Oregon St.'s Andrew Moore has been pitching at a level that rivals the best in the Pac-12 conference, and even the country most of the season. His under a half run a game ERA is a clue to that, but the win-loss record, his or the Beavers, doesn't accurately reflect that, a result of his team not backing him up, especially offensively.
Undaunted, Moore has continued to turn in tremendous performances, and tonight was one of his best yet. And it was rewarded, as his 5 hit, 2 walk, 1 run complete game produced a 3-1 win over Arizona, and just his 4th win of the season.
The 5 hitter was particularly impressive given that it came against a 'Cat team that is the Pac-12's leading hitting team, and 2nd in the country. And it was this Arizona team that Moore had his worst outing ever against last year in Tucson, an 11-2 loss in which Moore only made it through 3 innings.
It looked like it might be another episode of Moore not getting the win he deserved early on, as Arizona's Cody Hamlin had a good outing himself, getting all but the last out. And though all 3 runs came on 2 out hits, Oregon St. once again managed to get the minimum out of their opportunities.
The Beavers took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, when Jeff Hendrix singled to score Trevor Morrison. But Oregon St. had their first 2 batters reach base, had a runner on 3rd with only 1 out, and only got the 1 run after Kyle Nobach hit into a double play.
Another golden opportunity went to waste in the 3rd, when the Beavers had runners on 2nd and 3rd with 1 out and couldn't move them.
Arizona tied it in the top of the 4th, when Kevin Newman tripled and Riley Moore picked him up with an RBI single. But Moore responded with back to back strikeouts.
Oregon St. took the lead right back for good in the bottom of the 4th, when Logan Ice doubled down the right field line to score Elliott Cary. But it could have been more, had Michael Howard not gotten picked off second base.
Moore got out of more trouble in the top of the 6th with 2 more of his 8 strikeouts on the game, after the 'Cats had put 2 runners in scoring position.
Meanwhile, the Beavers stranded a runner in scoring position in both the 5th and 6th innings, before finally tacking on an insurance run in the 8th.
Hendrix was in the middle of that as well, reaching when Hamlin hit him with a pitch, and advancing on an infield sacrifice, before scoring on Michael Howard's RBI single that ended the evening for Hamlin.
Moore's pitch count climbed to 113, but he was able to keep the bullpen in the bullpen, and closed out the win that improved his record to 4-1, and moved Oregon St. a half game ahead of Arizona in the Pac-12 race, into 5th place.
Hamlin took the loss, and dropped to 4-2 for the season.
The Beavers improved to 24-11, and 7-6 in the Pac-12, while the 'Cats slipped to 23-12, and 8-8 in conference.
The series continues Saturday afternoon, with a 4:05 PM first pitch, after the conclusion of the Oregon St. Spring Football game, which starts 2 blocks up the street at Reser Stadium at 1 PM.