Nicholson Five-Hits Arizona
March 31, 2001
TUCSON, Ariz. - Scott Nicholson pitched a five-hitter to lead Oregon State to an 8-0 win over Arizona in Pacific-10 baseball Saturday afternoon at Sancet Field. OSU (19-11 overall, 3-2 Pacific-10) won for the 11th time in its last 14 games as Nicholson tossed his second shutout in his last three games.
The Beavers and Wildcats (20-16, 3-5) conclude their series Sunday at 1 p.m. PST, and the game can be heard on KLOO-AM (1340).
On a hot, sunny Saturday afternoon, Nicholson did not walk a hitter and struck out four as he needed just 82 pitches to dispose of Arizona. It was his third straight complete game and the fifth of the season for the senior lefthander, his two shutouts this spring tie Nicholson for eighth on OSU's all-time list of single-season leaders.
'He pitched very well, and we played well defensively, too,' Oregon State coach Pat Casey said. After playing from behind in a 5-2 loss on Friday night, the Beavers led 1-0 after one inning and 4-0 after two innings on Saturday.
'We came out and put some pressure on and thought we could run a little,' Casey said. 'Then once we got ahead, we could sit back and hit.'
Nicholson, who improved his record to 6-1 and lowerd his earned run average to 2.90, never left the outcome in any doubt. He thought he had even better control than he'd felt in blanking Minnesota on March 17.
'I think I was a little sharper,' Nicholson said. 'The mound was really flat and I didn't have my best velocity, but I was able to throw the ball where I wanted.
'And they kept swinging at the first pitch. I was able to keep the ball down and all they could do with it was beat it into the ground. That's the key to a low pitch count - having them swing early and get themselves out.'
Nicholson averaged just 9.1 pitches per inning and 2.6 pitches per hitter. Of the 31 plate appearances against him, nine were over in one pitch and eight more were over in two pitches.
'I think Arizona might have gotten a little frustrated, because Scott was good enough that they couldn't get anything they wanted to hit,' Casey said. 'Early in the game, they tried to be patient against him but he was throwing three pitches for strikes. They may have changed their approach later in the game and tried to catch him early (in the at-bat).'
Even on a day when the temperature was in the mid-80s - about 30 degrees warmer than Corvallis has experienced lately - Nicholson wasn't concerned with how he'd have fared if he'd had to throw his usual 110-120 pitches.
'It was a lot warmer, but it wasn't that bad,' Nicholson said. 'I've been in Arizona three or four times before and it was a lot worse than this.'
After going to three-ball, no-strike counts on the first two hitters in the second inning, Nicholson required brief medical attention for a hangnail that had begun bleeding.
'It wasn't affecting how I threw the ball,' Nicholson said. 'It was more that I was thinking about it because I had to wipe my hand on my pants, so I figured it was time to get it taken care of.'
His focus restored, Nicholson retired nine of the next 10 hitters. From the first-aid session on, he faced just just one hitter over the minimum in the next six innings.
It was the second straight week Nicholson had pitched a win after the Beavers lost the first game of a conference series. Senior centerfielder Eric Stark said Nicholson affects OSU with more than his actual pitches.
'He absolutely brings confidence to the mound, and it carries over,' Stark said. 'He's not going to overpower you, but he's not afraid to come in there (with a pitch inside). He's got great confidence on the mound, and we feed off that.'
Stark was 3-for-6 and delivered a run-scoring triple in OSU's three-run second inning that gave the Beavers a 4-0 lead. Bryan Ingram and Chris Biles also delivered run-scoring singles in the inning as Oregon State gave Nicholson plenty of runs to work with.
Stark's triple was the seventh of his career, tying him for seventh place on OSU's list of all-time leaders with Lute Barnes (1967-69), Bob Beall (1968-70), Bob McNair (1978-80) and R.A. Neitzel (1988-90).
Biles went 4-for-5 on the day and drove in a pair of runs, raising his batting average to .404, while Ingram extended his hitting streak to eight games. Jason McBride was also 3-for-5 with a triple for the Beavers while Andy Jarvis and Will Hudson were both 2-for-4 with doubles and Josh Carter was 2-for-5.
