Courtesy: Oregon State Sports Information
CORVALLIS, Ore. – Michael Conforto made a very strong push for this week’s Pac-12 Conference Player of the Week honor on Sunday.
The sophomore set a career-high with seven runs batted in on the strength of his first career grand slam and later a three-run home run to pace the sixth-ranked Oregon State baseball team to a 14-0 win over Bryant Sunday afternoon at Goss Stadium.
The win gave the Beavers a series sweep over the visiting Bulldogs.
“This was a great way to end the series,” Oregon State head coach Pat Casey said. “We played well midway through this game after starting slow. Bryant played very well in this series and this is a good sweep.”
The win pushed Oregon State to 12-0 this season and for the fourth time in school history. The 12-game win streak is also the team’s longest since the 2007 club won 12 straight late in non-conference action.
Bryant, meanwhile, dropped to 0-6-1 on the year.
The Beavers sent 13 batters to the plate in an eight-run sixth inning with Andy Peterson driving in two and Danny Hayes and Joey Matthews driving in one apiece. But it was Conforto’s grand slam that highlighted the inning and pushed OSU to a 10-run advantage.
Conforto added to his tally with a three-run home run over the scoreboard in right center in the seventh to put the Beavers up 13-0 and solidify his weekend. The sophomore collected four home runs and 12 RBI over the last three games of the series.
The eight-run frame in the sixth gave the Beavers a considerable cushion after plating two in the fourth. Gabe Clark grounded out for the first run of the game and Hayes beat out a dribbler at first to drive in Dylan Davis from third. Davis had doubled two batters prior for the Beavers first hit of the game – OSU proceeded to collect 10 from the fourth through sixth innings.
Oregon State finished with 13 hits with Conforto and Hayes finishing with three apiece. Davis and Tyler Smith pitched in with two apiece as well.
Brandon Jackson was the recipient of the offensive surge and improved to 2-0 this season after throwing three innings of scoreless relief. He allowed just two hits and struck out five.
Ben Wetzler made his season debut for the Beavers and threw 41 pitches in 3 2/3 innings before being relieved by Jackson with a runner on first in the fourth. Wetzler allowed just one hit and one walk while striking out three.
Zack Reser and Tyler Painton combined to shut the door on Bryant over the last 2 1/3 innings, giving the bullpen 5 1/3 scoreless innings Sunday. The bullpen has not allowed an earned run in 42 1/3 innings this season.
The shutout also pushed Oregon State’s overall earned run average to 0.82 after starting the day at 0.90.
Joseph Michaud started for Bryant and worked 3 2/3 innings, scattering two hits and two runs with three walks and two strikeouts. He took the loss and is 0-1 on the year.
Oregon State hits the road Tuesday for a 2 p.m. PT game at Portland.