Oregon State baseball coach Pat Casey was somewhat disappointed with the Beavers' situational hitting in last weekend's season-opening series at Hawaii.
He had no such complaints on Friday night.
The 25th-ranked Beavers knocked out Tennessee ace Bryan Morgado in the fourth inning and scored 10 runs with two outs in a 17-1 victory over the Volunteers before a chilled opening-night crowd of 1,849 at Goss Stadium that was undeterred by a day-long deluge that finally stopped several hours before the first pitch.
Freshman second baseman Tyler Smith had three hits and three RBIs and junior Tyler Waldron spaced five hits over 72/3 innings for the Beavers (4-1). Junior shortstop Keith Jennette had two hits and three RBIs and started two double plays in his second straight start and junior DH Parker Berberet and senior Rob Folsom each drove in three.
The Beavers didn't hit a fair ball until the third inning, at which point they broke out with two out-of-nowhere rallies for 11 runs.
"We were happy with anything after the first eight outs; (Morgado) struck out the first eight guys and was pretty much untouchable," Casey said. "Then we ran into a couple balls, got some momentum going and that really helped us.
"He had us completely fooled. We knew he was a fastball-change guy and he was, but we didn't do anything with it. Finally we strung some hits together. We did a better job of getting pitches we were looking for. We were swinging at pitches that weren't strikes, he was switching sides of the plate pretty good. He was lights out."
However, the lights went out on Morgado, a third-round pick by the Chicago White Sox in last year's draft. There were two out and none on in the third when he hit Adalberto Santos and walked Stefen Romero. Berberet hit a 3-2 double to the left-center gap for a 2-0 OSU lead, and the Beavers were off.
Folsom and Smith followed with RBI doubles and Andrew Susac singled for a 5-0 lead. In the fourth, OSU again had two outs and none on, but then erupted for six runs, sparked by two-run singles from Smith and Jennette, for an 11-0 advantage.
"That guy was carving us up," Smith said. "Then Parker got a hit, Robbie (Folsom) got that hit in the gap and I got ahead 2-0 and just got my pitch and did something with it. It's a tribute to our club, battling with two outs and not giving up."
Waldron gave up a solo homer to Zach Osborne in the fifth but otherwise was sharp, let his defense do the work and didn't let the cold, wet weather get inside his head. He had one strikeout, but walked only two and did not allow more than one hit in any inning.
"I just stuck to my game plan and kept the ball down," Waldron said. "All spring during our intrasquads this is how it was. We're used to playing in cold weather, misty."
Added Casey: "He kept the ball down and pitched to contact."
The Beavers didn't have an error, turned two double plays, got a pickoff from Susac and played defense until the final out, a diving, sprawling catch of a foul ball by Folsom right on the out-of-play line adjacent to the Tennessee bullpen.
"You have to defend if you're a team that's not overly-talented offensively," Casey said. "We have pitching depth and we need to play defense. it should be there every night."
The series resumes at 2 p.m. today.
Tennessee pitchers walked 11, hit five and threw a wild pitch.
"To give up 11 runs with two outs and nobody on and to have 16 walks and hit batsmen, you can't win like that," Vols' coach Todd Raleigh said.
OSU right fielder Andy Quiring collided with the outfield fence in the second inning while attempting to catch a fly ball and sprained his right ankle. He will miss the rest of the series.
Oregon State 17, Tennessee 1
TENNESSEE 000 010 000 - 1 5 1
OREGON STATE 005 602 13x - 17 12 0
Morgado, Catapano (4), Clifft (5), Adkins (8) and Forsythe. Waldron, Jones (8) and Susac. WP: Waldron (1-0). LP: Morgado (0-1). 2B: Hawn (UT), Stubbs (UT), Thurber (UT), Romero (OSU), Berberet (OSU), Folsom (OSU), Smith (OSU). HR: Osborne (UT).
Hits: Tennessee 5 (Hawn 2, Stubbs, Thurber, Osborne). Oregon State 12 (Smith 3, Romero 2, Berberet 2, Jenette 2, Norris, Folsom, Susac).
RBI: Tennessee 1 (Osborne), Oregon State 15 (Smith 3, Berberet 3, Folsom 3, Jennette 3, Bell, Gorton, Susac).