Oregon St. got shortstop Tyler Smith back in the lineup, and it paid off immediately. Smith, who had missed the last 3 series, and the interleaved mid-week games, with a hairline fracture in his left hand, was cleared to swing away, and punched a full-count bloop single into right field in the first inning. Michael Conforto moved Smith to 3rd with a single, and Dylan Davis' infield ground-out got Smith home to put the Beavers up 1-0.
It was all Matt Boyd would need. Boyd delivered an 8 strikeout, 2 hit 2 walk shutout that out-dueled Utah's Mitch Watrous, who turned in a great pitching performance himself, 4 hitting Oregon St. for 7 innings.
Smith had a chance to get Boyd some insurance runs in the 7th, when Watrous issued 3 walks, but grounded out, necessitating Boyd's complete game. The 2 hitter was his second complete game shutout of the season, going along with a 1 hitter in Oregon St.'s 5-0 win over Arizona St.
Boyd's shutout made him just the second Beaver pitcher to post multiple shutouts in a season in 12 years, joining Sam Gaviglio's 2011 season.
Boyd and Watrous' masterful work sent the crowd of 2,021 mostly Beaver fans home happy after only 2 hours and 8 minutes on a cold, windy evening, a welcome change after the multitude of marathons this season given the weather.
Boyd, who improved to 7-1 for the season, set the Utes down in order 5 times, and in 2 other innings, Jake Rodriguez gunned down runners stealing. Only 1 Utah runner ever advanced as far as second base.
Watrous took the loss, dropping him to 2-2 for the year, despite an effort that would win the majority of nights. But not when Boyd is in the groove.
"It worked out pretty good," Boyd said of his night.
"Matt has pitched well, to say the least, and he has taken advantage of the support he receives at home," Oregon St. head coach Pat Casey added. "Tonight was no different. He got ahead of batters and that served him well."
Oregon St. improved to 26-6 for the season, and 8-2 in the Pac-12. Utah dropped to 14-15, and 4-9 in conference.