CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) - Elliot Surrey allowed two runs and three hits and struck out eight as UC Irvine beat No. 1 national seed Oregon State 14-2 on Saturday night in the winners’ bracket of the NCAA Corvallis regional.
The Anteaters (37-22) led 6-2 before breaking it open with eight runs in the eighth inning, highlighted by Kris Paulino’s grand slam. Surrey (7-4) went seven innings.
UC Irvine scored three runs on two hits and two bunts to take a 4-0 lead in the fifth. Justin Castro doubled, Taylor Sparks singled and Castro scored on a safety squeeze bunt by Chris Rabago. With the bases loaded, McClanahan’s sacrifice bunt scored Sparks and Rabago scored from second ahead of the throw home.
“You never know what is going to happen in this game. This goes to show that anything can happen and it comes down to who wants it more and who plays the best, not necessarily the best team,” Sparks said. “We brought a lot of energy and played our best today.”
Oregon State (43-13) scored its only runs in the eighth on Jeff Hendrix’s two-run single off reliever Sam Moore.
The Beavers loaded the bases with one out before Moore was replaced by Mitch Merten, who got out of the jam with Dylan Davis’ pop-out and Gabe Clark’s strikeout looking.
“What Mitch Merten did, coming in for us with the bases loaded was absolutely huge,” UC Irvine coach Mike Gillespie said. “That was big for him and big for us.”
Beavers lefthander Jace Fry (11-2) gave up six runs on six hits with four strikeouts in the loss.
Hendrix was the lone bright spot for the OSU offense with his two RBIs.
“Well I don’t think there was anything that we did in that game that was competitive,” Oregon State coach Pat Casey said.
Oregon State will play UNLV on Sunday afternoon, with the winner advancing to play UC Irvine.