CORVALLIS, Ore. – For the second-consecutive day, fifth-ranked Washington ran into a buzz saw, left-handed Oregon State pitcher and came out on the short end of a shutout, this time 3-0 Sunday in front of a third-consecutive sellout crowd at Goss Stadium.
The loss gave second-ranked Oregon State (41-9, 22-5) a 2-1 series win over the Huskies (38-13-1, 20-7) and a two-game lead for first in the Pac-12 standing with three Conference games remaining for each team. UW dropped its first series of the season and had a streak of 14-series wins dating back to 2013 snapped.
Despite the loss, Huskies’ coach Lindsay Meggs preached to his players that anything can happen next week. He also tipped his cap to Oregon State, while acknowledging what will be a rivalry between the two teams for years to come.
“I told the guys we’re close,” Meggs said closing the gap between the two teams. “This is a healthy rivalry. They don’t like us, we don’t like them, but we sure respect what they have done and I think they respect us.”
Oregon State ace Ben Wetzler, who saw his normal Friday start pushed to Sunday after a five-game suspension, entered the day 9-1 with a 0.94 ERA and was virtually untouchable in earning his 10th win of the season. He retired the lead-off batter in every inning and did not allow any Huskies to reach second base all day. Wetzler gave up two hits, walked two and struck out nine in his second complete game of the season.
“The bottom line today was that we didn’t get a lead-off hitter on over nine innings,” Meggs said after his team was shutout for the third time this season. “That makes things difficult. If you don’t get that guy to pitch out of the stretch and put some pressure on him, you’re not going to have success.”
The Beavers did all their damage in the rain-delayed fourth inning. As a storm arrived, the OSU bats awoke with three-consecutive hits to load the bases with one out. Jerad Casper, batting .159, battled Brigham for a walk to make it 1-0, but not before losing his bat on a foul swing sending a clear message that play needed to be halted.
With the Beaversleading and the bases still loaded, play was suspended for 30 minutes. After play resumed, freshman Caleb Hamilton delivered a two-run single to left field to make it 3-0 after four.
Huskies’ starter Jeff Brigham (6-3) was able to get out of a first and third, one-out jam in the fifth by inducing Dylan Davis to ground into a 6-4-3 double play, but that would be his last batter of the game. After 77 pitches, 44 for strikes, Brigham gave way to Trevor Dunlap, who pitched three scoreless innings of relief.
The junior Brigham allowed six hits, two walks, three earned runs and struck out three in his five innings.
“We pitched really well, we continued to defend; we just have to get the bats going and we’ll be okay,” said Meggs.
Washington wraps up its regular season next week by hosting UCLA for a three game series. Friday’s first game of the series is scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. first pitch and will be streamed live on GoHuskies.com. Saturday (7:00 p.m.) and Sunday’s (3:00 p.m.) games will be televised by the Pac-12 Network.
NOTES: Braden Bishop left the game in the first inning with a groin strain. He led off the inning with a ground ball up the middle and appeared to hurt him stretching to reach first base. He was replaced in the bottom of the inning by Kyle London … next Sunday is senior day for the Huskies. They will honor six seniors: Trevor Dunlap, Joshua Fredendall, Dae Yang Kim, Ryan Wiggins, Brian Wolfe and Zach Wright.
#2 Oregon State 3, #5 Washington 0
WASH 000 000 000 –- 0 2 0
OSU 000 300 000 –- 3 7 0
Jeff Brigham, Trevor Dunlap (6) and Austin Rei. Ben Wetzler and Logan Ice. W – Wetzler (10-1). L – Brigham (6-3). Sv – none. HR – none. 3B – none. 2B – OSU, Jeff Hendrix. LOB: UW 3, OSU 8. Time – 2:19. Attendance – 3,277. 9,909 for the weekend.