Ahlstrom fans career-high 10, Ducks blank Beavers
CORVALLIS, Ore. – Robert Ahlstrom struck out a career-high 10 while Tanner Smith and Kenyon Yovan combined for six RBI to lead Oregon to a 7-0 win over No. 17 Oregon State in the opening game of a three-game nonconference series at Goss Stadium on Friday night.
The shutout was the first for Oregon against Oregon State in 32 games, with the last one coming on May 17, 2013, when the Ducks handed the Beavers a 3-0 loss in the first game of a three-game series at PK Park. The Ducks' only other shutout of OSU in the modern era came in a 6-0 win over the Beavers in Eugene on May 29, 2011, to end the season and secure a three-game sweep.
How It Happened: Ahlstrom, who dominated from the first pitch against the Beavers (10-2), allowed just three base runners in seven innings with none of them advancing past first base.
The Ducks lefty gave up singles in both the first and second innings with one out, but retired the next two hitters in both innings. After the second hit, Ahlstrom (1-0) retired the next eight batters (five on strikeouts) before giving up a leadoff single in the top bottom of the fifth. He fanned the next two Beavers before getting a ground out to end the inning.
At one point, Ahlstrom retired 17 of 18 Beavers including 10 on strikeouts. He fanned multiple hitters in four different innings and had four 1-2-3 innings.
Big innings have been the key to Oregon's success this season and that was the case again on Friday night. Oregon (7-2) jumped on OSU in the second inning scoring four runs off Oregon State starter Kevin Abel (1-2). Cleanup hitter Aaron Zavala led off the inning with a walk, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on a Josh Kasevich RBI single through the right side to give the Ducks a 1-0 lead.
Sam Novitske followed with a single up the middle and freshman Bryce Boettcher loaded the bases after being hit by a pitch. After an out, Smith laced a bases-clearing triple into the right-center field gap to put the Ducks up 4-0.
The game stayed that way until the fifth. Yovan led off the inning with a solo home run to right field, his fifth of the season in just five games.
The Ducks tacked on two more in the sixth against reliever Will Frisch. Boettcher reached to start the inning with his second HBP of the game. He stole second and moved to third on a Gavin Grant sacrifice fly after Jack Scanlon walked. With runners on second and third, Smith delivered again with a RBI single to center plating Boettcher. Yovan followed with a single to center scoring Scanlon to make it 7-0.
Inside the Box Score: Yovan went 2-for-5 with a home run and two RBI with a run scored … He has reached base in all five games he has played, while homering in the last four … Yovan had his fourth multi-hit and multi-RBI games of the season … Smith went 2-for-5 with a triple and four RBI … It was his third multi-hit game of the season, as well as his third multi-RBI game … He has reached base in all nine of Oregon's games this season … Aaron Zavala's walk in the seventh inning ran his reached base streak to nine games … Three Oregon pitchers combined for 12 strikeouts, marking the sixth time this season Oregon's pitching staff has had double-digit Ks … The 12-strikeout game was the second straight for the staff, the second time this season Oregon has had at least 10 strikeouts in back-to-back games (10/16 vs. Seattle on Feb. 27-28) … Despite scoring seven runs, Oregon's hitters fanned a season-high 16 times … It was Oregon's third game with double-digit Ks.
Beyond The Box Score: In his two starts this season, Ahlstrom has allowed no runs in 10 innings on just five hits with 14 strikeouts and one walk … Opponents are batting .143 against him … Yovan became the first Duck in the modern era to homer in four straight games … Spencer Steer was the last to homer in three in a row when he hit one in each game of a series at UC Irvine from May 4-6, 2018 … In three Friday games this season, Smith has combined to hit .462 (6-for-13) with two home runs, 10 RBI, two triples, a double and three runs scored ... Senior first-baseman Gabe Matthews had his fifth hit of the season, each one a double … Head coach Mark Wasikowski picked up a win in his first game as head coach against in-state rival Oregon State.
Waz Said It: "It was a good opening night win here at Oregon State. Robbie Ahlstrom was dominant tonight. I thought the pitching coach (Jake) Angier put together tonight, Ahlstrom going seven innings with a very low pitch count, which was nice to see. Hunter Breault and Nico Tellache, really good performances for all three for all three of those kids. Then the big hit. Tanner Smith gets a big hit early in the ball game to clear the bases with the triple. There were a lot of really good at-bats against a tough pitcher in (Kevin) Abel, and we were able to break him down a little bit and come out on top with a Friday night win at Oregon State. It was a good day for the Ducks."
On Deck: The two teams will play game two of the series Saturday at 1:35 p.m. The Ducks will send Cullen Kafka (0-0, 1.00) to the mound while the Beavers counter with Cooper Hjerpe (1-0, 1.69).