CORVALLIS, Ore. – Senior left-hander Ben Wetzler tied Oregon State’s all-time win record on Friday night as the Beavers topped Stanford 4-1 in the opener of their Pac-12 Conference baseball series at Goss Stadium.
Wetzler’s 30th career victory tied Ken Noble (1975-78) atop Oregon State’s (23-6 overall, 7-3 Pac-12) career victory list. He struck out one, got 14 outs via fly balls, and won his 16th consecutive decision over the past two seasons. He is 6-0 in 2014, 30-6 for his career and his .833 winning percentage ranks third all-time.
Oddly enough, Wetzler walked three of the first four hitters he faced to load the bases with one out in the first inning. However, he induced a popper to short and a fly ball to right field to escape the jam unscathed, did not issue another walk and dominated Stanford (10-12, 3-4) from that point on.
He retired 15 consecutive hitters in one stretch between the second and seventh innings. Stanford’s run was unearned and he lowered his ERA to 0.32, the lowest in the Pac-12.
Michael Conforto homered, singled, scored twice and was hit by a pitch to lead the offense. Conforto has now reached base safely in 28 of OSU’s 29 games. Dylan Davis, Michael Howard and Caleb Hamilton added doubles. Davis’ two-bagger was the 43rd of his career, giving him sole possession of fourth place on OSU’s all-time list. He needs seven more to pass Chris Biles (2000-03) for the career lead.
The Beavers took a 1-0 lead in the first on Howard’s bases-loaded walk. An RBI single by Stanford’s Wayne Taylor tied the game briefly in the second inning, but OSU went back ahead for good in the home half when Logan Ice walked, was sacrificed to second and scored on Jeff Hendrix’s single to center field.
Conforto made it 3-0 in the fifth with his second homer, a blast to the left of the scoreboard in right field. OSU made it 4-1 in the sixth inning on back-to-back doubles by Howard and Hamilton that knocked Stanford starter and losing pitcher Brett Hanewich out of the game.
The Beavers matched a club record set in 2005-06 with their sixth consecutive victory over the Cardinal. The Beavers have won seven of the past nine series against Stanford.
The crowd of 2,965 raised the season total to 30,931in 12 openings, an average of 2,576 per date. The Beavers have drawn 2,032 or more fans to every game.
The series resumes at 1:35 p.m. Saturday; the probable starting pitchers are right-hander Carl Quantrill (3-2, 3.16) for Stanford and Andrew Moore (2-2, 2.58) for the Beavers. Tickets can be purchased via BeaverTickets.com or by visiting the ticket office at Goss Stadium, which opens at 11:30 a.m.
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.