SALT LAKE CITY – Ben Wetzler carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning and Michael Conforto’s solo home run in the fourth inning highlighted the Beavers’ offensive output as No. 4 Oregon State defeated Utah, 6-1, Friday night at Smith’s Ballpark.
The game marked the Pac-12 Conference opener for both teams as the Beavers improved to 16-3 on the year and Utah dropped to 8-8.
Wetzler record a flyout to start the eighth but Utah’s Konnor Armijo was able to slice a sharp single into right on an 0-1 pitch. The next batter, Hunter Simmons, after a Wetzler balk, drove in a run with a double to right center.
Wetzler picked up the win and improved to 3-0 on the year. He allowed one run and two hits while striking out three. He’s allowed just seven hits with five walks and 20 strikeouts in 23 2/3 innings this year. His earned run average actually rose with the win; from 0.57 to 0.76.
The lefty has won his last 13 starts dating back to 2013; OSU is 18-1 when he starts over that time period.
Conforto snuck a line-drive home run just inside the right field foul pole with one out in the top half of the fourth. It was his first round-tripper of the season and 25th of his career.
The Beavers added to the lead with a five-run sixth inning that saw OSU send nine to the plate. Kavin Keyes singled home two and Caleb Hamilton drove home two more.
Utah starter Mitch Watrous kept the Beavers at bay the first three innings but Conforto’s home run in the fourth was the first run against the righty. Watrous took the loss after allowing nine hits and six runs in 5 2/3 innings. He dropped to 1-3 on the year.
Oregon State and Utah continue the three-game series Saturday at Smith’s Ballpark (formerly Spring Mobile Ballpark). First pitch is slated for noon (1 p.m. in Utah) with live stats, audio and video available by visiting osubeavers.com.
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.