SURPRISE, Ariz. — A six-run bottom of the eighth inning propelled No. 2 Oregon State to a 10-8 come-from-behind victory Friday afternoon against Ohio State at the Big Ten-Pac-12 Spring Training College Baseball Challenge.
The Beavers, who improved to 6-0 for the first time since 2013, plated six unearned runs in the frame to erase a two-run deficit. After Ohio State’s (4-2) Conner Pohl launched a two-run homer in the ninth off reliever Kevin Abel, Jake Mulholland got the final two outs for his second save of the year.
Nick Madrigal, the reigning Pac-12 player and defensive player of the year, suffered a left hand/wrist injury while sliding into home plate in the eighth inning. He will miss the remainder of the Arizona tournament and be evaluated by Oregon State’s team doctor in Corvallis, coach Pat Casey told the Gazette-Times.
Madrigal had an X-ray after the game and “we are going to find out more when we get back,” Casey said.
“He just dropped his hand down and had a collision. We brought him out immediately, and we’ll see. We are hoping for the best and preparing for ‘things happen in sports.’”
Abel (1-0), a right-hander from San Diego, picked up his first college victory after throwing 4⅓ quality innings. The freshman surrendered three runs (two earned) on five hits with 10 strikeouts and two walks in relief of Sam Tweedt at Surprise Stadium.
Tweedt struggled in four innings of work, allowing five runs on five hits with three walks and three strikeouts. The South Salem High graduate tossed 75 pitches, 44 going for strikes.
Hard-throwing righty Ryan Feltner, rated the Big Ten’s top 2018 draft prospect by multiple publications, settled in after a rocky beginning, giving up four runs on six hits with six strikeouts and two walks in six innings. Feltner retired 10 of the last 12 batters he faced.
Neither starter factored into the decision.
Seth Kinker (1-1) took the loss and was charged for six unearned runs on three hits with two strikeouts and a walk in 1⅔ innings.
Trailing 6-4 entering the bottom of the eighth, the Beavers exploded for six runs on just three hits to jump back in front.
OSU loaded the bases with no outs on an error, a hit by pitch and a Trevor Larnach walk. Adley Rutschman plated the first run with a sacrifice fly to center, but Madrigal was then thrown out at the plate on a Michael Gretler grounder for the second out.
Madrigal suffered the injury while sliding into home. Andy Armstrong took over for Madrigal at second base.
Jack Anderson tied the game with a bloop single to left that scored Larnach, and OSU took a 7-6 lead when Ohio State second baseman Brady Cherry booted a Zak Taylor grounder that allowed Gretler to cross the plate.
The Beavers weren’t done as Kyle Nobach followed with an RBI single before Steven Kwan brought home two more with a triple to right-center.
A two-run Pohl homer — his second round-tripper of the afternoon — cut it to 10-8 in the ninth, but Mulholland was able close it out.
Madrigal and Rutschman had two hits apiece to lead the Beavers, who entered Friday with a Division I-leading .396 team batting average. Oregon State resumes tournament play against Nebraska at 3 p.m. Saturday.
A diving catch by Kwan in center helped Tweedt escape a jam in the second. The Buckeyes had runners on first and second with one out, but a strikeout and Kwan’s grab preserved the scoreless tie.
In the bottom of the frame, Taylor put the Beavers up 2-0 with double to left-center that brought home Anderson and Rutschman. Taylor was down 0-2 in the count when he squared up a pitch from Feltner.
Ohio State came right back with a four-run third that included a three-run bomb off the bat of Pohl. Tweedt gave up three hits and walked a batter in the inning.
The Beavers tied it in the home half by stringing together three consecutive two-out hits. Larnach knocked in Madrigal, who singled and stole second. Rutschman followed with a double to left-center that plated Larnach to even the score.
The back-and-forth action continued in the fourth when Ohio State regained the lead on a Dominic Canzone sacrifice fly. The Buckeyes made it 6-4 one inning later with another sac fly, this time from Tyler Cowles.
The lead stood until the eighth inning.
Ohio State was the only team to defeat Oregon State in Arizona last season. The Beavers mounted a 23-game winning streak after the 6-1 loss.