Perfect 10: Oregon State baseball beats Cal State Northridge, pushes winning streak to 10 games

Oregon State’s Jacob Krieg swings as the No. 6 Beavers take on the North Dakota State Bison in a college baseball game on Saturday, March 2, 2024, at Goss Stadium in Corvallis. Oregon State won 10-0.

Oregon State’s Jacob Krieg hit a three-run home run on Sunday to help the Beavers sweep a four-game series against the Cal State Northridge Matadors at Goss Stadium in Corvallis.Leon Neuschwander for The Oregonian/OregonLive

And with that, the streak is a perfect 10.

The Oregon State baseball team continued its early-season surge Sunday afternoon at Goss Stadium, dismissing the Cal State Northridge Matadors 9-7 in the finale of a four-game series in Corvallis.

The victory not only delivered the sixth-ranked Beavers a sweep, but also extended their winning streak to 10 games — the program’s longest since it won 10 in a row in 2021.

And it came via a familiar formula, as freshman right-hander Eric Segura had another strong start, Jacob Krieg continued to torment Matadors pitching, the OSU offense bashed more home runs and the bullpen delivered enough clutch late-game pitches to close the door.

Oregon State (15-1) started strong, using a three-run first inning and scoring in four of the first five frames to build an 8-2 lead heading into the sixth. Krieg, who has been one of the Beavers’ hottest hitters, had the biggest bash during the fireworks, belting a three-run homer to left field to give OSU a 3-0 lead in the first.

The sophomore slugger was a menace all series, finishing 7 for 15 with three homers, two doubles, 10 RBIs and five runs scored. Injuries and illnesses have thrust the 6-foot-5 first baseman/designated hitter into regular duty, and he has responded with the best series of his young career and making himself a candidate for this week’s Pac-12 Player of the Week.

“It’s very impressive,” OSU coach Mitch Canham said of Krieg earlier in the series. “He’s just letting it go now. He’s a guy who’s continued to work on his craft and develop the swing. He has the size and strength and now to let it go and trust it is phenomenal to watch. That’s a big human with a lot of strength and now that he has that swing and (he’s) starting to build the approach side of it, it’s going to be scary to play the left side.”

Elijah Hainline and Micah McDowell also hit homers Sunday, belting solo shots in the fifth and eighth, respectively. They proved to be important runs as the Beavers had to hold off a late Cal State Northridge rally to win.

The Matadors (9-6) touched up the OSU bullpen for four runs, including three off Kellan Oaks in the eighth inning, as they made things interesting in the ninth.

After striking out Jakob Simons on three pitches to open the final frame, OSU reliever Noah Ferguson walked Andrew Guana and surrendered a single to Ben Griffin, sending the tying run to the plate. It prompted Oregon State coaches to turn to Bridger Holmes for the third time in the series.

The junior college transfer — who earned his first save on Friday and recorded strikeouts on six of the seven Cal State Northridge batters he faced heading into Sunday — ran into a little trouble but eventually closed the door yet again.

Holmes plunked Matthew Pena to load the bases, fanned Gonzalez, then hit Will Lindberg, sending Guana home and trimming the Beavers’ lead to 9-7. But that was as close as the Matadors would get.

Holmes, the impressive submarine right-hander with a slider the Beavers have dubbed “gross” and “wicked,” induced Andrew Sojka into a game-ending groundout to end the threat and seal his second save in the series.

It capped another solid start by Segura, who improved to 3-0 by allowing just two runs on three hits — while striking out seven — over five innings.

Three Beavers finished with two-hit games — Travis Bazzana (2 for 4, two runs scored), McDowell (2 for 4, two RBIs) and Jabin Trosky (2 for 4) — as the Beavers won for the 15th time in the first 16 games, extending their best start to a season since 2018, when they opened with a 20-1 record.

Next up: The Beavers open Pac-12 play Friday in Salt Lake City against the Utah Utes.

Joe Freeman | | 503-294-5183 | @BlazerFreeman | Subscribe to The Oregonian/OregonLive newsletters and podcasts for the latest news and top stories.

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