Kafka, Mosiello combine to shut out Beavers again
CORVALLIS, Ore. – Cullen Kafka and Andrew Mosiello combined on a four-hit shutout to lead Oregon to a 3-0 nonconference win over Oregon State at Goss Field on Saturday afternoon.
Oregon's second shutout in as many days against the Beavers, clinched a series win in Corvallis for the Ducks for just the second time since baseball returned before the 2009 season. The Ducks also won a series in Corvallis in 2016, winning two of three Pac-12 Conference games that season.
How It Happened: Like Robert Ahlstrom on Friday, Kafka was dominant from the get-go against the Beavers (10-3). The junior right-hander struck out three of the four batters he faced in the first inning on his way to a career-best eight strikeouts.
While Ahlstrom cruised in game one allowing just three base runners in seven innings with none reaching second base, Kafka had to pitch in pressure situations in two of his five innings. Oregon State (10-3) put runners on second and third in the second inning, but Kafka was able to wriggle out of trouble with his fifth strikeout of the game to end the inning.
In the fourth, Kafka hit a pair of Beavers to put runners at first and second but he was able to get out of it again with another strikeout to end the inning. Oregon State put runners on base in all five of Kafka's inning, but he finished three of them with strikeouts and got out of the other two with weak ground balls.
While Kafka was dominant working around a bit of wildness (4 walks, 2 HBP), Mosiello might have been even better. The second-year freshman relieved Kafka in the sixth and proceeded to toss a career-high four innings allowing just two base runners. He retired all three hitters he faced in two of his four innings and got out of the two innings where runners reached with a strikeout and a double play.
Like on Friday, a big inning from Oregon's offense broke the game open. After the first two batters were retired, Oregon strung together three two-out hits, a walk and then another hit to score three runs.
Gabe Matthews started the rally with one of his three hits. He moved to second on an Aaron Zavala base hit and then they both scored on a Josh Kasevich triple into the right-field corner. After Sam Novitske walked, Robby Ashford beat out an infield chopper to score Kasevich for his first career RBI. Ashford would then help secure the win in the bottom of the ninth with an incredible diving catch in the right-field gap.
Inside the Box Score: Matthews had three of Oregon's eight hits, marking the 47th time (2nd this season) he has had multiple hits in a game during his career … Kenyon Yovan went 2-for-4 for his fifth multi-hit game of the season … He has reached base in all six games he has played … Yovan had his fifth multi-hit game of the season … Kasevich's two RBI gave him four multiple-RBI games this season and five in his career … All five of Kasevich's career multi-RBI games have come in his last 11 games … Aaron Zavala walked and singled to extend his reached base streak to 10 games … Tanner Smith had his consecutive games reaching base streak snapped at nine … Kafka and Mosiello combined for 11 strikeouts, marking the seventh time this season Oregon's pitching staff has had double-digit Ks … The 11-strikeout game was the third straight double-digit strikeout outing for the staff, the first time this season Oregon has had at least 10 strikeouts in three consecutive games … Oregon's hitters fanned 11 times Saturday, which comes on the heals of a season-high 16 Ks in game one of the series … It was Oregon's fourth game with double-digit Ks.
Outside the Box Score: The last time Oregon's pitching staff had back-to-back shutouts was in 2017 when the Ducks blanked Santa Clara 10-0 and 3-0 on March 11-12 … Oregon has now shutout Oregon State four times in modern era history … The Ducks first held OSU without a run on May 29, 2011, to end the season and secure a three-game sweep … The second shutout happened on May 17, 2013.
Waz Said It: "It was a really good college baseball game. A lot of good arms. We got some very good starting pitching out of Cullen Kafka, and then Andrew Mosiello came in for a four-inning stint and was outstanding. Clutch hitting by Josh Kasevich amongst other guys to be able to get the three-run inning to where we had an opportunity to come out on top in a very good college baseball game against a very good opponent against Oregon State here at their home park. Fortunate to come out on top, looking forward to tomorrow and another good day for the Ducks."
On Deck: The two teams will play game three of the series Sunday at 1:05 p.m. The Ducks will send Brett Walker (1-0, 3.00) to the mound looking for the sweep, while the Beavers counter with Jake Pfennigs (1-0, 3.29).