't easy to come by late in the season when everyone's trying to get to Omaha."
    Of course, the Beavers came up with the plays needed to sweep the regional, whether it was Dylan Davis' game-winning double in the ninth against Texas-San Antonio or diving catches near the fence by Max Gordon.
    "I think everyone made great defensive plays," Smith said. "We're all in. We're trying to stretch the season all the way to Omaha, so we're playing as hard as we can and we came up big with some great plays."
    The Beavers won't have to adjust on the fly this weekend.
    Kansas State is the lone opponent, so the OSU coaching staff won't need to scramble to put together scouting reports.
    "It's more traditional, a best two out of three series," Smith said. "We know the team that we're playing. We can just do our scouting report on them and not have to worry about three other teams.
    "(We'll) just rely on our pitching staff that's pitched well in three-game series all year, so just stick with them."
    Rodriguez is confident that the Beavers will produce at the plate.
    If the offense clicks as well as the defense and pitching, the Beavers will be a strong spot through the super regional.
    "I think that's huge for a program trying to get to the College World Series," Rodriguez said.
    "We didn't use too many guys out of the bullpen this weekend so everybody seems to be fresh. We've got an extra day, we don't start until Saturday, so just getting everybody rested up and ready to go."
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