Nicholson's Four-Hitter Sparks Sweep

March 17, 2001

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Scott Nicholson pitched a four-hitter as Oregon State beat Minnesota 2-0 in non-league baseball Saturday afternoon at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field, starting the Beavers on their way to a doubleheader sweep. OSU used a five-run fifth inning to take the second game 8-4.

OSU (15-9 overall, 0-0 Pacific-10) takes a four-game winning streak into the series finale, set for Sunday at 11 a.m. The game can be heard on KLOO-AM (1340).

Saturday's sweep gives OSU six wins in its last seven games and 15 wins in its last 21 games. Minnesota (9-9, 0-0 Big Ten), the defending Big Ten champion, saw its four-game winning streak end.

'These were good wins for our club,' Nicholson said. 'We've got our confidence back, and we're starting to come together as a team. Everyone understands their part, and we're headed in the right direction.'

The doubleheader marked the first-ever visit by a Big Ten team to OSU's ballpark in its 95-year history, and Nicholson got the day off to a good start. The lefthander struck out eight and walked just two in recording OSU's first nine-inning, complete-game shutout in over two years.

Statistically, it was Nicholson's best outing in his two seasons at OSU, he said it also felt the best.

'I didn't have my best fastball, but I was able to throw it where I wanted,' said Nicholson, who improved his record to 4-1 and lowerd his earned run average to 3.75. 'I felt good all the way through ... it makes you feel like you can't be hit. I wish it felt like that every time out.

'You can't have your best stuff every day, but I had it today. The days you're not at your best, you leave a few balls up and give up a couple of runs.'

The two wins, and Nicholson's outing, made for a happy birthday for OSU head coach Pat Casey.

'People come out and watch somebody throw 90 miles per hour and say he's a (pro) prospect,' Casey said. 'Then you've got guys like Scott who come out and do what (Seattle Mariner) Jamie Moyer does - change speed, change directions - and get guys out because it's effective.

'When Scott is pitching and the yard plays big the way it did today, we've got a great chance.'

The last time the Beavers got a nine-inning complete-game shutout came early in the 1999 season, when B.R. Cook one-hit Oklahoma State in a 1-0 victory in San Diego. OSU has recorded two shutouts this season, its most since posting three shutouts in 1998.

The Beavers got the only run they'd need in the bottom of the sixth inning off reliever Jason Shupe. Eric Stark singled and advanced to third on a groundout and a balk, then scored on Josh Carter's groundball. The Beavers added an insurance run on Jason McBride's run-scoring single in the bottom of the eighth.

Minnesota freshman Jay Gagner, making his first start after beginning the season as a reliever, had kept things deadlocked by scattering three hits over five scoreless innings.

In the second game, the Beavers scored five runs on three hits and three Gopher errors in the bottom of the fifth inning to take an 8-3 lead. Chris Biles had a two-run double and Carter added a run-scoring double to chase Minnesota starter Craig Moldrem.

OSU still led 8-4 going to the top of the eighth inning, when the Beavers needed some big plays by freshman catcher Paul Richie to get out of a jam. With runners at second and third and one out, Richie had to block a pair of pitches from Jed Mitchell to Sam Steidl that bounced well in front of the plate, preventing a run from scoring.

After Steidl walked to load the bases, Beaver closer Stephen Copleand was brought into the game and fanned Kurt Haring for the second out. With Jack Hannahan - who had homered in his previous at-bat - at the plate, Copeland delivered a pitch in the dirt and Richie managed to keep the ball in front of him and deflect it up the third baseline.

Luke Appert, the runner at second base, thought the ball was getting away from Richie and broke for third, the Beavers caught him in a rundown. Scott Howard, the runner at third, then tried for the plate and OSU's rundown went from Richie to shortstop Will Hudson to Copeland to third baseman Brian Barden to Hudson for the inning-ending tag near the plate.

