Beavers endured close calls in 2013 regional
CORVALLIS — Oregon State players talked Monday about how the postseason is a new season and how every team in the tournament is good and can beat anyone on a given day.
It may sound cliche, but the Beavers' baseball team nearly learned a tough lesson last year in the Corvallis Regional opener.
OSU, the top seed in the regional and No. 3 national seed, trailed regional No. 4 seed Texas-San Antonio 4-3 heading to the bottom of the ninth inning.
With Tyler Smith and Michael Conforto reaching with one out, Dylan Davis sent the first pitch he saw into the right-center gap and Smith and Conforto raced home to give the Beavers a 5-4 win to avoid an upset and a trip to the loser's bracket.
The Beavers eventually went on to sweep through the regional and advance to the super regional.
But that first game will always be a reminder of how teams have to be focused and play their best in every game throughout the postseason.
"Not that we looked past San Antonio, we just didn't play our best baseball," Davis said on Monday after the Beavers were named the tournament's top national seed for the first time in school history.
The Beavers (42-12) will open this year's Corvallis Regional against another No. 4 regional seed in North Dakota State (25-24).
That game is at 8 p.m. and follows the 2 p.m. game between second-seeded UNLV (35-23) and third-seeded UC Irvine (35-22).
The double-elimination tournament could last through Monday if needed. Games are at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with the if-necessary game at 8 p.m. Monday.
Following the come-from-behind win over UTSA, the late-inning heroics continued for the Beavers last year as Danny Hayes worked a bases-loaded walk after falling behind 0-2 to force home Andy Peterson with what turned out to be the winning run in the top of the ninth to knock off third-seeded UC Santa Barbara 3-2 to reach the regional final.
After two nail-biters, the Beavers wrapped up the regional title with a 6-1 win over Texas A&M, who staved off elimination earlier in the day by defeating UCSB 5-4.
Still, it took two runs in the seventh and three in the ninth to finally pull away.
That propelled OSU into the super regional where they had to rally after losing the opener to knock off Kansas State and reach the College World Series.
The Beavers hope to avoid those close calls this time around.
"We need to be playing our best baseball from here on out no matter the team or the situation, we've got be playing hard and competing and playing as well as we can just to ensure we come out on top," Davis said.