College football season may be over, but the Pac-12 gave fans the closest possible substitute Saturday. UCLA baseball beat Oregon State 25-22 after forcing extra innings with a spectacular nine-run rally in the ninth.
Oregon State seemed to have the game all but wrapped through the top of the ninth, as it led 21-12. But UCLA exploded for four hits, three walks and a hit by pitch in the bottom of the inning to get exactly the nine runs it needed to extend the game.
An RBI single from Oregon State's Justin Boyd gave his Beavers the lead once again in the top of the 10th. It wouldn't last long.
In the bottom of the 10th, UCLA loaded the bases with a single, double and an intentional walk. Beavers pitcher Ryan Brown was then called for a balk, giving the Bruins a game-tying run. UCLA catcher Tommy Beres proceeded to turn the tie into a W with a three-run, walk-off home run.
Beres was an unlikely hero, as he just entered the game in the sixth inning and had zero career home runs. He certainly made up for lost time, going 3-for-4 with the game-winner, a double and seven RBIs.
The game had the most runs of any in Division I this season and was 15 short of the all-time record set by Denver and Air Force in 1968. UCLA and Oregon State had a combined 53 hits and a .495 batting average, forcing a total of 16 pitchers -- nine for the former, seven for latter -- to see action.
Bragging rights wasn't the only motivating factor for UCLA. The win forced a rematch with Oregon State, and the winner of that game -- which began 45 minutes after the last one ended -- will head to Sunday's first ever Pac-12 baseball tournament championship game.