'We practice that all the time,' Casey laughed. 'The 2-6-1-5-6 play ... I don't know if you blueprint that, but Paul made a great play. He blocked the ball and ran it down, and then Will ran all the way in from shortstop to make the play.'

Oregon State's Andy Jarvis hit his ninth home run of the year in the second game, an opposite-field blow to left-centerfield with the bases empty in the second inning. Barden had a two-run single in the second game, extending his hitting streak to 12 games.

Craig Hays earned the win in relief for OSU, improving to 3-2 this spring. Copeland picked up his fourth save, the most for a Beaver in a season since Mike Boire had a school-record eight saves in 1997.

OREGON STATE 2, MINNESOTA 0 - FIRST GAME

Minnesota 	000 000 000 - 0 4 2Oregon State	000 001 01x - 2 7 1

Gagner, Shupe (6) and Holthaus. Nicholson and Ingram. WP-Nicholson (4-1). LP-Shupe (1-1). 2B-Ingram (OSU).

HITS: Minnesota 4 (Haring 1x4, Holthaus 2x4, Welch 1x3), Oregon State 7 (Stark 1x3, Ingram 1x4, McBride 1x4, Barden 1x4, Biles 1x1, Hudson 2x3). RUNS BATTED IN: Minnesota 0, Oregon State 2 (Carter 1, McBride 1).

OREGON STATE 8, MINNESOTA 4 - SECOND GAME

Minnesota	000 120 100 - 4 10 4Oregon State	010 250 00x - 8  8 4

Molldrem, Kobow (5) and Beaulieu, Holthaus (8). McLemore, Hays (4), Wilkins (7), Mitchell (8), Copeland (8) and Richie, Ingram (9). WP-Hays (3-2). LP-Molldrem (0-1). SV-Copeland (4). 2B-Appert (UM), Biles (OSU), Carter (OSU). HR-Hanrahan (UM), Jarvis (OSU).

HITS: Minnesota 10 (Haring 2x5, Hannahan 1x3, Holthaus 1x4, Kennedy 1x4, Welch 1x4, Howard 2x4, Pattee 1x3, Appert 1x1), Oregon State 8 (Stark 1x4, Biles 1x4, Carter 1x3, Jarvis 1x4, Barden 1x4, Davis 1x4, McBride 1x1, Reynolds 1x1). RUNS BATTED IN: Minnesota 4 (Haring 1, Hannahan 1, Holthaus 2), Oregon State 6 (Biles 2, Carter 1, Jarvis 1, Barden 2).

FIRST GAME

Minnesota 0 (9-8) Oregon State 2 (14-9) AB R H RBI AB R H RBIGuetzlaff cf 4 0 0 0 Stark cf 3 1 1 0Haring dh 4 0 1 0 Ingram c 4 0 1 0Hannahan 3b 2 0 0 0 Carter rf 2 0 0 1Holthaus c 4 0 2 0 McBride dh 4 0 1 1Kennedy rf 4 0 0 0 TenPas pr 0 0 0 0Appert 2b 4 0 0 0 Barden 3b 4 0 1 0Howard lf 3 0 0 0 Davis 1b 2 0 0 0LaRue 1b 3 0 0 0 Jarvis 1b 1 0 0 0Welch ss 3 0 1 0 Pietsch lf 2 0 0 0Gagner p 0 0 0 0 Biles ph/lf 1 0 1 0Shupe p 0 0 0 0 Reynolds 2b 2 0 0 0 Gordon 2b 1 0 0 0 Hudson ss 3 1 2 0 Nicholson p 0 0 0 0Totals...... 31 0 4 0 Totals...... 29 2 7 2

Score by innings: R H E----------------------------------------------Minnesota 000 000 000 - 0 4 2Oregon State 000 001 01 - 2 7 1----------------------------------------------

E - Hannahan, Welch, Reynolds. DP - Minnesota 2. LOB - Minnesota 6, OregonSt. 6. 2B - Ingram. SH - Stark. SB - Hannahan.

