Courtesy: OSU Athletics
LOS ANGELES, Calif.– Ben Wetzler spun a three-hit shutout to send the top-ranked Oregon State baseball team to its second consecutive Pac-12 Conference Championship as the Beavers defeated USC, 2-0, Saturday at Dedeaux Field.
Wetzler allowed two singles and a double and was aided by a staunch Oregon State defense for his 11th win of the season. It was his second consecutive complete-game shutout and the lefty struck out five to enable the Beavers to win the Pac-12 crown outright. OSU had officially clinched at least a share Friday night when Washington was defeated by UCLA.
The Oregon State (42-11 overall), 23-6 Pac-12) defense turned four double plays behind Wetzler and Jeff Hendrix robbed Timmy Robinson of a home run in the ninth to seal the shutout. The shutout was the 14th of the season for the Beavers, extending a school-record.
Wetzler lowered his earned run average to a nation-leading 0.76 and he tied teammate Jace Fry for the Pac-12 with the 11th win.
The Beavers forced USC (28-24, 15-14) starter Wyatt Strahan to throw 37 pitches in the first, and got to the pitcher to the tune of two runs on two hits – both with two outs. Jeff Hendrix and Michael Conforto both walked early in the inning and were driven in on singles by Gabe Clark and Kavin Keyes.
The RBI marked Keyes’ first since April 12 at Washington State.
Strahan took the loss to drop to 6-5 this season. The USC righty tossed 126 pitches in seven innings, scattering two runs and three hits while striking out five. His pitch count was elevated, however, due to eight walks. Michael Conforto took two of those walks, giving him 49 for the season. That moves him past Rich Dodge (1977) for most in a season by an OSU player.
The Beavers also managed just three hits, with Clark, Keyes and Logan Ice pitching in with one apiece.
The teams end the regular season Sunday with a 12:05 p.m. PT first pitch at Dedeaux Field. The game can be seen live on the Pac-12 Networks.