It was not maybe his best all time performances, but starting pitcher Ben Wetzler settled down after a rocky start to pitch a complete game 4-1 win against the Stanford Cardinal. Wetzler's early innings did not look promising for the senior to earn his career 30th win at Oregon State, with the first inning seeing uncharacteristic multiple walks to load the bases for Stanford. But Wetzler was able to get out the jam without any damage, and in the second inning limits a possibly more damaging inning to only one Cardinal run. All in all it was not a spectacular win, as Wetzler only struck out one batter and this came in the seventh inning, but it still ended up being another shutdown performance that we have come to expect from the senior leader.
Stanford starter Brett Hanewich also struggled early on as the Beavs were able to take advantage of their own walked batters to load the bases with two outs and score a run on a Michael Howard base-on-balls.
It was a first inning that seemed to have a lot going on, but ended up with both teams most likely feeling they should have got a lot more out of it on the offensive side of things.
The second inning did see Stanford tying up the game with the lead-off batter getting on base due to a Kavin Keyes throwing error, to be scored later on a Wayne Taylor RBI single. Again though, Wetzler is able to keep things under control by limiting the scoring to only this one run, which then held up the rest of the way in. Oregon State's Jeff Hendrix then scores Logan Ice in the bottom of the second inning to have the Beavs retake the lead 2 to 1, which looked to be stacking up to be even more advantageous for the Beavs but the inning ended on an extremely uncharacteristic Michael Conforto strike out looking at a fastball down the middle.
Things settled down for both pitchers over the next few innings as both are able to find their rhythm and garnered help from their defenses to go back-and-forth retiring the sides in order. In the fifth inning though Conforto decides that swinging the bat brings on better results and hits a second pitch home run over the right-center fence to add on another OSU run and up the score to 3 to 1.
It was more than enough runs for Wetzler to finish the game, but he did have help with some excellent fielding plays by center fielder Hendrix and first base Keyes (who was shifted over to 1B after starting at 3rd) in the fifth inning, and in the sixth by Dylan Davis who made a sliding catch in foul ground.
The Beavs were able to add one more run in the sixth inning off of a couple nice back-to-back opposite field doubles by Michael Howard and Caleb Hamilton.
Overall it was yet another solid Friday opening series performance all the way around, and the Beavs look to continue their winning ways Saturday at 1:35pm in this important Pac-12 series match up. With this evening's win Oregon State goes to 23 and 6 overall and 7 and 3 in conference play, and Stanford goes to 10 and 12 overall and 3 and 4 in conference play.