Schultz is magnificent; Beavs stay alive

THERE HAVE BEEN some fantastic pitching performances this season at Oregon State. Scott Schultz' magnificent two-hit, shutout gem over UC Irvine on Sunday night ranks right there with any of them. Oregon State's suddenly resurgent bats also played a big role in the Beavs' 4-0 win -- a win that forces the regional-deciding game on Monday night.

Ninety-eight pitches. That's all Scott Schultz needed to dispatch a UC Irvine team that had mauled the Beavs 14-2 just 24 hours earlier.

Leadoff batter Jeff Hendrix had two doubles, a single, a run and a walk as he reached safely in all four plate appearances. First baseman Kavin Keyes was 2-for-2 with a run, an RBI and two walks and also reached safely all four times. Gabe Clark and Michael Conforto added RBI doubles.

OSU wasted little time getting in gear in Sunday's rematch with UC Irvine. The Beavers went up 1-0 in the first when Conforto knocked in Andy Peterson with a double off the top of the fence in right-center. He missed a home run by about a foot.

OSU expanded the lead to 4-0 with a three-run third. Hendrix led off with a double and scored on a single by Keyes for a 2-0 edge. Clark then chased home Conforto, who been intentionally walked with Hendrix on third, and Keyes with a double to the left-center gap to make it 4-0.

The Beavers did not score again but UC Irvine never scored at all.

Schultz (7-2) struck out four, walked two and retired 18 of the last 20 hitters he faced.

Keyes denied two hits in the third inning with a leaping catch of a line drive and a sprawling stop on a hard-hit ground ball to his left. Conforto threw out a runner at home to end that inning, and made a head-first, diving catch in the fourth. Right fielder Dylan Davis ended the fifth inning with a running, over-the-shoulder catch just before he was about to hit the wall, and Hendrix had six putouts in center field.

Monday's championship game is set for 8:05 p.m. and will be televised by ESPNU. The victor will advance to the best-of-three Super Regionals against Stillwater Regional champion Oklahoma State. If OSU wins, they will host the Cowboys.

Schultz hit three batters in the first two innings but after that, he was all but unhittable. He allowed just one hit in the final six innings, retired 10 in a row in one stretch, and the lone Anteater to advance to third base was thrown out at home attempting to score.

Schultz threw 65 strikes in 98 pitches in a game that went just 2:05. It was his third complete game of the year. He and Wetzler, who each spurned professional offers to return for their senior seasons, allowed a combined six hits and one run and struck out 14 over 18 innings in winning both of the Sunday elimination games.

There may be tickets available for Monday's game. Check the OSU baseball twitter account at as details become available.

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