Beavers shut out California
BERKELEY, Calif. — To say Jace Fry was sharp in Sunday's start against California would be an understatement.
Fry was dominating Sunday, holding California to just one hit in a complete-game shutout of the Golden Bears in the Beavers' 5-0 win at Evans Diamond. The win gave Oregon State a sweep of California, the team's fourth in Pac-12 Conference play this season.
Fry's lone hit allowed came in the third when Vince Bruno opened the third with a single. He was, however, quickly erased as Fry forced the next batter, Robbie Tenerowicz, into a double play.
The outing marked Fry's third complete-game shutout of the season and second in Pac-12 play after doing so against Utah.
He's allowed just two hits in his last 17 innings of work after holding Oregon to one hit in eight innings last week. Fry had 11 strikeouts in the win over the Ducks; against Cal, he finished with six.
The lefty improved to 9-1 this season with the win, taking six of those victories against conference foes.
Michael Conforto led Oregon State's offensive charge with a 3-for-3 effort, driving in a team-high three runs. Jeff Hendrix also tallied two hits for the Beavers, who finished with seven hits overall.
Conforto got the Beavers on the board, and in a hurry. He lined a 1-0 offering from Cal starter Ryan Mason into the foul pole in right for his fifth home run of the season, a shot that put OSU up 2-0.
He and Dylan Davis added to the Beavers' (34-8, 17-4 Pac-12 Conference) lead in the third. Conforto doubled home a run, then scored himself as Davis poked a single to center to drive in two and push the Beavers' advantage to 5-0.
California's Mason was saddled with his first loss of the season after going eight innings in his sixth start of the season. The righty allowed seven hits and five runs while striking out one. He's 4-1 on the year.
The sweep gave the Beavers their 10th straight win over the Golden Bears (19-24, 7-14). It's OSU's longest over a conference foe since winning 10 consecutive over Washington from 1967-71.
Oregon State visits Oregon Tuesday night for a non-conference game at PK Park in Eugene that begins at 6:05 p.m.
OREGON 5, ARIZONA 1 — At Eugene, Shaun Chase entered the on-deck circle prior to his final at-bat hitting a cool .396 in Pac-12 play this season.
Oregon led 1-0 in the bottom of the eighth, and had runners on second and third with one out. Conventional wisdom said Arizona would be wise to walk Steven Packard and load the bases for Chase, setting up a possible inning-ending double play, or a force out at home.
Conventional wisdom was wrong.
Chase continued a torrid hot streak and capped a monster weekend with a grand slam to deep left-center field, the exclamation point on Oregon's victory over the Wildcats at PK Park. The Ducks completed a sweep of Arizona.
"It's always a shot in the stomach when someone gets intentionally walked in front of you," said Chase, who was 7-for-11 with three homers on the weekend. "It means they want to pitch to you instead of him. I was like, 'All right, I'm down with that.'"
Brando Tessar, making his first weekend conference start in two years, enjoyed his third straight outing of seven scoreless innings to earn the win for the Ducks (34-13, 13-8 Pac-12). Oregon experienced a successful recovery from being swept at OSU the week before, and plays its next two conference series on the road, at Arizona State and UCLA.
"It was good to come out, especially on Friday night, come out and get back into feeling good," said UO third baseman Mitchell Tolman, whose sixth-inning home run onto the roof of the Player Development Area in right field looked for a while Sunday like it might be Oregon's only run. "Obviously the win helps, but I just thought we played well all weekend."
A big share of the credit goes to Chase. A career .194 hitter entering this season, the junior catcher is up to .408 in Pac-12 games this spring, which would be No. 2 in the conference were he not five plate appearances shy of qualifying for the leaderboard.
Chase's two home runs Friday powered Oregon's 6-1 victory and he singled to open the 10th inning Saturday, with a pinch runner eventually scoring the winning run. Then on Sunday, Chase had two more hits, the latter crushed toward one of the deepest parts of cavernous PK Park.
"When you have power to all fields, especially here, it's really impressive and a lot of fun to watch," Tolman said.
Chase's grand slam overshadowed some clutch pitching by the UO staff, beginning with Tessar, the fifth different Duck to start in that spot in the rotation this season. A senior from Simi Valley, Calif., Tessar started five Pac-12 games in 2012 before his career was thrown off-track by injuries.
Primarily a midweek starter the last two months, Tessar had a scoreless streak of 151/3 innings entering Sunday, and he tacked on seven more against the Wildcats. Tessar (4-0) earned his first victory in a conference start since April 1, 2012.
"I've been working hard to get back in there," Tessar said. "It's been a long process, and it felt really good to help the team."
Lacking feel for his changeup and suffering from inconsistent fastball command, Tessar relied on his curveball to keep the Wildcats at bay. He first found significant trouble in the sixth, allowing two runners before striking out three straight to end the threat.
Tessar pumped his fist as he left the mound and headed toward the dugout.