Salt Lake City • Oregon State’s Ben Wetzler toed the rubber on Friday — Utah’s first home game of the season — looking to do something that has only been done five times in the Beavers’ history, the most recent one coming just six days ago from Jace Fry — a no-hitter.
The game was a pitchers’ duel between Wetzler and the Utes’ Mitch Watrous for the first five innings. The first hit of the game came in the fourth when the Beavers’ Michael Conforto crushed a home run that hooked just inside the right-field foul line.
Oregon State 6, Utah 1
» The first hit in the game is a fourth-inning home run from OSU’s Michael Conforto.
» Cory Hunt, Konnor Armijo, and Hunter Simmons are the only Utes with a hit.
» Former Alta Hawk Kavin Keyes goes 3-for-5 with two RBIs for the Beavers.
Still, Watrous hung in there against the fourth-ranked team in the country until the wheels started coming off in the game-deciding sixth inning. Six hits, two errors and six runs later, Oregon State built a lead that proved to be just too difficult for the Utes to overcome as they dropped the Pac-12 opener, 6-1.
"Just, one bad inning. … I thought I was making some good pitches, but it kind of got away from me that inning and I didn’t stay within myself," said Watrous. "Ben threw a great game."
Wetzler pitched eight innings and he stifled the Utes’ bats throughout. Utah’s Konnor Armijo broke up his no-hit bid on a single with one out in the eighth inning. Hunter Simons then followed Armijo by plating him with a double to right-center for the Utes’ first and only run of the game.
Utah finished with three hits in the game.
Despite Wetzler’s near no-hitter, the Utes battled evenly with the Pac-12 powerhouse for all but that one inning.
"It was a good effort," said Utah coach Bill Kinneberg. "Mitch was pitching very well, but we made some mistakes in that sixth inning that hurt us. They got a couple of guys on and we gave them a couple of extra outs there."
Those are mistakes that highly ranked teams almost always capitalize on.
"It’s a new day tomorrow, so we’ll eat breakfast, prepare, and get ready to play at [1 p.m.]," said Kinneberg.
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