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Michael Conforto Named National Player Of The Week As Oregon St. Climbs To #4

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Michael Confotro's opposite field homer may have been the most impressive of the 4.
Michael Confotro's opposite field homer may have been the most impressive of the 4.
(Photo by Andy Wooldridge)

Oregon St. sophomore slugger Michael Conforto has been named the Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Week, after his 4 home run weekend against Bryant, which included his first career grand slam.

Bulldog coach Steve Owens' reaction: "No Kidding!"

Conforto knocked one out of the yard in each game of Saturday's doubleheader, and then did it in back to back at bats in Sunday's finale. Conforto had 12 total RBIs over the weekend, and his 7 on Sunday was the most by any Oregon State player in one game in 4 years. Homers in 3 consecutive games by a Beaver hadn't happened in 6 seasons.

UPDATED: When the Pac-12 got around to naming their Player of the Week on Tuesday, Conforto was their (obvious) choice.

As a result, this week's Baseball America top 25 poll has elevated Oregon St. to #4 in the nation, moving the Beavers past Louisville, who went only 3-1 last week. Unbeaten North Carolina, which has been #1 all year, stayed there, and Vanderbilt stayed at #2, after a 5-0 week. The only other team ahead of the Beavers is Mississippi St., at #3. The Bulldogs have the one record that's better than the Beavers, being 15-0.

The USA Today Coaches' Associate Sports Information Directors also have Oregon St. at #4, and Collegiate Baseball has the Beavers at #3. The National Collegiate Baseball Writers have Oregon St. at #4.

UCLA remained at #12, after a 4-0 week, including a sweep of Wright St., and Stanford moved up from #15 to #13, after the Cardinal swept Texas for a 4-0 week of their own.

The biggest series of the weekend was between Cal-St. Fullerton and Oregon, and the Titans cracked into the top 10 after taking 2 of 3 from the visiting Ducks. Oregon had an in-week win over Portland, whom the Beavers are scheduled to play Tuesday, and only slipped 1 spot, from #14 to #15 as a result.

Arizona split with Utah Valley St., whom the Beavers beat in their opener, and also dropped 1 of 3 against San Francisco (who will be at Goss Tuesday and Wednesday of next week), but the 'Cats kept the #20 spot.

Arizona St. broke into the top 25 as well, at #23, after getting 3 wins, including 2 against Arkansas, who was at #3 a week ago, in the Coca-Cola Classic in Surprise Arizona, which puts 6 Pac-12 teams in the rankings.

Notably, ASU played to a 6-6 tie against Gonzaga, another team Oregon St. has already beaten. Also the 'Zags handed Arkansas a Surprise loss as well.

UC-Irvine is the other ranked team from the west. The Anteaters stayed at #21, after taking 3 out of 4 from Portland.

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com