Oregon St. shut out Portland 5-0 Tuesday night at Goss Stadium, in the first game of the Beavers' annual triangular series with the Pilots, where the teams will also later play on the Bluff in Portland, and finally in a neutral field contest in Keizer, at Volcanoes' Stadium, home of the San Francisco Giants Single A team.
Oregon St. got all the offense they needed in the 3rd and 4th innings.
Michael Howard singled to lead off the 3rd, and then with 2 out, Trevor Morrison and Caleb Hamilton both drew walks to load the bases for Michael Conforto.
Conforto came through by pulling a single to right driving in both Howard and Morrison for a 2-0 lead.
That chased Portland starter Billy Sahlinger, and JR Bunda came on to get Dylan Davis to ground out, leaving runners on the corners.
Oregon St. added 3 insurance runs in the 4th, as Kavin Keyes led off the 4th with a walk, and scored on Gabe Clark's RBI double to the gap in right center.
Howard grounded out, but Clark moved to 3rd on a single through the left side by Logan Ice. Clark subsequently scored on Andy Peterson's single up the middle, and Trevor Morrison drew another walk to load the bases.
Hamilton struck out on 3 pitches, but Conforto came through again, walking on 4 pitches to push Ice in for a 5-0 lead. It was Conforto's 14th walk of the year, and his 3rd RBI of the game moved him into a tie for the national lead.
Davis struck out though, leaving the bases loaded, but it was more than enough.
Oregon St. threatened again in the 6th inning, after Peterson led off with a single, moved to second on Morrison's sacrifice, and advanced to 3rd on an errant pick-of attempt.
Hamilton flew out to center, but it wasn't deep enough to score Peterson, and Conforto drew still another 4 pitch walk. But Peterson was thrown out on a failed delayed double steal attempt when Portland didn't take the Conforto stealing bait.
Freshman Jake Thompson worked into the 7th inning, allowing only 1 hit and striking out 7, though he did issue 2 walks and hit 3 Pilot batters. Freshman Trent Shelton took over and pitched a solid finish to the game to pick up the save, striking out 3, though he allowed a 2 out single and walk in the 9th to keep the crowd of 2,342 in their seats for a little longer on the chilly but not too chilly evening.
Thompson got the win to improve to 3-0, and is the first Beaver pitcher to get 3 wins this season.
Sahlinger took the loss, and dropped to 0-1 for the year.
The Beavers also turned in a couple of defensive gems to back up Thompson and Shelton, as Ice notched another put-out throw on a steal attempt, and Conforto made a leaping catch at the wall for the first out in the 9th, off a shot by Caleb Whalen that would have been high off the 10 foot left field fence, if not over it, in warmer weather. But the same cold dame air that killed several shots last weekend by both teams.
Oregon St. improved to 10-3 for the season, while Portland dropped to 2-10. It was the 19th win in a row by the Beavers in the series against the Pilots.
The Beavers will continue their current 10 game home stand this weekend, with a 4 game series against Northern Illinois, beginning Friday, with a 5:05 PM first pitch.
The Beavers and Huskies will play 2 Saturday, starting at 12:35 PM, and wind up with another game Sunday afternoon at 1:05 PM.