Oregon State Baseball defeats Cal Bears 10-4 in series opener, Cooper Hjerpe remains undefeated
Oregon State’s first Friday Night Baseball game in the Bay Area looked a lot like the rest of its Friday Night games this season.
Cooper Hjerpe picked up a win. The offense made its show. And the Castors, sixth, left with a decisive victory.
Jacob Melton and Matthew Gretler have homered and Hjerpe has remained perfect this season as Oregon State beat the Cal Bears 10-4 in Game 1 of a three-game series at Stu Gordon Stadium.
It was Friday night’s sixth win in six tries for the Beavers (16-4, 5-2), who have relied on more or less the same blueprint for possessing series openers this season: leaning on Hjerpe’s burst and smash the ball. OSU beat its Friday opponents with a whopping 81-10, helping Hjerpe casually fill out his preseason All-American hype.
The Beavers left-handed ace wasn’t as dominant as he was in his last start, when he hit a one-hitter shutout against Arizona State to earn conference pitcher of the week honors Pac-12. But Hjerpe has been more than enough, giving up seven hits and three runs in five innings to improve to 6-0 on the season. He gave up a solo homer to Dylan Beavers in the fifth and a pair of RBI doubles in the third inning, but otherwise kept the Bears (10-11, 3-4) in check, striking out seven.
Hjerpe will finish March leading the Pac-12 Conference in wins (six) and strikeouts (51), while posting a 2.41 ERA. Of course, he owes a little thanks to the OSU offense, which is averaging 13.5 points in his starts.
Gretler opened the scoring Friday with a solo left home run in the third inning, and the Beavers slowly chipped away at starter Cal Josh White (0-2) the rest of the way, eventually chasing him in the seventh.
Melton went 2-for-5 with a two-run homer and a double, Travis Bazzana followed up his red hit with a 2-for-5 outing that included two runs and a double, and Wade Meckler went 2-for-3 with two walks and two points scored. But the Beavers had production up and down in the lineup as all nine starters recorded at least one hit, six scored a run and six had RBIs.
Bazzana extended his hitting streak to eight games, in which he batted .385 (15 for 39) with three doubles, two home runs and 15 RBIs, and Melton extended his Pac-12 lead in home runs (nine ) and RBIs (37) .
Next : The Beavers and the Bears continue the series Saturday at 2 p.m.