EUGENE — Tommy Thorpe picked the right night to have the best start of his career at Oregon.
The sophomore was dominant as he held the No. 6 Oregon State baseball team to just two infield hits in eight innings in a 3-0 win for the 10th-ranked Ducks on Friday night.
Thorpe matched a career-high with seven strikeouts while only allowing infield singles in the second and third innings. Thorpe, who moved to 6-4 on the season with the win, only faced real trouble in the third. The Beavers (41-9, 20-5 Pac-12) put runners on second and third with a bunt single, a hit batter and a wild pitch, but Thorpe struck out Michael Conforto to end the inning.
Thorpe took the mound in the ninth and walked the leadoff hitter, forcing Oregon (43-11, 20-5) to go to closer Jimmie Sherfy. The Ducks' All-American picked up his 20th save, breaking the Oregon record of 19 he set in 2012, to help UO pull into a first-place tie with the Beavers in the Pac-12.
The Ducks jumped out early, scoring two runs in the first and one run in the second. Ryon Healy, who returned to the starting lineup after sitting out the last three games, put Oregon on top 1-0 with a base hit to left field that scored Brett Thomas. After a Mitchell Tolman sacrifice bunt put runners at second and third with one out, Aaron Payne scored to make it 2-0 on a slow roller to first by Scott Heineman.
Freshman Nick Catalano led off the bottom of the second with a double and scored on a RBI flare single by J.J. Altobelli to give the Ducks a 3-0 lead.
Thomas and Payne were both 2-for-4 with a run scored.
Matt Boyd (10-3) took the loss for Oregon State. He scattered seven hits and three runs, all of which came in the game's first two innings. Boyd walked three and struck out five.
The Beavers' two hits belonged to Ryan Barnes and Andy Peterson.
The Ducks and Beavers meet today at 2 p.m. at PK Park in Game 2 of the three-game series with both teams scheduled to throw freshmen. Cole Irvin (10-2) will pitch for Oregon, while Andrew Moore (10-1) gets the start for Oregon State.