Cougs, Pistorese stun No. 5 Oregon State

SOMEONE FORGOT TO tell Washington State that teams don't beat Oregon State when Ben Wetzler is on the mound. The Cougs jumped on the lefty ace of the Beavs from the first inning on. Meanwhile, WSU pitcher Joe Pistorese was dominant, hurling a four-hit gem as the Cougars took the opener of the three-game series 4-1 Friday night at Bailey-Brayton Field.

Pistorese (3-1) recorded his second-straight complete game, the first Cougar to accomplish that feat since Adam Conley in 2011. He allowed the Beavs a pair of hits in the second and ninth innings, and little else.

"Joe is one of the best competitors in the conference," skipper Donnie Marbut said. "He faced a guy with ridiculous numbers and was better than him tonight."

Wetzler (6-1) entered the game with the second-best ERA in all of college baseball at 0.38 but suffered his first loss in seven starts this season.

Washington State put the leadoff man on base the first five innings and forced Wetzler to toss 100 pitches, (52 strikes, 48 balls), before he could complete five innings of work. Wetzler came out in the sixth trailing 4-1.

It actually could have been a blowout had WSU gotten a few more timely hits here and there. WSU couldn't cash in on five walks over the three middle innings, and left 10 men on base through six innings. Pistorese, however, made sure the Beavs wouldn't stage any comebacks.

Nick Tanielu gave the Cougars (16-14, 7-3 Pac-12) a 1-0 lead in the first with an RBI-single -- but the Beavers (25-7, 9-4) tied the game with a run on two hits in the second. Pistorese then shut the Beavs down, not allowing another hit until there were two outs in the ninth.

In the third, Washington State scored three times against Wetzler, who had given up all of three runs all season prior to Friday.

Trek Stemp led off with a double and an infield single by Tanielu gave the Cougars a 2-1 lead. And then the Beavs made a couple of uncharacteristic errors WSU was quick to take advantage of in the frame.

Yale Rosen was hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second. P.J. Jones flied out to center for the second out as Tanielu tagged and headed to third. The throw to the cutoff man by centerfielder Jeff Hendrix was low and allowed Tanielu to come into score. An error on a ground ball off the bat of Michael Monda brought home Rosen with the second unearned run of the inning.

Five Oregon State pitchers combined to issues 11 free passes, 10 walks and a hit batter. It was a night of "fours" for Pistorese -- he struck out four and walked four in addition to allowing the four hits. He also became the first Cougar hurler since Chad Arnold in 2010 to toss three complete games in a season.

With the victory, Washington State moved within a half game of Oregon State -- and percentage points ahead of the Beavers -- for second place in the Pac-12. UCLA also holds a 7-3 mark in Pac-12 play headed into Saturday's games.

The series between Washington State and Oregon State continues on Saturday at 2 p.m.

The Saturday probables: OSU's Andrew Moore (2-2 / 2.18 ERA) vs. WSU's Tanner Chleborad (2-2, 3.30).

On Sunday, the expected starters are Jace Fry (6-1 / 1.75 ERA) for OSU vs. Jason Monda (1-2, 3.10) for the Cougs.

NOTABLE NOTE:
Oregon State is ranked No. 5 by USA Today and Collegiate Baseball, and No. 6 by Baseball America.

Cougfan Top Stories