Oregon State rode its hot bats and another dominating performance on the mound from Jace Fry to a series clinching, 8-1 win on Sunday afternoon. This was the Beavers fourth straight series win against Washington State, coming in front of a semi-sizable mom's weekend crowd of 1,234 on the Palouse.
The crowd never really got a chance to get into it as Michael Conforto and Dylan Davis both drove in runs with singles in the top of the first. After falling 12-5 yesterday, this felt like a case of "here we go again" for the Cougars. The bats were kept quiet for a few innings, but the lead remained the same thanks to a cruising Fry. Washington State's deficit was doubled in the fifth when the visitors rallied for a pair of runs, each coming with two outs. After Jerad Casper and Caleb Hamilton recorded two quick outs to open the frame, Logan Ice got aboard with a base knock. Ice advanced to third thanks to some great baserunning and a slow-rolling grounder up the middle by Trever Morrison, and Jeff Hendrix doubled them both in.
Fry showed tremendous command throughout the day, working eight full innings and throwing 116 pitches. He allowed just three hits and Washington State's only run came in the eighth, when the decision had long been decided. The junior left-hander is quickly becoming one of the top pitchers in the nation, and his consistency is marvelous. Scott Schultz came on in the ninth for his traditional "closer in a non-save situation" role and threw a nice double play ball and strikeout to end the weekend.
The game was broken open in the seventh when the Beavers doubled their lead once again, this time to an 8-0 advantage. And once again, it was a stingy two out offense that did the trick. A trio of singles from Peterson, Conforto, and Davis drove in four runs, with nary a runner on base before Hamilton and Ice were sent back to the dugout to open the inning.
The Cougars broke up the shutout bid in the bottom of the eighth when Nick Tanielu opened the frame with a triple. He scored when P.J. Jones hit a grounder to third and the Beavers gladly traded a run for an out. The inning ended on a Michael Monda groundout to first, and thus ended the day's scoring.
Oregon State was led by the usual duo of Conforto and Davis, who combined for five RBI's and two runs scored. Tanielu was the only Coug with more than one hit, and his two were both for extra bases.
The win was OSU's second in a row and seventh of its last eight. The Beavers now sit at 27-7 on the season heading into a two game series with Sacramento State. The first game will be played a week from tomorrow at a triple A ballpark in Sacramento, and the series will end back on the SSU campus on Tuesday afternoon.
Washington State has now lost three of its last four and its tournament hopes are quickly going down the drain. They will try and snap the skid Tuesday at Gonzaga. The Beavers faced the Bulldogs on opening day and came back late to beat the Zags, 4-3. Unlike Oregon State, Wazzu doesn't get Easter weekend off. They'll travel to Eugene to face Oregon after the singleton in Spokane.