Beau Day made his case for being named Pac-12 Player of the Week despite not having played in the series opener Friday night, with another pair of hits to follow up his 4 for 4 day Saturday, including the 2 RBI double in the second inning that pushed the winning runs across for Oregon St. in their 4-1 win over Utah Sunday that completed a series sweep for the Beavers over the Utes.
It was the second Pac-12 series sweep, and 6th weekend sweep of the season, for the 6th ranked Beavers, who are now 28-6, and off to their best start ever through 34 games. Their 10-2 league start matches the 2006 and 2011 teams for best beginning in the first dozen conference games.
Utah took the initial lead, going up 1-0 in the top of the second inning, when Wyler Smith singled to drive in A.J. Young, who had led off with a double.
Oregon St. couldn't capitalize after loading the bases in the bottom of the second, but then did all their damage in the third inning with 2 outs, starting with a walk to Michael Conforto. Dylan Davis and Ryan Barnes followed with singles, scoring Conforto to tie the game. Day then delivered a double to the warning track in right center field that Braden Anderson couldn't haul in that drove in both Davis and Barnes.
Jerad Casper delivered another double on a shot down the right field line that the Ute's Tyler Relf booted into the bullpen, and out of play, scoring Day.
Day had 6 consecutive hits, and 4 RBIs, as well as 2 runs scored, in 2 days as the designated hitter for Oregon St., living up to his new nickname of "#Beaudaycious"
It was the final run that the smallish crowd of 1,865 would see on a cold, wet afternoon that saw intermittent rain for much of the game, but never saw temperatures climb out of the 40s.
Other than in the 1 run second inning, Oregon St. starter Ben Wetzler set Utah down in order 3 times in the first 4 innings, and allowed only a walk in the 5th, before running into a bit of trouble in the 6th, when Trey Nielsen singled, stole second, and advanced to third on a wild pitch before Wetzler ended the threat by getting a ground-out.
Wetzler turned in his second consecutive solid outing, and topped 100 pitches for the first time this season, picking up the win for the Beavers for the second Sunday in a row, to improve to 2-1 for the season.
Wetzler turned the ball over to Tony Bryant after 107 pitches, and Bryant was perfect against 5 Utah hitters. Scott Schultz took over in the 9th inning and closed things out, picking up his 8th save of the year. Utah was set down in order through their batting order in the last 3 innings.
Utah starter Tanner Banks took the loss, dropping to 1-4 for the season. Joe Pond took over for Banks after the 3rd inning, and did a solid job for the Utes, shutting out Oregon St. for 4 1/3 innings, allowing only 3 hits, and 4 base runners.
Utah dropped to 14-17 for the season, and 4-11 in the Pac-12, after getting swept.
Oregon St. remains 1/2 game behind #16 Oregon, after the Ducks completed a weekend sweep in Berkeley with a 5-4 win over California.
The Beavers head north next for a 5 game road trip, starting with a Wednesday afternoon game at Portland. Oregon St. will move on to Seattle, for next weekend's Pac-12 series against Washington, and then visit Seattle next Monday before returning home for a 6 game home stand against California and USC.
Oregon St. also announced today that the Friday game of the series against the Trojans will be moved up from the usual 5:35 start to 4:05, in order to reduce the conflict with the Spring Football game, which starts at 7 PM. It probably won't be enough, unless this weekend's refreshing pattern of playing games in well under 3 hours can be replicated, but its a decided improvement over the original schedule.