The Huskies dropped two of the three games on the road at Oregon State this weekend. Less than stellar starting pitching and an offense that failed to execute in clutch moments contributed to the disappointing weekend against the 19th ranked Beavers.
Game one of the series was rained out on Friday night but was played on Saturday instead. A one out double by Robert Pehl drove in Jayce Ray in the first inning to put the Dawgs ahead. It was a pitchers’ duel after that. Husky starter Aaron West did not allow at hit until the fourth inning when the Beavers strung three consecutive hits together to tie the game at one run apiece. Pitchers for both teams held firm from there. From the fifth inning to the ninth, both teams combined for no runs and just five hits, and the game went to extras. With runners on first and third in the top of the tenth, Husky shortstop Ty Afenir executed a squeeze bunt to put the Huskies on top, and Joe Meggs added insurance with a two out single later in the inning to drive in Jacob Lamb. With a two run lead, Washington closer, Joshua Fredendall entered the game to get the save. Fredendall got an out before walking two straight batters, and was replaced by Nick Palewicz who was able to get the final two outs, but not without OSU plating one runner. Palewicz got his first save of the year and reliever Tyler Kane, who threw 2.2 scoreless innings, got his first win of the year.
The second game of the double header was dominated by the Oregon State. They scored five runs off of freshman starter Tyler Davis in less than five innings. Beaver bats accumulated four more against reliever Steven Swift. The Husky bats could not answer. They threatened in the fifth when they loaded the bases with no men out, but were retired with a strikeout, infield pop-up, and another strikeout to keep them scoreless. They were outhit 15-7 in the game as they lost 9-0 in the second game of the series.
The usually poor Oregon State defense had been solid for most of the weekend, but finally faltered in game three of the series. They allowed two unearned runs in the first inning, but the always solid Beaver offense got those back with a two run homerun in the bottom of the first by Michael Conforto. The Dawgs scored another unearned run in the top of the second to retake the lead 3-2. Washington starter Austin Voth settled down and contributed three hitless innings, but did not last through the fifth and finished the day after giving up four runs on three hits with three walks and six strikeouts. Reliever Nick Palewicz allowed OSU to score an insurance run in the seventh to put the Beavers up 5-3. The Husky offense threatened in the eighth and ninth innings, but failed to capitalize on opportunities. In fact, Washington had the bases loaded with one out in the ninth, but failed to push the tying run across the plate.
This was a disappointing weekend for the Huskies. It was their first series lost in PAC 12 play, and they move to 3-3 in conference. The bats did not show up for the Dawgs, and they did not score a singled earned run in the last two games of the series. They had plenty their opportunities to score, but could not take advantage as demonstrated by their 23 men left on base over the weekend. With one or two timely hits in the last two innings of game three, Washington probably would have returned to Seattle with a series win.
The starting pitching also struggled this weekend. Both Tyler Davis and Austin Voth were driven from the game before finishing five innings of work, which is quite uncharacteristic of Husky starters recently. The defense was stellar as usual, however, as they did not allow an error in the three game set.
The Huskies can take some comfort in the knowledge that this loss was to a very good team. However, they better get used to the high level of competition because they have a three game set against third ranked Stanford ahead of them this week.