CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State lefty Ben Wetzler had a career-high 12 strikeouts and allowed only one hit over eight masterful innings on Friday night in a 6-0 victory over Northern Illinois before a crowd of 2,627 at Goss Stadium.
Starting on four days rest after a late change in the weekend rotation, the senior from Clackamas High School fanned at least one Husky in every inning except the sixth and recorded five consecutive outs on strikeouts over the fourth and fifth innings. His former career highwas 10, in a 6-1 victory over Texas A&M last June 2 in the championship game of the 2013 NCAA Corvallis Regional; he moved into 10th place on Oregon State’s career strikeout list with 225.
The Huskies’ only hit was an opposite-field double by Alex Klonowski with one out in the fourth inning; he was their last baserunner. Wetzler allowed just two baserunners overall, retired the final 14 Huskies he faced in order and threw 67 strikes in 105 pitches.
Wetzler won his 12th consecutive decision over the past two seasons to tie Jonah Nickerson for seventh on Oregon State’s (11-3 overall) career victory list with 26. His .813 (26-6) winning percentage ranks fifth overall.
Left fielder Michael Conforto singled, doubled, walked twice and drove in three runs for the Beavers. Second baseman Andy Peterson added two doubles and two runs and designated hitter Gabe Clark tripled, singled and drove in a run.
Held hitless for 2 2/3 innings by NIU (1-9-1) starter Eli Anderson, the Beavers finally broke through with two outs in the third. Shortstop Trever Morrison singled and was doubled to third by Peterson; both scored when Conforto ripped a single into right field.
Peterson and Conforto teamed up again in the fifth. Peterson legged out a double to left-center field and Conforto followed with a laser shot that landed on the right-field line and bounded into the corner for another double and his third RBI.
Clark tripled leading off the sixth inning and scored on center fielder Michael Howard’s single to make it 4-0 and Howard subsequently scored on a wild pitch. Clark drove in Oregon State’s sixth and final run in the seventh.
Reliever Chandler Eden struck out two in a perfect ninth to complete the Beavers’ third shutout in an efficient two hours, 11 minutes, their fastest game of the season. Oregon State pitchers have allowed no runs and three hits in two games this week; Jake Thompson and Trent Sheldon teamed up to two-hit Portland in a 5-0 win at Goss Stadium this past Tuesday.
The Beavers stretched their winning streak to three games in a row. They are 7-1 since losing consecutive games to Nebraska and Michigan State on Feb. 21-22 at the Aramark Pac-12-Big Ten Challenge in Surprise, Ariz., and 5-1 in the current 10-game homestand.
The series resumes today with a 12:35 pm. doubleheader at Goss Stadium.
Tickets can be purchased via BeaverTickets.com, by calling 1-800-GOBEAVS or visiting the ticket office at Goss Stadium, which will open at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday.
For more information on the Oregon State baseball team, follow the club’s official Twitter account at Twitter.com/Beaver_Baseball or by Facebook at Facebook.com/OregonStateBaseball.