Buck Stops Southern California
April 24, 2004
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Dallas Buck scattered seven hits over 8 2/3 innings and Kevin Gunderson struck out the game's final hitter with the tying run at second base as Oregon State beat Southern California 4-3 in Pacific-10 baseball Saturday afternoon at Dedeaux Field. Aaron Mathews, who extended his hitting streak to 17 games, tripled to drive in the winning run in the top of the eighth inning for OSU (25-12 overall, 5-6 Pacific-10).
The Beavers and Trojans (20-20, 6-5) conclude their series Sunday at 12 noon. The game can be heard on KEJO-AM (1240) and www.osubeavers.com.
Buck was plunked on the knee by a comebacker hit by Michael Moon to start the bottom of the first inning but walked it off and posted the longest appearance by an OSU pitcher this season. He walked three and struck out four, but three of those strikeouts were the final outs he recorded.
"He didn't strike out a lot of guys today because they (the Trojans) have a real aggressive approach," OSU catcher Paul Richie said. "They were putting some balls in play, and Dallas threw some off-speed pitches for strikes for some flyballs and groundballs ... they did a good job of putting the ball in play, but they didn't string a couple of hits together."
Buck improved his record to 3-3 this season and has won three of his four starts since moving into the rotation at the start of the Pac-10 season.
"I was just trying to make my pitches and throw what they called," the freshman righthander said. "It worked, except for one."
That would have been the three-ball, no-strike fastball that Jeff Clement whacked for a two-run homer to tie the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Two of the walks Buck issued came to start the sixth and seventh innings with the game still tied 2-2, but he managed to strand both runners at first base. Buck also got out of a situation with runners at the corners and two out in the fifth inning when the game was still deadlocked.
"He's real gifted, but he's also a real competitor," Richie said of Buck. "When it comes down to it, he's going to get them out because he's a competitor."
Richie was one of the keys to Oregon State taking a 4-2 lead in the top of the eighth inning. With two out and Mike Lissman at first, Aaron Mathews tucked a triple just inside the rightfield line to drive home the go-ahead run; Richie then singled back up the middle to score Mathews and make it a two-run game.
"That was huge," Buck said. "That turned the game, right there. That took some pressure off me, for sure."
It proved crucial in the bottom of the ninth after Buck gave up a leadoff walk to Daniel Perales. Buck then struck out Billy Hart and appeared to have struck out Jon Brewster but it was ruled that Richie hadn't fielded a foul tip cleanly on the third strike; Brewster doubled to rightfield on the next pitch to score Perales and make it 4-3.
Buck then fanned the ninth hitter in the order, Cyle Hankerd. Back at the top of the order, OSU brought in Gunderson to face the lefthanded-hitting Michael Moon and the freshman lefty got Moon swinging at a high two-ball, two-strike fastball to end the game. It was Gunderson's second save of the season.
The Beavers had mananged a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning off USC righthander Bret Butler, who was making just his third start of the season. Cole Gillespie, starting for just the second time this season, led off the inning with a homer to centerfield; Shea McFeely then walked and scored from second on Mike Lissman's two-out double to right-center.
Gillespie added a double later in the game and finished 3-for-4. Mathews, who had extended his hitting streak with an infield single in the second inning, was 2-for-4. Mathews' triple was the eighth of his career, tying him for sixth on OSU's all-time leaders list, and his fifth of the season, tying him for fourth on the Beavers' all-time single-season leaders list.
OREGON STATE 4, SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 3 Oregon State 002 000 020 - 4 8 0 Southern California 000 200 000 - 3 7 1 Buck, Gunderson (9) and Richie. Butler, Rummonds (7), Miller (8) and Clement. W-Buck (3-3). L-Rummonds (2-3). Sv-Gunderson (2). 2B-Lissman (OSU), Gillespie (OSU), Brewster (USC). 3B-Mathews (OSU). HR-Gillespie (OSU), Clement (USC). HITS: Oregon State 8 (Lissman 1x4, Mathews 2x4, Richie 1x4, Gillespie 3x4, Calderon 1x3), Southern California 7 (Sharpe 1x4, Clement 2x3, Metropoulos 1x4, Perales 1x3, Hart 1x3, Brewster 1x2). RUNS BATTED IN: Oregon State 4 (Lissman 1, Mathews 1, Richie 1, Gillespie 1), Southern California 3 (Clement 2, Brewster 1).