LOS ANGELES — Ben Wetzler spun a three-hit shutout to send the top-ranked Oregon State baseball team to its second consecutive Pac-12 Conference Championship as the Beavers defeated USC 2-0 Saturday at Dedeaux Field.
Wetzler allowed two singles and a double and was aided by a staunch Oregon State defense for his 11th win of the season. It was his second consecutive complete-game shutout and the lefty struck out five to enable the Beavers to win the Pac-12 crown outright. OSU had officially clinched at least a share Friday night when Washington was defeated by UCLA.
The Oregon State defense turned four double plays behind Wetzler and Jeff Hendrix robbed Timmy Robinson of a home run in the ninth to seal the shutout. The shutout was the 14th of the season for the Beavers (42-11, 23-6 Pac-12), extending a school-record.
Wetzler lowered his earned run average to a nation-leading 0.76 and he tied teammate Jace Fry for the Pac-12 with the 11th win.
The Beavers forced USC (28-24, 15-14) starter Wyatt Strahan to throw 37 pitches in the first, and got to the pitcher to the tune of two runs on two hits — both with two outs. Jeff Hendrix and Michael Conforto both walked early in the inning and were driven in on singles by Gabe Clark and Kavin Keyes.
The RBI marked Keyes' first since April 12 at Washington State.
Strahan took the loss to drop to 6-5 this season. The USC righty tossed 126 pitches in seven innings, scattering two runs and three hits while striking out five. His pitch count was elevated, however, due to eight walks. Michael Conforto took two of those walks, giving him 49 for the season. That moves him past Rich Dodge (1977) for most in a season by an OSU player.
The Beavers also managed just three hits, with Clark, Keyes and Logan Ice pitching in with one apiece.
The teams end the regular season today with a 12:05 p.m. first pitch at Dedeaux Field. The game can be seen live on the Pac-12 Networks.
CALIFORNIA 5, OREGON 3 — At Eugene, Oregon rallied but couldn't overcome a five-run deficit against California as the Golden Bears claimed the series against the Ducks at PK Park.
The Bears (26-27, 13-17 Pac-12) scored four runs in the second inning off Oregon starter Brando Tessar and then added a run in the fifth to push the lead to 5-0. Vince Bruno came through with the big hit in the second picking up a two-run single to chase Tessar (4-2).
The Ducks (42-18, 18-12 Pac-12) got three runs back in the bottom of the fifth to get within two runs. Nick Catalano doubled to left field to score Steven Packard with the first run. Mark Karaviotis drove in Catalano with a RBI single to right and then scored on an Aaron Payne single.
Cal closer Trevor Hildenberger shut down Oregon's hopes of a rally for a win allowing just one hit in the final three innings while fanning three for his 10th save. Ryan Mason (7-1) picked up the win for the Bears allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits in six innings.
Oregon will find out what NCAA Regional site it will play at on Monday morning when ESPNU televises the selection show at 9 a.m.