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Oregon State baseball drops opening game to Washington State 4 to 1

It was an uncharacteristic rough outing for Oregon State's Ben Wetzler and the Beavs' defense as the Washington State Cougars take the opening game of the conference series in Pullman.

Coach Pat Casey will be looking for answers to a sloppy opening game loss to the Washington State Cougars
Coach Pat Casey will be looking for answers to a sloppy opening game loss to the Washington State Cougars

In a game that saw some highlights and some lows, the lows mostly dominated in the end as the Beavers drop the first game to Washington State 4 to 1.

Ben Wetzler was not sharp giving up two earned runs, four total runs, walked six, and only was able to go for five and 1/3 innings.   It was Wetzler's first loss of the season (going to 6 and 1).  On the other side Washington State's Joe Pistorese pitches a complete game to increase his record to 3 and 1.

It was a game that saw Oregon State look at certain times posed to make some noise in the game including a nice double play in the first inning by Trevor Morrison to limit the WSU damage to 1 to 0, to more looking unfocused on defense and offense that was demonstrated by the two costly fielding errors in the bottom of the third that combined with the free passes by Wetzler along with some solid hitting by the Cougars to give WSU a 4 to 1 lead.

The Oregon State offense looked posed to jump on Pistorese early on with some sharply hit balls that took some difficult plays by the outfield to create the necessary outs, but as the game went on the core of the OSU batting order was not able to pressure the Cougs starter, as Peterson, Conforto, Davis, and Keyes combined to go 0 for 13.  The only run came in the second inning as Gabe Clark was able to get a two-out single to then move over to second on a Logan Ice base on balls, to be then scored on a Caleb Hamilton RBI single.  From that point forward though the OSU bats went silent and never came close to getting Pistorese out of his rhythm.

The Oregon State pitching also struggled overall.   Jake Thompson came in to relieve Wetzler, and as was indicative of the evening Thompson was able to pick off a base runner at first to walk the next batter and then was able to end the inning by serving up a foul pop-out.  Thompson though is pulled after he warms up and the bullpen carousal went in motion for the seventh inning.   The around-and-around though was enough to keep the Cougars from scoring any more runs and Brandon Jackson is able to finish the game on one of the stronger notes of the evening for the Beavs.

The loss drops Oregon State to 25 and 7, and 9 and 4 in conference play.  The OSU loss along with this evening's Washington win drops the Beavers two games behind the Huskies.  Washington State goes to 7 and 3 in conference play, which narrows the gap between them and the second place Beavs.

Oregon State will need to find their top ranked game again as the two teams play the second game of the series tomorrow, which has a scheduled 2:00pm first pitch.