Sam Gaviglio showed why he was a first-team all-Pacific 10 Conference selection, as he baffled Creighton hitters all night in a 5-1 Oregon State victory on Saturday night. The victory keeps No. 13 Oregon State (40-17) unbeaten as it moves into tomorrow night’s Regional final, while No. 25 Creighton (45-15) will have to play a 3 pm Central elimination game vs. Georgia (32-31) for the right to take on OSU at 8 pm.
Gaviglio (12-2) allowed just five hits and two walks (both intentional) while striking out 11 in his 136 pitch complete game. Most importantly, he worked out of a two-on, no-out jam in the top of the seventh when he got Anthony Bemboom to ground out, Scott Thornburg to strike out, and after an intentional walk to Mike Gerber, coaxed a weak groundout to first off that bat of Chance Ross, and another jam in the eighth inning.
Oregon State scored an unearned run in the top of the first inning against Bluejay starter Ty Blach. Ryan Barnes’ line drive to open the game tipped off the top of a leaping Alex Staehely’s glove, and Barnes went to second when rightfielder Trever Adams misplayed the deflection. Barnes moved to third on a ground out and scored on a two-out passed ball that got through catcher Scott Thornburg.
The Beavers added to their lead in the top of the second inning. Carter Bell singled and went to third on a hit-and-run single by Garrett Nash. Bell scored when Creighton couldn’t convert a double-play on a high-chopper by Barnes.
Creighton dented the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth when Mike Gerber turned around a fastball and deposited Sam Gaviglio’s offering into the bleachers in right-center for his seventh homer of the season. The hit by Creighton snapped a streak of 12 straight outs by the Bluejay line-up.
Oregon State answered with a run in the top of the sixth inning. Parker Berberet doubled to left-center, moved to third on a passed ball, and scored when Carter Bell poked a single between Alex Staehley and Nick Judkins, who were drawn in to cut off the run at home. It was OSU’s second unearned run of the day against Blach.
In addition to Creighton’s threat in the seventh, the Jays also brought the tying run to the plate in the eighth inning. Nick Judkins had a one-out double, but Gaviglio retired Jimmy Swift on strikes and Trever Adams grounded out to first as the junior received a standing ovation from the partisan crowd.
OSU added two insurance runs in the top of the ninth inning when Garrett Nash crushed his third homer of the season over the left-field wall, ending VanLeur’s evening. After Kurt Spomer came in, Kavin Keyes singled up the middle and scored on Andrew Susac’s double in the right-center gap.
Blach (10-3) flirted with danger all day long, allowing seven hits and three runs (one earned) in six innings of work. He struck out seven men, walked one, and hit a pair in 107 pitches. He gave way to Reese McGraw, VanLeur and Spomer.