Beavers Batter Pilot Pitching

23rd ranked Oregon St. bounced back from a potent second at bat by Portland, and pulled away for a 12-4 win, as the Beavers battered Pilot pitching for a dozen hits, including triples by Kavin Keyes and Dylan Davis that delivered 5 of the runs on 2 swings.

Oregon St. opened a 2-0 lead in the first inning of their last mid-week non-conference game of the season when Max Gordon used a piece of evasive base running to avoid the tag and score on a passed ball, and Michael Conforto scored the first of his 4 runs on the night on Ryan Dunn's RBI single. But Beavers' starter Taylor Starr struggled, and it looked like it would be a long night for Oregon St. when Portland pushed 4 runs across in the 2nd inning.

Starr served up a 1 out walk, and then consecutive singles, followed by a 2 RBI double by Bo Cornish, and also uncorked a wild pitch that allowed the 4th run of the inning, as the Pilots pulled ahead 4-2.

The Beavers quickly erased the deficit with a 5 run second at bat though. With 2 out but 2 on, Portland pitcher Kody Watts intentionally walked Conforto, the conference's RBI leader and home run co-leader, part way thru the at bat. Which didn't directly hurt the Pilots, but the consecutive walks he then issued to Danny Hayes and Dunn did, erasing Portland's lead and ending Watts' abbreviated evening.

J.R. Bunda took over, but after getting ahead of Keyes in the count, Keyes came through with a 3 RBI triple to right, and Oregon St. never looked back.



Starr got into some more trouble in the 4th, giving up consecutive singles, but Scott Schultz came in, got a double play ball, and proceeded to allow only 1 hit over the next 4 innings, which also earned him the win, improving his record to 3-0.

Watts took the loss.

Oregon St. got some insurance runs in the 7th, when Conforto, who was celebrating being selected to play with the USA National Collegiate team this summer, led off with a double, and scored on Keyes' single that gave him a game high 4 RBIs for the evening, and also signaled the end of the night for Bunda.

Switching to Keeler Brynteson didn't help the Pilots though, as Dylan Davis tripled to score Danny Hayes and Keyes, making it 10-4 Oregon St.

The Beavers added another pair of runs in the 8th when Hayes singled to score Tyler Smith, and Dunn sacrificed to score Conforto, who wound up scoring every time he got on base. It gave Dunn 3 RBIs for the game.

Davis came in from right field to take over on the mound in the 9th, and was clocked delivering a fast ball at 100 mph in the process of closing out the win, which was Oregon St.'s 15th in a row over Portland, and 21st in the last 22 meetings.

Despite multiple extra base hits, and several in-inning pitching changes, as well as the 14 runs, the game was still completed in under 2 1/2 hours, proving it does not require over 3 hours to play a baseball game, as has been the usual case with Oregon St. this season.

Portland (25-19, 12-9 in the West Coast Conference) moves up I-5 to play at Washington (26-21, 11-13) tomorrow.

Oregon St. (26-18, 12-9) heads for Pullman next, for a weekend Pac-12 series against Washington St. (25-24, 10-14). The Cougars conquered USC 3-1 tonight.

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com

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