IP H R ER BB SO WP BK HP IBB AB BF Fly GndMinnesotaGagner 5.0 3 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 17 18 7 5Shupe L 1-1 3.0 4 2 2 0 0 0 1 1 0 12 14 3 5Oregon StateNicholson W 4-1 9.0 4 0 0 2 8 0 0 0 0 31 33 12 6

HBP - by Shupe (Carter). BK - Shupe. PB - Ingram.

Strikeouts - Guetzlaff, Haring 2, Kennedy 2, Howard, LaRue 2, Stark. Walks- Hannahan 2, Carter.

Umpires - Home:Dave Perez 1st:Kendall Snyder 3rd:Randy KnuthsStart: 11:01 AM Time: 2:07 Attendance: TBA

SECOND GAME

Minnesota 4 (9-9) Oregon State 8 (15-9) AB R H RBI AB R H RBIGuetzlaff cf 4 0 0 0 Stark cf 4 1 1 0Steidl ph/cf 0 0 0 0 Biles lf 4 2 1 2Haring dh 5 1 2 1 Carter rf 3 2 1 1Hannahan 3b 3 2 1 1 Jarvis 1b 4 1 1 1Holthaus 1b/c 4 0 1 2 Barden 3b 4 0 1 2Kennedy rf 4 0 1 0 Davis dh 4 0 1 0Welch ss 4 0 1 0 TenPas pr 0 0 0 0Howard lf 4 0 2 0 Hudson ss 4 0 0 0Pattee 2b 3 1 1 0 Richie c 3 1 0 0Appert ph/2b 1 0 1 0 McBride ph 1 0 1 0Beaulieu c 2 0 0 0 Ingram pr/c 0 0 0 0Roach ph/1b 1 0 0 0 Reynolds 2b 1 1 1 0Molldrem p 0 0 0 0 Gordon 2b 2 0 0 0Kobow p 0 0 0 0 McLemore p 0 0 0 0 Hays p 0 0 0 0 Wilkins p 0 0 0 0 Mitchell p 0 0 0 0 Copeland p 0 0 0 0Totals...... 35 4 10 4 Totals...... 34 8 8 6

Score by innings: R H E----------------------------------------------Minnesota 000 120 100 - 4 10 4Oregon State 010 250 00 - 8 8 4----------------------------------------------

E - Welch 2, Pattee, Molldrem, Hudson, Reynolds 2, McLemore. DP - OregonSt. 1. LOB - Minnesota 11, Oregon St. 4. 2B - Appert, Biles, Carter. HR -Hannahan, Jarvis. SB - Biles. CS - Howard 2, Reynolds.

IP H R ER BB SO WP BK HP IBB AB BF Fly GndMinnesotaMolldrem L 0-1 4.0 6 8 5 1 0 0 0 1 0 19 21 7 4Kobow 4.0 2 0 0 0 4 0 1 0 0 15 15 2 6Oregon StateMcLemore 3.1 3 1 0 3 2 0 0 0 0 12 15 3 4Hays W 3-2 3.1 5 3 3 2 2 1 1 0 0 14 16 1 6Wilkins 0.2 2 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 4 5 2 0Mitchell 0.0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0Copeland S,4 1.2 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 5 5 2 0

WP - Hays. HBP - by Molldrem (Reynolds). BK - Kobow, Hays.

Strikeouts - Guetzlaff, Haring 2, Welch 2, Howard, Stark, Hudson 2, Gordon.Walks - Steidl, Hannahan 2, Holthaus, Kennedy, Welch, Beaulieu, Carter.

Umpires - Home:Kendall Snyder 1st:Randy Knuths 3rd:Dave PerezStart: 1:38 PM Time: 3:01 Attendance: 342Molldrem faced 5 batters in the 5th.Mitchell faced 1 batter in the 8th.

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