Beaver Baseball Rises to #1 After Series Win Over Washington


Mandatory Credit: Dave Weaver-USA Today Sports

The Oregon State Beaver Baseball team earned it’s first #1 national ranking since 2007 as the Beavers took two of three games from the Washington Huskies in a series with post-season implications at Goss Stadium over the weekend. #1 Oregon State now sits two games in front of the Huskies with just one week left to play in the regular season.

Washington took the Friday night series opener, 4-2, to pull within one game of tying the Pac-12 conference leading Beavers. The loss also snapped Oregon State’s twelve game winning streak. The Huskies got on the board early, tallying three runs in the second inning off of Beaver starter Andrew Moore. The Sophomore from Eugene took the loss but still posted a respectable two strikeouts and two earned runs through five and two-thirds innings.

The Beavers rallied to pull the score to 3-2 in the fifth on a small-ball rally, but left runners on the corners at the conclusion of the inning. Oregon State rallied in the seventh and eighth, but were unable to muster any more run support for the Beaver bullpen.

Logan Ice needed just one pitch from Husky closer Troy Rallings to break a 0-0 tie in the bottom of the ninth, doubling off the right-field fence to score Dylan Davis and give the Beavers the lone run they would need to pull even with Washington in the series.

Davis started off the inning with a right-field single off Washington starter Tyler Davis. Gabe Clark moved Davis to second base, before Michael Howard was intentionally walked to set up a potential double play at any base. Washington Head Coach Lindsay Meggs made the call to the pen in favor of the reliever Rallings, who was perfect against the Beavers in one inning of work on Friday night, to face the switch hitting Ice.

Ice slammed the first pitch from Rallings off the base of the fence, easily scoring Dylan Davis and sending the exuberant Beaver bench onto the field in celebration.

Junior Jace Fry turned in yet another high-quality performance, perhaps one of his finest in 2014, posting his fourth shutout of the season. Fry struck out nine Husky batters and sprinkled in seven hits and three walks in nine complete innings of scoreless baseball. The Beaverton, Ore. product is now 11-1 this year.

Not to be outdone by his fellow staff mate, Senior Ben Wetzler stuffed Washington with nine shutout innings as the Beavers won the rubber game and clinched the series victory, pulling two games ahead of the second place Huskies with one series to play in the regular season with a 3-0 Sunday win.

Wetzler gave up two lonely singles, allowing no Husky runners to rest safely anywhere past first base during the game. He also struck out nine while outing twelve of the final thirteen batters in order to slam the door for the Beavers. The Senior from Clackamas, Ore. earned Pac-12 Pitcher Of The Week honors for his Sunday performance.

Adding nine more innings on Sunday, Wetzler moved past Ken Noble for the program’s career mark in innings pitched, with 351 and 1/3 innings. It’s a familiar sight for fans in 2014 as Wetzler also passed Noble for the career lead in wins earlier in the season.

The Huskies fell victim to their own home grown products through the weekend, as all of Oregon State’s runs were driven in by Washington-born players on the Beaver roster.

Oregon State loaded the bases in the fourth with Maple Valley, Wash. native Jared Casper walked, forcing in Dylan Davis for the first Beaver run. Woodinville, Wash.’s Caleb Hamilton slapped a two run single to left field, pushing the Beaver advantage to 3-0.

Hamilton started at second base in place of injured Andy Peterson, who sprained his ankle in a post game dog-pile after Saturday’s win over the Huskies. Jared Casper took Hamilton’s every day position at third base. Peterson’s status for Oregon State’s remaining games is unclear.

Oregon State needs just one win in it’s final series against USC in Los Angeles, or one loss by Washington at home against UCLA to clinch it’s first back-to-back conference titles since 2005-2006. 2014 could also mark the fourth Beaver conference title since the 1999 conference amalgamation, given the aforementioned circumstances play out in the Beavers favor.

Head Coach Pat Casey and the #1 Beavers return to action at 7p.m. on May 20th in a non-conference Civil War matchup against Oregon at PK Park in Eugene. Though victory in the Civil War is nothing short of non-negotiable for Beaver Nation, a win or loss won’t have any effect on Oregon State, Oregon, or Washington’s respective standings in the conference.