Oregon St. at Utah Friday Game Thread


#23 Oregon State (30-16, 11-10) at Utah (12-33, 6-18) at Noon MDT (11:00 AM PDT) at Spring Mobile Ball Park in Salt Lake City - KEJO 1240 AM & KPOJ 620 AM - Audio Stream only (No Video) on Beaver Nation Online, for a fee

Gametracker

Oregon St. visits Utah for a Pac-12 series for the first time. All 3 games this weekend will be at noon locally, which is 11 AM PDT. The Utes share Spring Mobile Ball Park with the Salt Lake Bees of the AAA Pacific Coast League, and the Bees are also in a home stand, and will play evening games each day, creating an unusual day-night double header situation.

The Beavers took the last 2 of 3 games from Stanford last weekend, but then came up a run short in Tuesday's 3-2 loss at #9 Oregon in a non-conference Civil War battle.

The Utes were swept at Arizona St. in their last action, which extended their current losing streak to 4 games.

Oregon St.'s usual Friday starter, sophomore LHP Ben Wetzler (5-2, 3.13 ERA), will be looking to get back into the win column. Wetzler was pretty solid against Stanford last Friday, and had a 2-0 lead heading into the 8th inning. Which is when Wetzler went past the 100 pitch mark, and got into trouble. A couple of back to back singles signaled the end of the night for Wetzler, and the move to Ryan Gorton was a mistake. By the end of the inning, Stanford had taken a 3-2 lead, and the Cardinal came up with 5 more runs in the 9th inning, on their way to the 8-2 win, their only one of the weekend.

Utah plans to start junior RHP Brock Duke (2-4, 4.03 ERA). Duke, who is Oregon St. pitcher Adam Duke's older brother, took the loss after working an out into the 8th inning last Friday in Arizona St.'s 5-3 win over the Utes. Duke has 41 strikeouts on the season, tops on the Utah staff.

Oregon St. has a 6-1 lead in the series with Utah from non-conference competition, which dates to 1973. The Beavers last met the Utes in 2010, the only time the teams have met in Corvallis, in the Oregon St. tournament on March 13. The Beavers pulled out a 5-4 win when Matt Boyd delivered his second hit of the day, a 3 RBI walk-off double with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th inning. Gorton got the win in relief that day, as he followed now closer Tony Bryant.

The only Oregon St. loss to Utah happened back in 1993.

Salt Lake City is at about 4,300 ft. elevation, and while the game of baseball does not involve extended, sustained exertion, and elevation shouldn't be a factor in that regard, but ball carry should be slightly enhanced as a result, something that has never been a consideration in Pac-12 baseball until Utah joined the conference.

Oregon St. fans will recall Utah fans staging a "Black Out" last fall for the Beavers' visit for football, and that worked well from the Utes' point of view. So they are planning to wear black again for Friday's game, with free admission as an incentive as a part of `Black Friday'.

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com

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