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Oregon State finishes off VMI

The Oregon State Beavers scored three runs in the fifth to break a 1-1 tie and went on to defeat the VMI Keydets, 5-1, in non-conference baseball action Sunday afternoon in Corvallis, Ore.

With one out in the fifth inning, OSU (13-3) catcher Andrew Susac drilled a double down the left field line, plating two runs off VMI starter Sam Roberts (1-2). Susac then advanced to third, and scored on a groundout to cap the fifth inning outburst. The Beavers added a run in the sixth, and kept VMI (9-8-1) off the scoreboard the rest of the game to account for the final margin.

Roberts took the loss for the Keydets, after going five innings and surrendering four runs, three of which were earned, on six hits. He struck out seven and walked two. Oregon State turned three double plays behind their two hurlers, which helped starter Josh Osich (2-0) earn the victory with five innings of one-run baseball.

The loss for VMI marks the first time since the season-opening series at Florida State that the Keydets have suffered consecutive setbacks, and it was just the third loss for VMI this year when allowing five runs or less, as the Keydets are now 9-3 in those contests. VMI did, however, play errorless ball for the fifth time in six games.

The Keydets threatened in the first against Osich, as Graham Sullivan and George Piccirilli had back-to-back hits with one out. Alex Haitsuka grounded into a double play, however, ending the threat, and OSU responded in the bottom half. A one-out walk and a wild pitch put a runner in scoring position, and after Roberts struck out Susac, Jared Norris singled up the middle to put the home team ahead, 1-0.

VMI came back in the second, as Jacob Morley led off with a double. Chase Worthington was called out on interference, trying to bunt the runner over, but Jordan Tarsovich delivered Morley with an RBI single to tie the game, 1-1.

The Keydets put a runner in scoring position in the third, as Sullivan doubled with one out, but VMI could not get him home. The score stayed tied at 1 until the fifth, when OSU’s Michael Miller and Garrett Nash reached to start the inning, and one out later, Susac delivered the decisive blow. He went to third on a passed ball and scored on a Carter Bell groundout, making it 4-1, Oregon State.

OSU would add a run in the sixth to go up 5-1, but VMI threatened in the seventh, as Rob Dickinson and Cody Holder reached to start the inning. Unfortunately for the visitors, an around-the-horn double play snuffed out the final Keydet scoring chance. The Oregon State bullpen retired the next seven hitters after the double play, preserving the Beaver win.

Sullivan led the way for the Keydet offense, as he went 3 for 4 and is now hitting .500 (8 for 16) on the road trip. Morley went 2 for 4 and scored the only Keydet run of the day. For OSU, Bell was the only player with multiple hits, as he went 2 for 4. The win was the 10th straight victory for the Beavers.

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