Oregon State's Jace Fry throws no-hitter against Northern Illinois
CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Oregon State left-hander Jace Fry pitched the fifth no-hitter in school history on Saturday, a 2-0 victory against Northern Illinois in the opener of a doubleheader at Goss Stadium. The fifth-ranked Beavers (13-3) also won the nightcap 12-2 to complete the sweep in a game shortened by the 10-run rule.
A junior from Southridge High School in Beaverton, Fry struck out a career-high 10 and allowed only two baserunners, on walks in the fifth and ninth innings. He threw 67 strikes in 99 pitches and his second career shutout took just 1 hour, 46 minutes to complete, the quickest game in Goss Stadium history.
Fry (3-0) made short work of the Huskies in the ninth inning to record Oregon State’s first no-hitter since Josh Osich’s no-no at UCLA on April 30, 2011. Johnny Zubek was retired on a comebacker for the first out and right fielder Dylan Davis made a running catch of pinch-hitter Micah McCulloch’s opposite-field blooper for the second out.
Fry then walked pinch-hitter Carl Russell on five pitches, bringing up pinch-hitter Landon Tenhagen. He struck out on a 1-2 inside fastball, setting off a celebration as jubilant teammates mobbed Fry on the mound. His previous high for strikeouts was seven, against Washington on April 1, 2012. It was his fourth career complete game.
First baseman Brandon Malldercame the closest to getting a base hit for the Huskies (1-11-1) when he led off the seventh with a higher hopper past the mound to Fry’s left. Second baseman Andy Peterson charged, gloved the ball and threw across his body to nip Mallder by a step. Otherwise the Huskies were retired on routine plays, as Fry induced 11 ground-ball outs and only six balls were hit out of the infield.
It was the Beavers’ third straight shutout. Starter Jake Thompson and reliever Trent Shelton allowed two hits in a 5-0 win over Portland on Tuesday; starter Ben Wetzler and reliever Chandler Eden teamed up for a 1-hitter to blank Northern Illinois 6-0 on Friday night in the series opener. Oregon State pitchers combined for 35 strikeouts and allowed just three hits and 13 total baserunners in their first three games this week.
The Beavers had only one hit themselves off starter Alex Klonowski through the first five innings before breaking loose against reliever Anthony Andres in the sixth. Kavin Keyes walked with two outs and Dylan Davis followed with a two-run homer well over the left-field fence, his second of the season, for the game’s only runs.
In the nightcap, Jerad Casper blasted a two-out grand slam to cap a five-run first inning that gave the Beavers an insurmountable lead. Michael Conforto’s RBI single scored the other run. The Beavers scored twice more in the third on an error and an RBI single by Keyes for a 7-0 advantage.
Northern Illinois finally broke a 16 2/3-inning hitless streak with three singles in the fourth inning to score twice. But OSU replied in the sixth and stretched its lead to 10-3 on Gabe Clark’s 3-run homer. The homers were the first of their careers for Clark and Casper and the Beavers had three overall on Saturday after hitting just one in the first 14 games.
Conforto singled twice, tripled, scored twice and had an RBI to increase his team-leading total to 24. Clark went 2-for-4 with a homer, double and three RBIs and maintained his .500 (12-24) average. He now has 10 RBIs in 24 at-bats.
Senior Scott Schultz (3-1) pitched his second complete game in four starts. He allowed five hits and one earned run in seven innings, with three strikeouts and one walk.
The Beavers stretched their winning streak to five in a row. They are 9-1 in their last starts and now lead the all-time series against Northern Illinois 6-0. The crowd of 2,349 was Oregon State’s sixth of 2,000 or more this season.