Courtesy: OSU Sports Information
TUCSON, Ariz.– Jake Rodriguez drove in a career-best five runs to send the third-ranked Oregon State baseball team to an 8-4 win over No. 20 Arizona Sunday at Hi Corbett Field. The win gave the Beavers a sweep of the Wildcats in Tucson for the first time school history.
Michael Conforto also homered for the Beavers, who improved to 19-1 on the year and 3-0 in Pac-12 Conference play. Oregon State opened Pac-12 play with a sweep on the road for the second consecutive season after downing California in 2012.
Rodriguez ended the game with two doubles. His first came in the fourth after entering the game as a defensive substitution at catcher in the third. The shot went down the right field line and scored Ryan Barnes, giving the Beavers a then 3-1 lead.
Rodriguez helped blow the game open in the sixth. He came to the plate with the bases loaded and no outs and doubled to the gap in left, enabling Barnes, Kavin Keyes and Max Gordon to score for a 7-1 advantage.
He later added a sacrifice fly, his third of the series, in the eighth to put Oregon State up 8-4.
The junior finished the day with a 2-for-2 effort.
Conforto, meanwhile, hit his second home run of the series – and sixth of the season – in the first. The towering shot to center sent the Beavers to a 1-0 lead that was added to in the second when Barnes scored his first of three runs on a triple by Jerad Casper.
Arizona (15-8, 0-3 Pac-12) moved to within one in the bottom half of the second, but the Beavers scored the game’s next five runs.
The Wildcats added a run in the sixth and two more in the seventh to draw within three, but Rodriguez’s fifth RBI of the day gave the Beavers breathing room.
Ben Wetzler started for the Beavers and did not figure in the decision after going 4 2/3 innings. The lefty allowed two hits and one run while walking three and striking out one.
Brandon Jackson was credited with the win for the Beavers after allowing three hits and two runs in 1 1/3 innings of relief. The righty improved to 4-0 this season.
Scott Schultz, meanwhile, picked up his fourth save of the season after getting the final four Arizona outs.
All told, the Beavers managed 10 hits off Arizona starter Cody Moffett and two Arizona relievers. Moffett allowed seven hits and five runs in five innings to drop to 2-1 this season.
Conforto and Andy Peterson each had two hits to join Rodriguez in the multi-hit category.
Oregon State returns home Friday to open a three-game series with Arizona State. First pitch Friday is 5:35 p.m., Saturday is 2:05 p.m. and Sunday is 12:05 p.m.