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Oregon St. and Washington St. Continue Critical Pac-12 Series

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Oregon St. baseball is back at it today in Pullman against Washington St.
Oregon St. baseball is back at it today in Pullman against Washington St.
(Photo by Andy Wooldridge)

#6 Oregon St. (25-7, 9-4) at Washington St. (16-14, 7-3) / Bailey-Brayton Field / 2:00 PM PDT / No TV / KEJO 1240 AM / KPOJ 620 AM

Oregon St. and Washington St. continue this weekend's crucial Pac-12 series in Pullman this afternoon.

Last night, the Cougs, not intimidated by either Ben Wetzler, who entered the game as the Pac-12's best pitcher, or the Beaver defense, also the best in the conference, hit and ran aggressively, building a 4-1 lead in the 3rd inning.

Meanwhile, Joe Pistorese throttled the Oregon St. offense, which has gone almost completely punchless of late. Pitorese held the Beavers to just 2 hits until there were 2 outs in the 9th, and 2 late hits didn't prevent the Cougars from making the early 4-1 lead stand up for the final score.

It was only the second time, with a loss in 2010, that the Beavers have been held to a single run in a game played in Pullman since the unification and modernization of the Pac-10 in 2000.

As a result, Washington, who walloped Stanford 6-1 last night, reopened a 2 game lead in the conference race over the Beavers, who are still in second place, but now are only 1.2 game ahead of the Cougars, and UCLA, after the Bruins beat Arizona 8-0.

Oregon St. will start sophomore RHP Andrew Moore (2-2, 2.18 ERA). Moore went 7 (of the many) scoreless innings last Saturday in the Beavers' 1-0 13 inning win over Stanford, scattering 8 hits, but striking out 6 Cardinal batters, and allowing only 2 walks.

Last year, after the Cougars had come up with a come from behind Friday night upset of the Beavers, Moore delivered a complete game shutout 4-0 win that changed the tone of the series, which Oregon St. would recover to win. The Beavers didn't lose a game again until the Super Regional.

The Beavers will need something similar if they hope to extend their streak of 3 consecutive series wins against the Cougars.

Washington St. will go with junior RHP Tanner Chleborad (2-2 3.30 ERA). Chleborad went 7 1/3 innings in the Cougars' 3-1 win over California, and got the victory, after allowing 6 hits, and 1 run, but no walks.

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com