Jacob Kmatz quiets Sun Devils

Gavin Turley (1) rushes to second base at Goss Stadium, Coleman Field in Corvallis Oregon on April 5.
Gavin Turley (1) rushes to second base at Goss Stadium, Coleman Field in Corvallis Oregon on April 5.
Taya Etzell

Efficient and dominant.

That’s how to describe Jacob Kmatz on Saturday against the Arizona State Sun Devils. Oregon State baseball cruised to a 9-1 victory behind Kmatz’s six strikeouts over nine complete innings at home.

During his impressive outing, Kmatz faced the minimum number of batters until the bottom of the ninth when Sun Devil Eamonn Lance went deep to break up the shutout. This outing was a stellar bounce back from his performance last week against USC where he gave up seven runs over four innings.

The Beaver offense showed up as well on Saturday. After Travis Bazzana drew a walk to lead off the bottom of the first, he would advance to second with a single from Gavin Turley. While facing Mason Guerra, the Sun Devil pitcher Conner Markl threw the ball into center field trying to pick off Bazzana, which allowed him to advance to third.

Later in the at bat, Guerra lined a single into right center, scoring Bazzana and moving Turley to third. The next batter Jacob Krieg would bring home Turley with a sacrifice fly, putting the Beavers up 2-0.

Kmatz allowed the first Sun Devil hit in the third, a double into left field off the bat of Jacob Tobias. As soon as it looked like the Sun Devils offense was getting going, Brandon Compton hit a slow chopper that was fielded by Kmatz. Kmatz made the heads-up play to spin around and throw out Tobias, who was caught up in the middle on the basepath. Kmatz then escaped the inning with an around the horn double play.

“Krieg at first, Mason at third, and Bazzana with that play in the ninth, it was lockdown,” Kmatz said. 

The Beavers wouldn’t put anything else together until the sixth when Turley followed a Bazzana single with his towering eighth homerun of the season, extending the lead to 4-0.

The rain started to come down in the fifth, but that didn’t slow Kmatz down. He struck out two batters in the top of the fifth and sixth. And in the eighth inning, Kmatz threw his second five pitch inning of the game.

“After three (innings) he had 27 pitches,” Head Coach Mitch Canham said. “And he continued to pound the zone. It seemed like nine out of 10 pitches were strikes.”

In the bottom of the eighth, the Beavers added some insurance. Dallas Macias launched a two run homerun to right. Elijah Hainline and Tyce Peterson hit back to back singles and were driven in by a Canon Reeder triple. Then Bazzana laced a single into right to bring Reeder home. After the inning, the Beavs led 9-0.

Kmatz stayed out for the ninth, and even though he gave up a solo shot, he closed the game to finish off the first complete game of his career.

“I’m going to keep doing the same things, taking care of my body and getting ready for Stanford next week,” Kmatz said.

The Beavers look to complete the sweep against ASU at Goss Stadium. First pitch at 12:05 p.m.

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