Nickerson Pitches Beavers To Win
March 4, 2004
HONOLULU, Haw. - Jonah Nickerson scattered three hits and struck out eight batters over six innings to pitch his first career win as Oregon State beat Chicago State 15-3 in the First Hawai'i Title Rainbow Baseball Tournament on Thursday afternoon at Les Murakami Stadium. Nickerson, a freshman righthander, and Nathan Pendley combined on a four-hitter in the game, which was called after seven innings due to the tournament's 10-run rule.
The win gave OSU (9-3 overall) the No. 3 seed in the four-team event going into Friday's start of bracket play. The Beavers will play the loser of Thursday night's game between host Hawai'i and The Citadel; during the final two days of the tournament, any game involving Hawai'i will begin at 8:30 p.m. PST and the day's other game will begin at 4 p.m. PST.
Against Chicago State (0-6), the Beavers scored seven runs in the first inning, getting a three-run double from Shea McFeely and a two-run single from Chris Kunda. That came in the midst of a start for Nickerson that saw him retire the first eight hitters he faced, including striking out five of the first six.
"I felt good out there," said Nickerson, whose strikeout mark matched the most by an OSU pitcher in a game this season. "It's been a while, and that helped out a lot to start the game in the right direction."
It was Nickerson's second start and third appearance of the year; he went into the game with a 15.75 earned run average but had pitched significantly better than that number would indicate. Against Utah on Opening Day, he gave up three runs in one inning as the Utes flared a number of hits and took advantage of one error; against Washington on Sunday, he worked three innings and left with the lead after the Huskies took advantage of a blown call at first base for a three-run inning.
"The first two games, things hadn't been going my way," Nickerson said. "I need to get things going in the right direction."
So did the Beavers, who had lost their first two games of the tournament by losing a two-run lead in the ninth inning against The Citadel and being blown out by Hawai'i.
"It was a good win for us, just to get us going and get things started again," Nickerson said.
After being two-hit by Hawai'i on Wednesday night, OSU also rediscovered its bats with a 13-hit attack. McFeely wound up 3-for-3 with two doubles and four runs batted in for Oregon State, while Kunda was 3-for-3 with a double and three RBIs, Jacoby Ellsbury was 2-for-2 and Mike Lissman was 2-for-5.
After the seven-run first inning, OSU added three more runs in the second inning with Kunda doubling to drive one of those in and Ellsbury singling another home. After the Cougars got back within 11-3 with a pair of runs in the fifth and one in the sixth, the Beavers scored four times in the bottom of the sixth with Tony Calderon tripling in one run and Billy Munich singling in another.
OREGON STATE 15, CHICAGO STATE 3
Chicago State 000 021 0 - 3 4 3 Oregon State 731 004 x - 15 13 1
Payne, Paszko (1), Shipp (4), Johnson 6) and Grippo. Nickerson, Pendley (7) and Munich, Hernandez (7). W-Nickerson (1-0). L-Payne (0-2). 2B-McFeely 2 (OSU), Kunda (OSU). 3B-Calderon (OSU).
HITS: Chicago State 4 (Bass 1x2, Grippo 1x3, Ward 2x3), Oregon State 13 (Ellsbury 2x2, Lissman 2x5, Mathews 1x3, McFeely 3x3, Calderon 1x3, Munich 1x5, Kunda 3x3). RUNS BATTED IN: Chicago State 1 (Grippo 1), Oregon State 14 (Ellsbury 1, Jenkins 1, Mathews 1, McFeely 4, Gillespie 1, Calderon 2, Munich 1, Kunda 3).
Chicago State 3 (0-6) Oregon State 15 (9-3)