Oregon St. Shuts Out Arizona

Kavin Keyes tripled and drove in 3 runs to help Oregon St. smash Arizona 11-0 today. - (Photo by Andy Wooldridge)

Beavers Take Series From 'Cats 2 blowouts to 1.

Keeping with the theme of the weekend, Oregon St. used the "first team to 11 wins in  a blowout" formula to capture the deciding game of their Pac-12 series in Tucson against Arizona Sunday afternoon. The only difference was instead of the 11-2 score of both of the first two games, the Beavers blanked the 'Cats for an 11-0 win today.

As in both of the earlier blowouts, the game was out of hand early, and over long before it was over.

Oregon St. jumped out early, as Jeff Hendirx opened the game with a single to right center, Andy Peterson walked on 4 pitches, and Michael Conforto followed with an RBI single to left center. It was Conforto's 155th career RBI, moving him into 3rd place on the Beavers' all-time list.

After a popup, Kavin Keyes and Michael Howard followed up with RBI singles, and Arizona starting pitcher Austin Schnabel was gone before the crowd had even settled into their seats.

Cody Moffet took over, and Logan Ice promptly singled to load the bases, setting the stage for Caleb Hamilton's sacrifice fly that made it 4-0 before the Beavers ever picked up a glove.

It looked like it might have been the extent of the day's offense, as Moffet settled down, and he and Oregon St.'s Jace Fry, staked to a big lead, proceeded to retire 15 consecutive batters, before a walk broke up Fry's bid for a perfect game.

Oregon St. missed an opportunity to extend their lead in the top of the 4th, when Ice led off with a single and Hamilton walked on 4 pitches, but the Beavers couldn't capitalize.

That was only a temporary problem though, as the Beavers plated runs in each of the next 4 innings to blow the game open.

Conforto led off the 5th with a bunt single, and a couple of bad throws by Moffet, the first a bad throw on the bunt that allowed Conforto to take second, and the second a wild pitch that put him on third, allowed Keyes to drive in Conforto with a double play ball that made it 5-0 Oregon St.

"The bunt was entirely his call," Oregon St. head coach Pat Casey, the king of small ball, explained. "He's been working on that, to add to his game."

Hamilton made the defensive play of the game in the bottom of the 5th to keep Fry's no-hitter intact, throwing out Bobby Dilbec from way behind 3rd base, only to have an error assigned on the next play on a bad call on the tag, after Hamilton's throw pulled Keyes off the bag, even though Keyes clearly still made the tag easily.

The Beavers turned a double play to clean things up, and make it a moot point though.

Oregon St. put things away with 4 runs, all coming with 2 outs, in the 6th inning.

Hendrix drew a 4 pitch walk, and Peterson singled to extend his hitting streak to 9 games, to set the table. Conforto and Dylan Davis delivered back to back RBI, and then Keyes tripled to left center, the 4th triple of the weekend by the Beavers, to make it 9-0 Oregon St., and the only thing keeping fans in the stands was seeing whether Fry could come up with his second Sunday no-hitter of the month to go with the one he threw at Northern Illinois.

Fry set Arizona down in order in the bottom of the inning, and then got another insurance run in the top of the 7th, when Hendrix doubled to drive in Hamilton to make it 10-0.

Fry gave up a second walk in the bottom of the 7th, but that was all Arizona got and the game should have been over if the Pac-12 would adopt sane game ending rules that most of college baseball uses.

But had that happened, while fans would have seen an abbreviated no hitter, they would not have seen Davis drive his 3rd home run of the season way out over the left field wall to make it 11-0, or Arizona's Willy Calhoun break up the no hitter with a leadoff single to center in the bottom of the 8th inning, on Fry's 111th pitch.

With the no hitter lost, Fry took the rest of the afternoon off to go lift weights, and Scott Schultz, who, with Mak Fox, were the only arms left in the bullpen, after Oregon St. burned up a half dozen relievers yesterday, came on and closed out the game.

In all, Oregon St. hammered out 14 hits, as Conforto went 3 of 5, with 2 RBIs, and 3 runs scored, Keyes went 2 of 5, but with 3 RBIs, and Hendrix, Howard, and Ice also had multiple hit games. Every slot in the Beaver batting order reached base, with hits from everyone except Trevor Morrison in the 9 slot, and Morrison still reached with a walk, and chipped in with a sacrifice.

Hendrix had a huge weekend, with 8 hits in 12 official at bats, plus reaching base 2 other times, on a hit by pitch and a walk.

Fry improved to 5-1, while Schnabel took the loss to drop to 0-4 after the ERA inflating 1 out outing.

Fry's month of March saw him go 4-1, with 40 2/3 + innings pitched, including a second complete game win to follow his complete game no hitter. Fry gave up 20 hits and 6 runs in 5 games, with 31 strikeouts, including 5 today, and just 5 walks.

Oregon St. improved to 21-6 for the season, and 6-3 in the Pac-12, while Arizona slipped to 12-18, and 2-7 in conference.

The Beavers return to Oregon, with a Tuesday afternoon contest at Portland up next, followed by a weekend home series against Stanford.

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com

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