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Drew Rasmussen perfect game

Oregon State freshman pitcher Drew Rasmussen takes time to sign autographs after throwing the first perfect game in school history on Saturday against Washington State. 

From about the fifth inning on Saturday afternoon, each time Oregon State starting pitcher Drew Rasmussen came into the dugout after retiring the side, he received the typical congratulations for a 1-2-3 inning, then was left alone.

“They went from talking to me a lot to just kind of leaving me alone,” Rasmussen said. “I would get high fives walking in and then as soon as I sat down not really anything except Andrew (Moore). Andrew came up did the same thing between every single inning. That was the hint.”

The “hint” was the Rasmussen was in the midst of a perfect game, something Moore flirted with into the seventh on Feb. 27.

And when he enticed pinch hitter Ben Roberts to swing and miss at a 1-2 pitch with two outs in the ninth, Rasmussen etched his name in history as the first Beaver to ever throw a perfect game.

Oh, and Oregon State (17-5, 3-2) won its first Pac-12 series of the season with the 3-0 win over Washington State (12-10, 1-4) in Goss Stadium. The teams wrap up the series at 1:05 p.m. Sunday.

“It speaks for itself,” coach Pat Casey said. “I wish I could tell you how I feel about him as a person and how hard he works. It’s a pleasure to see him do it.”

Rasmussen, whose parents were in the stands to witness the feat, took some time to sign autographs down the third base line before posing for photos in front of the scoreboard.

The freshman, ironically from Spokane, Washington, was at a loss for words.

“Unreal. It’s been an unreal day,” he said. “It’s been awesome. It’s been so much fun. Not much more I can say. Pretty surreal right now. It was a fun game and I had a lot of help behind me and let’s go get a series sweep (Sunday).”

Catcher Dan Lund said the last pitch was typical of Rasmussen’s day.

“That last pitch was absolutely filthy,” Lund said.

Lund said Rasmussen established his fastball early and that set the tone.

“Honestly, it was one of the easiest outings I’ve had to catch,” Lund said. “Seriously.”

Casey started to figure out Rasmussen was nearing history later in the game.

“I didn’t know he had a perfect game going until the seventh. I chart every pitch, I chart every hitter and I was locked in pretty good,” Casey said. “What a performance. He did it with a lot of different pitches and a lot of different ways. We played defense behind him but he was really good.”

Rasmussen said it was even later when it started to sink in what he was on the verge of accomplishing.

“I knew they had been putting a lot of balls in play but I didn’t really remember going out of the stretch late in the game,” he said. “It didn’t really hit me until one or two outs in the eighth.”

Rasmussen finished with 10 strikeouts and had just three balls hit out of the infield. He threw 103 pitches and improved to 3-0.

One of the biggest plays came in the second inning when WSU’s P.J. Jones led off with a ball that went off the mound to Trever Morrison at shortstop. Morrison rifled the ball to KJ Harrison at first and Harrison was able to keep his foot on the bag for the out.

“That more than saved it,” Rasmussen said. “KJ making that play was unreal. That was a heck of a play. I don’t really know what to say about that.”

Harrison gave the Beavers a 1-0 lead in the first as he singled in Jeff Hendrix, who walked to open the inning.

It stayed that way until the seventh when the Beavers tacked on two runs. Michael Gretler had an RBI single and Morrison drove in a run with a bunt.

Even knowing what was at stake, Rasmussen said he was more concerned about getting the win.

“It was still a tight game so the win comes first and then I was really just thinking strike one, get ahead and then once I did that strike two,” he said. So pitch by pitch I was just trying to have a good idea of what we were trying to accomplish with every pitch and get outs.”

He did that for each of the 27 batters he faced.

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Sports Editor

Sports editor of the Corvallis Gazette-Times and Albany Democrat-Herald