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MailTribune.com
  • Thorpe rebounds, leads Ducks to easy win over Buckeyes

  • EUGENE — Tommy Thorpe rebounded from a bad outing with a dominant performance to lead No. 14 Oregon to an 8-2 nonconference win over Ohio State in Game 1 of a three-game series at PK Park on Friday night.
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  • EUGENE — Tommy Thorpe rebounded from a bad outing with a dominant performance to lead No. 14 Oregon to an 8-2 nonconference win over Ohio State in Game 1 of a three-game series at PK Park on Friday night.
    Thorpe (2-1) struck out a career-high 10 batters while limiting the Buckeyes to just two hits in seven scoreless innings. The Ducks' junior lefty allowed just two base runners giving up a leadoff single in the third and a one-out single in the sixth.
    Thorpe's seven shutout innings helped Oregon (11-3) extend a streak of scoreless innings against the Buckeyes, that started in game one of a three-game series in Columbus, Ohio, last season, to 30. Ohio State (7-4) finally scored in the eighth to end the streak that started in the seventh inning of an 11-inning win by Oregon in Game 1 of that series. Oregon shut out the Buckeyes in the final two games last season, a scoreless streak that reached 23 innings coming into Friday night's game.
    Thorpe got plenty of help from the Ducks' offense with most of it coming in a seven-run fourth inning. Oregon entered the fourth leading 1-0 and wasted no time getting to OSU starter Greg Greve (2-1).
    Junior Kyle Garlick started the rally with a one-out triple deep to left field and scored on a single by junior designated hitter J.B. Bryant. Freshman shortstop Mark Karaviotis made it 3-0 with a sacrifice fly to left field that scored fellow freshman A.J. Balta.
    The Ducks added three more run-scoring hits in the inning. Freshman Austin Grebeck delivered a two-run single up the middle that drove in Bryant and freshman Jack Kruger. Senior Tyler Baumgartner picked up two RBI with a single to right field that scored senior Aaron Payne and Grebeck. Sophomore Mitchell Tolman, who popped out to lead off the inning, capped the scoring with a double to right-center field that scored Baumgartner.
    Garlick extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a 2-for-4 night with a run scored. Baumgartner had his eighth multi-hit game of the season going 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored. Austin Grebeck had a season-high two RBI, while J.B. Bryant went 2-for-4 with a run scored and a RBI.
    The Ducks and Buckeyes will meet in Game 2 of the series today at 4 p.m. at PK Park.
    OREGON STATE 6, NORTHERN ILLINOIS 0 — At Corvallis, Oregon State lefty Ben Wetzler had a career-high 12 strikeouts and allowed only one hit over eight masterful innings in a victory over Northern Illinois before a crowd of 2,627 at Goss Stadium.
    Starting on four days rest after a late change in the weekend rotation, the senior from Clackamas High School fanned at least one Husky in every inning except the sixth and recorded five consecutive outs on strikeouts over the fourth and fifth innings. His former career highwas 10, in a 6-1 victory over Texas A&M last June 2 in the championship game of the 2013 NCAA Corvallis Regional; he moved into 10th place on Oregon State's career strikeout list with 225.
    The Huskies' only hit was an opposite-field double by Alex Klonowski with one out in the fourth inning; he was their last baserunner. Wetzler allowed just two baserunners overall, retired the final 14 Huskies he faced in order and threw 67 strikes in 105 pitches.
    Wetzler won his 12th consecutive decision over the past two seasons to tie Jonah Nickerson for seventh on Oregon State's (11-3 overall) career victory list with 26. His .813 (26-6) winning percentage ranks fifth overall.
    Left fielder Michael Conforto singled, doubled, walked twice and drove in three runs for the Beavers.
    Second baseman Andy Peterson added two doubles and two runs.
    Held hitless for 22/3 innings by NIU (1-9-1) starter Eli Anderson, the Beavers finally broke through with two outs in the third. Shortstop Trever Morrison singled and was doubled to third by Peterson; both scored when Conforto ripped a single into right field.
    Peterson and Conforto teamed up again in the fifth. Peterson legged out a double to left-center field and Conforto followed with a laser shot that landed on the right-field line and bounded into the corner for another double and his third RBI.
    Gabe Clark tripled leading off the sixth inning and scored on center fielder Michael Howard's single to make it 4-0 and Howard subsequently scored on a wild pitch. Clark drove in Oregon State's sixth and final run in the seventh.
    Reliever Chandler Eden struck out two in a perfect ninth to complete the Beavers' third shutout in an efficient two hours, 11 minutes, their fastest game of the season. Oregon State pitchers have allowed no runs and three hits in two games this week; Jake Thompson and Trent Sheldon teamed up to two-hit Portland in a 5-0 win at Goss Stadium this past Tuesday.
    The Beavers stretched their winning streak to three games in a row. They are 7-1 since losing consecutive games to Nebraska and Michigan State on Feb. 21-22 at the Aramark Pac-12-Big Ten Challenge in Surprise, Ariz., and 5-1 in the current 10-game homestand.
    The series resumes today with a 12:35 pm. doubleheader at Goss Stadium.
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