Oregon St. Jumps Out On Arizona Early And Never Looks Back

Oregon St.'s Michael Conforto celebrates his 3 run home run to start the game with his Beaver teammates as he crosses the plate.

Michael Conforto's 3 run homer launches Beavers to 6-2 win over 'Cats

Final Score: Oregon St. 6 Arizona 2

Third ranked Oregon St.'s Michael Conforto hammered a 3 run homer to left center before there was even an out, his 5th of the season, and the Beavers never looked back, beating #20 Arizona 6-2 in the opener of the Pac-12 campaign for both teams Friday night at Hi Corbett Field in Tucson.

It would be all the offensive support Oregon St. senior starter Matt Boyd would need on the hot night that was still 91 degrees when the game started, and only cooled into the high 70s over 3 hours later. But the Beavers still added a pair of runs in the third, and another in the fifth innings, as Conforto got off to a 3 of 3 start at the plate.

In all, Oregon St., who had at least 1 base runner in every inning, hammered Arizona for 14 hits, including 12 on 'Cats starter Konner Wade, who was the MVP of last year's College World Series for the defending NCAA National Champions. It was only the 3rd loss in 2 years for Wade, who dropped to 2-1 for the year.

Boyd picked up his 4th win of the season, against no losses (Matt still only has 1 career loss), giving up only 2 hits in 7 innings, and striking out 6, which moved him up to second in the Pac-12.

Arizona did add single runs in the 2nd and 3rd innings, with a stolen base, an error, and a passed ball producing the first run, and an RBI double down the left foul line by Johnny Field after Boyd's only walk of the game.

But after that, Boyd settled down and set down 13 straight Arizona batters, a streak that reached 15 when Brandon Jackson came on in the 8th before another 'Cat would reach base.

Arizona got a couple more hits, but Jackson got a fly ball to get out of the jam, and closed out the 'Cats with the 6th 1-2-3 at bat of the night, disappointing most in the crowd of 2,758.

It was a very solid pitching performance, considering that Arizona entered the game with a team batting average of .328.

Beyond Conforto, the best bat for the Beavers probably belonged to Kavin Keyes, who had an RBI single in the 3rd to score Conforto for Oregon St.'s 4th run, and doubled to lead off the 5th, and eventually scored on a single by Joey Jantzen.

Dylan Davis also had a 2 hit night, extending his hitting streak to 9 games, and Tyler Smith and Jantzen both had 2 hit nights as well.

"This is a very good start to Pac-12 play," Oregon St. head coach Pat Casey said. "Both teams came into the game playing well so it was important to get out to an early lead. Michael did that for us and Matt pitched very well in the win."

Oregon St. improved to 17-1 for the season, while Arizona dropped to 15-6.

The series continues Saturday night, with another 6 PM start, with freshman Andrew Moore (4-0) taking the mound for Oregon St., and James Farris (3-1) going for Arizona.

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com

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