USC Upsets No. 3 Oregon State, Highlighting College Baseball Roundup


Image credit: USC freshman Austin Overn (Photo courtesy of USC)

The first six weeks of the season couldn’t have gone much differently for Oregon State and Southern California. Going into their series against each other this week, the No. 3 Beavers were 21-2 and living up to their status as Pac-12 favorites, while the Trojans were 9-15 and had just two series wins.

USC upset Oregon State, 2-1, on Thursday night, winning in walk-off fashion. That proved to just be the appetizer. The Trojans on Friday emphatically clinched a big series win with a 17-4 victory. They became the first team this season to win a series against the Beavers.

USC fell behind almost instantly when Travis Bazzana hit a leadoff home run on the third pitch of the game. But starter Jared Feikes (4 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 3 K) recovered and held the powerful Oregon State offense in check.

USC’s own offense broke out in the middle innings. The Trojans scored four runs in the fourth inning and then exploded for 10 runs in the fifth. They pounded out 12 hits and drew six walks while striking out just once. They were also opportunistic, taking advantage of six errors and three wild pitches by the Beavers.

On Thursday, USC became the first team to hold Oregon State to fewer than two runs in a game since April 7, 2023 (Oregon). On Friday, the Trojans scored more runs against the Beavers than any team since UCLA scored 25 runs on May 28, 2022.

Catcher Jacob Galloway (3-for-4, 3 R, HR) and outfielder Ethan Wells (3-for-5, 2 R) led the way with three hits apiece. But just about everyone got into the fun offensively, while Feikes, Michael Ebner (1 IP, 2 H, 2 R), Fisher Johnson (2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER) and Brodie Purcell (2 IP, 0 H, 0 R) combined to hold Oregon State to four runs (three earned) on six hits.

USC (11-15, 6-5) dug itself a deep hole with its slow start to the season. But it seems to have found itself over the last few weeks. It started with a series win at Stanford two weeks ago and while USC lost the crosstown rivalry series at UCLA, it’s gotten back on track in a big way this week. In addition to these two wins against Oregon State, it on Tuesday beat Fresno State, which is the Mountain West favorite.

USC is still under .500 and its RPI is still north of 100. But the Trojans made a major statement this week. The Pac-12 this year doesn’t look like a meatgrinder, and they just beat the best team in league. If they can build on this result, there’s still more than enough time to get back in the postseason mix.

For Oregon State (21-4, 5-3), Saturday represents an important opportunity to get back on the field and get a win out of the weekend. This series probably isn’t the start of a downturn, especially as the Beavers return to Corvallis for nine straight home games. But as good as the Beavers are and have been this season, this weekend serves as a reminder that they are not a finished product and need to continue to iron out some flaws.

No-Hitter Night

There were three no-hitters around the country Friday night.

Alex Floyd, Heath Clevenger and Cole Fryman, Samford: The trio combined to throw a no-hitter in a 14-0 victory in seven innings against Longwood. Floyd threw the first five innings of the game, striking out five and working around four walks. Clevenger and Fryman threw an inning each to close out the program’s first no-hitter since 2002.

Connor Mattison, RHP, Grand Canyon: Mattison, a freshman, threw a no-hitter in his seventh career start, leading the Lopes to a 4-0 victory against Sacramento State. He struck out 10 batters, walked two and hit two. Mattison, a freshman, is 4-1, 2.75 with 49 strikeouts and 11 walks in 36 innings this season. The no-hitter was the first in GCU’s Division I history and its first overall since 1982.

Jacob Riordan, RHP, San Diego State: Riordan threw a seven-inning no-hitter in the Aztecs 13-0 victory against New Mexico in the second game of a doubleheader. He struck out eight batters and worked around six walks and a hit batter. Riordan, a sixth-year senior, is 3-1, 3.60 with 39 strikeouts and 30 walks in 35 innings this season. The Aztecs have now thrown no-hitters in back-to-back seasons, as TJ Fondtain threw one last season.

Ace Watch

We highlight some of the best pitching performances of the day beyond the trio of no-hitters.

