On Tuesday, Jacob Melton hit his first home run as a Beaver. On Friday, he hit is second, third and fourth. Melton’s three were part of five home runs the Beavers put on the board, leading to a lopsided 17-3 win over the Utah Utes. That pushes the Beavers win streak to 7 games in a row, and gives them a 20-5 overall record, and a 7-1 conference record.
Utah took an early lead when a fielder’s choice in the top of the first gave them a run, but Oregon State answered in the bottom of the third with Melton’s first home run of the night, a solo shot to right field. Utah got the lead back in the top of the fifth, but in the bottom of the fifth the Beavers broke the game open.
Singles from Joe Casey and Andy Armstrong opened the inning, and then a big double from Melton scored Casey. Armstrong then scored on a Matthew Gretler fly out, and Melton scored on a wild pitch. After a fly out from Preston Jones, Ryan Ober and Garret Forrester served up back to back solo home runs. That gave the Beavers 5 runs in the fifth, and a 6-2 lead.
The Beavers added two more runs in the bottom of the sixth, though neither of them were earned. Matthew Gretler scored on a fielding error, and Preston Jones on a wild pitch. The Utes grabbed a run in the top of the seventh, but some great fielding prevented them from scoring a second. Then came the bottom of the seventh.
Jake Dukart walked to get things started, and then singles from Troy Claunch and Joe Casey loaded the bases. An Andy Armstrong single scored Dukart and kept bases loaded. That was perfect timing for Jacob Melton, who picked that moment to hit his second home run of the night, a big grand slam to right center. The Beavers managed to load the bases up again, with walks from Gretler and Ober and a single from Preston Jones, and then added two more runs on a fielder’s choice from Wade Meckler and a fly out from Dukart. After the seventh, OSU led 15-3.
The bottom of the eighth brought two more runs. A ground ball from Kyle Dernedde scored Joe Casey, and then Jacob Melton launched his third home run of the night, this one a solo. That would be the Beavers last run of the night. All told, Melton had 4 hits on 5 at bats, with 7 RBIs and 4 runs. He put on quite a show.
Kevin Abel got the start and picked up his third win of the season to go to 3-3. He threw for 6.0 innings, allowing 3 hits and 2 earned runs. He struck out 4 but walked 5.
The Beavers will go for the series sweep later today, with first pitch set for 12:05 PM PT. You can watch a livestream of the game on pac-12.com.