Oregon State’s Andrew Moore needed just five pitches to get two quick outs in the fifth inning of Friday’s College World Series game against Mississippi State.
The fact that Moore didn’t get another out figured heavily into the Beavers heading home after a 4-1 loss ended their season.
Moore had cruised through the first three innings before giving up a run in the fourth. He came back to start the fifth by getting Demarcus Henderson and Nick Ammirati on quick groundouts.
“Maybe I got a little lazy there,’’ Moore said.
Adam Frazier and Alex Detz followed with singles and Hunter Renfroe launched a pitch into the left-field bullpen and gave Mississippi State a 4-0 lead.
Brett Pirtle and Wes Rea followed Renfroe’s hit with singles to knock Moore from the game in the shortest outing of the 18 starts he’s made his freshman season.
“Unfortunately, he left some balls up in the zone today,’’ Oregon State catcher Jake Rodriguez said. “When he’s down in the zone, nobody can beat him. He is an amazing pitcher, and I’m sure he’s going to be back on the mound at TD Ameritrade pitching again.”
Oregon State managed to cut into the deficit with a run in the sixth, but couldn’t capitalize on its opportunities in the final three innings as the Beavers finished off a 52-13 season.
“We couldn’t get some things to go for us today offensively,’’ Oregon State coach Pat Casey said. “We just weren’t able to move runners offensively, weren’t able to get the right situation to happen.
“Having said that, I don’t want to take away from what these guys accomplished this year. It’s very difficult when eight teams show up in Omaha and seven of them lose their last game here and feel like they had a poor season. We’re not hanging our head at all.”
Casey’s team was that one club that didn’t lose the final game in Oregon State’s past two visits to Omaha, in 2006 and 2007. Getting back to the CWS was a big step for the Beavers, especially considering what they will return next season.
Moore and No. 3 starter Ben Wetzler will return, as will four other pitchers who saw postseason action. Michael Conforto and Dylan Davis, the Beavers’ Nos. 3 and 4 hitters, blossomed into stars as sophomores, and three other starters could return in 2014.
“There are a lot of positives we can take from this,” Conforto said. “We’re going to grow as a team, and we have a lot of guys coming back.’’
Conforto picked up his ninth assist of the season when he threw out Rea at home to complete a double play that ended the fourth inning.
That play momentarily picked up Moore, who had allowed three straight hits in the fourth in falling behind 1-0. Five batters into the fifth, Renfroe delivered what proved to be the knockout punch.
“I tried to buy the curveball because I knew we had a base open,’’ Moore said. “I made a mistake and left it up a little bit. He’s a great player, and he made me pay for it.’’
The first Oregon State true freshman to earn All-America status, Moore now has the offseason to ponder that mistake.
“It’s an incredible experience coming to Omaha,’’ Moore said. “A game like this is going to make us work harder next year. We have a solid core coming back.
“We just have to take all the pain we’re feeling right now and use it as inspiration to get better.’’
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