Nick Brink, RHP, Portland: Brink threw a two-hit shutout to lead the Pilots to a 4-0 victory against Mount St. Mary’s. He struck out 12 batters and walked none to face just two batters over the minimum. Both hits he allowed came in the first inning and he finished the game by retiring 26 straight hitters. Brink is 5-1, 2.80 with 60 strikeouts and nine walks in 45 innings this season.

Bryce Cunningham, RHP, Vanderbilt: Cunningham threw seven scoreless innings and combined with Miller Green on a one-hitter in a 4-0 victory win against Missouri. Cunningham struck out 12 batters and worked around one hit and two walks. He improved to 4-1, 2.87 with 57 strikeouts and 15 walks in 37.2 innings.

Sam Garcia, LHP, Oklahoma State: Garcia outdueled West Virginia’s Aidan Major (8 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 13 K) to lead the Cowboys to a 2-1 victory in Morgantown. Garcia struck out 11 batters and held the Mountaineers to one run on three hits and no walks. He improved to 3-3, 3.11 with 52 strikeouts and nine walks in 37.2 innings.

Xavier Kolhosser, RHP, St. John’s: Kolhosser threw seven scoreless innings to lead the Red Storm to a 6-0 victory against Winthrop. He struck out a career-high 10 batters, walked none and scattered three hits. Kolhosser improved to 6-1, 2.90 in 40.1 innings this season.

Griffin Naess, RHP, Cal Poly: Naess nearly made it four no-hitters on Friday as he carried a no-hit bid into the ninth inning against Cal State Fullerton. The freshman gave up a leadoff hit in the ninth, however, and his night ended with eight scoreless innings in a 6-0 victory. He struck out seven batters, walked one and hit five. Naess is 4-0, 2.70 with 33 strikeouts and eight walks in 30 innings.

Josh Salinas, LHP, Incarnate Word: Salinas threw a three-hit shutout to lead UIW to a 2-0 victory against New Orleans. He struck out 10 batters, walked two and did not allow a hit in the final five innings. Salinas improved to 3-0, 1.59 with 35 strikeouts and 11 walks in 34 innings.

Around The Horn

  • No. 1 Arkansas (22-3, 7-1) clinched a series win against No. 9 LSU (20-8, 2-6) with a 4-3 victory in 10 innings in Fayetteville. The game promised a pitcher’s duel between LSU righthander Luke Holman (4.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 5 BB, 5 K) and Arkansas lefthander Mason Molina (5 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 7), but it turned into a bullpen battle. Lefthander Griffin Herring threw 4.2 scoreless innings for the Tigers and the Razorbacks’ trio of Christian Foutch (2 IP, 0 H), Gabe Gaeckle (2.2 IP, 2 H) and Stone Hewlett (.1 IP, 0 H) combined for five scoreless innings. In the end, the game turned on an error in the 10th inning, setting up Arkansas catcher Hudson White to play hero with a walk-off double.
  • No. 19 North Carolina defeated No. 13 Wake Forest, 6-5, becoming the first team to beat the Demon Deacons (17-8, 4-6) in a game started by Chase Burns. The Tar Heels (23-4, 8-2) had more success than any other team against Burns, getting to him for six runs on nine hits in 6.1 innings, including four home runs. But it wasn’t all bad for Burns, as he struck out 14 and walked none. Wake nearly came back for a win in the ninth, as it cut the deficit to one run and had the bases loaded, but Dalton Pence escaped the jam to pick up his third save.
  • Lamar clinched a series win against No. 21 Oklahoma with a 13-8 victory in Norman. The Cardinals (21-5) were led by DH Zak Skinner, who went 5-for-5 with a double and two home runs. The Sooners (15-11) have hit a skid in the last week. Since completing a sweep of TCU in Fort Worth, they have lost five of their seven games and consecutive home series to West Virginia and Lamar. Two weeks ago, it looked like Oklahoma had established itself as the team to beat in the Big 12. Now, the Sooners need a win Saturday to avoid getting swept at home for the first time since 2021.

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