Oregon State finished with 17 hits off Arizona pitchers Sean Rierson, Joe Little and Anthony Sulser, it was the eighth time this season the Beavers had 15 or more hits in a game. It was also OSU's first win in Tucson since 1965, with the Beavers having lost eight straight on the Wildcats' home field since then.
Oregon State took the lead immediately, as Stark led off the game with an infield single, stole second and scored on Biles' single to left. After the Beavers went up 4-0 with their three-run second inning, they added a pair of runs in the fifth when McBride led off with a triple to right-centerfield and scored on Carter's groundout, then Jarvis singled and eventually scored on Hudson's double inside the rightfield line.
OSU tacked on a run in the sixth as consecutive singles by Biles, McBride and Carter made it 7-0. The final runn scored in the ninth as Carter and Jarvis began the inning with back-to-back doubles down the leftfield line.
OREGON STATE 8, ARIZONA 0
Oregon State 130 021 001 - 8 17 1Arizona 000 000 000 - 0 5 0
Nicholson and Ingram. Rierson, Little (5), Sulser (9) and Riley, Cunningham (9). WP-Nicholson (6-1) . LP-Rierson (3-4). 2B-Carter (OSU), Jarvis (OSU), Hudson (OSU). 3B-Stark (OSU), McBride (OSU).
HITS: Oregon State 17 (Stark 3x6, Ingram 1x5, Biles 4x5, McBride 3x5, Carter 2x5, Jarvis 2x4, Hudson 2x4), Arizona 5 (Hassey 1x4, Durazo 1x4, Abram 1x3, Kaiser 2x3). RUNS BATTED IN: Oregon State 8 (Stark 1, Ingram 1, Biles 1, McBride 1, Carter 2, Jrvis 1, Hudson 1), Arizona 0.
Oregon State 8 (19-11,3-2 Pac-10) Arizona 0 (20-16,3-5 Pac-10) AB R H RBI AB R H RBIStark cf 6 2 3 1 Hassey ss 4 0 1 0Ingram c 5 1 1 1 Torres 3b 4 0 0 0Biles lf 5 1 4 1 Durazo 1b 4 0 1 0Howard lf 0 0 0 0 Duncan rf 4 0 0 0McBride dh 5 1 3 1 Abram 2b 3 0 1 0Carter rf 5 1 2 2 Anderson cf 3 0 0 0Jarvis 1b 4 1 2 1 Kaiser dh 3 0 2 0Barden 3b 5 0 0 0 Bried pr 0 0 0 0Hudson ss 4 1 2 1 Riley c 2 0 0 0Copeland 2b 4 0 0 0 Tasco ph 1 0 0 0Nicholson p 0 0 0 0 Cunningham c 0 0 0 0 St. Clair lf 3 0 0 0 Shroyer lf 0 0 0 0 Rierson p 0 0 0 0 Little p 0 0 0 0 Sulser p 0 0 0 0Totals...... 43 8 17 8 Totals...... 31 0 5 0
Score by innings: R H E----------------------------------------------Oregon State 130 021 001 - 8 17 1Arizona 000 000 000 - 0 5 0----------------------------------------------
E - Copeland. DP - Oregon St. 1. LOB - Oregon St. 11, Arizona 4. 2B -Carter, Jarvis, Hudson. 3B - Stark, McBride. SH - Copeland. SB - Stark 2.CS - Kaiser.
IP H R ER BB SO WP BK HP IBB AB BF Fly GndOregon StateNicholson W 6-1 9.0 5 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 0 31 31 9 12ArizonaRierson L 3-4 4.2 11 6 6 0 3 1 0 1 0 24 26 6 5Little 3.1 6 2 2 0 4 1 0 0 0 16 16 4 2Sulser 1.0 0 0 0 1 2 1 0 0 0 3 4 1 0
WP - Rierson, Little, Sulser. HBP - by Rierson (Jarvis).
Strikeouts - Stark, Ingram 3, McBride, Barden, Copeland 3, Hassey, Torres,St. Clair 2. Walks - Hudson.
Umpires - Home:Dave Perez 1st:Chuck Lyon 3rd:Terry MannStart: 1:05 pm Time: 2:22 Attendance: 925Little faced 2 batters in the 9th.
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