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  • Oregon State's Wetzler dominant in triumphant debut

  • CORVALLIS — Oregon State pitcher Ben Wetzler made a triumphant debut Sunday after serving an 11-game NCAA suspension, allowing four hits and one run in 72/3 innings as the No. 4 Beavers beat Wright State 13-2.
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  • CORVALLIS — Oregon State pitcher Ben Wetzler made a triumphant debut Sunday after serving an 11-game NCAA suspension, allowing four hits and one run in 72/3 innings as the No. 4 Beavers beat Wright State 13-2.
    Wetzler threw 89 pitches and struck out five, including the side in the sixth inning after he was touched for a double off the wall and a hard-hit single to left.
    His only blemish came in the fourth, when Joe Ford led off with a bunt down the third-base side that Wetzler fielded and threw high over first. The error put Ford on second, and after a groundout and hit batsmen, Jeff Limbaugh hit a ground ball single to left to score Ford. Wetzler retired the next two batters to get out of the inning.
    Wetzler, who was sanctioned by the NCAA for his involvement with an agent last summer after being drafted in the 5th round by Philadelphia, improved to 25-6 all-time at Oregon State. The senior lefthander is six victories shy of surpassing Ken Noble (1975-1978) in becoming the program's all-time winningest pitcher.
    He left to a standing ovation from the 2,032 at Goss Stadium after retiring the first two batters of the eighth inning, the last on a diving catch by a charging center fielder Michael Howard. Of Wetzler's 89 pitches, 63 were strikes. He walked one and hit one and improved to 11-2 in non-conference games over his career.
    Junior lefthander Zack Reser relieved Wetzler and finished the eighth and freshman Chandler Eden allowed one run in the ninth.
    The Beavers (9-3) won three of four games from Wright State (3-8) and on Sunday, they used a sharp eye at the plate to wear down seven pitchers from the Horizon League school. Oregon State coaxed 13 walks, six of which scored, and one that forced in a run, and now have 73 walks on the season, tops in the Pac-12 Conference. The Raiders also hit three Oregon State batters.
    Oregon State broke open a 3-1 game in the sixth with five runs, a rally that was keyed by an RBI double from Michael Conforto and a bloop RBI single by designated hitter Gabe Clark.
    Clark went 2-for-2 with two RBIs and Conforto went 1-for-3 with two RBIs, raising his average to .325 and giving him a team-leading 17 RBIs on the season. Third baseman Caleb Hamilton had three RBIs and shortstop Trevor Morrison scored three times, giving him a team-high 16 runs.
    The Beavers on Tuesday play host to the University of Portland at 5:35 p.m. before a four-game series against Northern Illinois that starts Friday.
    CAL STATE FULLERTON 5, OREGON 4 — At Eugene, if all goes well this spring, Oregon will look back on this past weekend as a defining point in the season.
    Ranked No. 9 in the country, the Ducks welcomed No. 5 Cal State Fullerton to PK Park and went away empty handed. The Titans finished off a three-game sweep Sunday, handing Oregon its second straight one-run loss.
    The two teams seemed miles apart Friday, when it took two ninth-inning runs for the Ducks (8-3) to salvage some dignity in a 9-2 defeat. The one-run games Saturday and Sunday were more encouraging, though also more frustrating. In each case, a big early inning for the Titans — helped by wildness from the UO starting pitcher — was the difference.
    "We played well these last two days, we just need a little more to win, a couple breaks our way," said UO second baseman Aaron Payne, who had two opposite-field, RBI singles among his three hits Sunday.
    "That's a really good team over there, and we proved we can play with the best of them. (We'll) keep working, and hopefully we're playing our best baseball at the end of the year."
    Cal State Fullerton (7-3) got the leadoff man on base in all four innings pitched by UO starter Porter Clayton, and again in the ninth when the winning run came around off UO closer Jake Reed. In three of those five innings, the first hitter walked, after the Titans used a hit batter and two walks to spark their two-run inning off UO starter Matt Krook on Saturday.
    After a single and a walk to open the third Sunday, Clayton fielded a comebacker that might have resulted in a double play. Instead he got the lead runner at third, and an RBI double followed. Had Clayton got the double play, an ensuing ground out would have ended the inning; instead it brought in a second run, and Fullerton would tack on a third two batters later.
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