Michael Conforto

Conforto Sets RBI Mark, Beavers Finish Sweep

Photo By: Scobel Wiggins/Oregon State Athletics   05-11-2014

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Junior left fielder Michael Conforto homered twice and broke the school career RBI record on Sunday as No. 2-ranked Oregon State routed UCLA 11-2 at Goss Stadium to complete a weekend sweep of UCLA of the defending NCAA champions.

Conforto shattered the old mark on a three-run homer in the seventh inning that easily cleared the right-field bleachers. He added a two-run shot over the right-field fence to the right of the scoreboard in the eighth inning to finish the day with five RBIs. He now has 177 career RBIs; Andy Jarvis (2000-03) held the old record of 173.

Conforto’s first homer capped a six-run outburst that snapped a 2-2 standoff. Moments before, the Beavers had taken a 3-2 lead on a safety squeeze bunt single by second baseman Andy Peterson; Conforto followed with a three-run bomb and Logan Ice and Trever Morrison  added RBIs before the side was finally retired.

In the eighth, Dylan Davis punctuated Conforto’s home run with one of his own over the left-field fence. They were OSU’s first consecutive homers since Conforto and Davis went back-to-back against Kansas State on June 9, 2013, at Goss Stadium in Game 2 of the NCAA Super Regional.

It was the 11th consecutive win overall and the 11th straight Pacific-12 Conference victory for the Beavers (38-8, 20-4), who extended their lead over idle second-place Washington (19-5 Pac-12) to one game in their bid to repeat as Pac-12 champions. They are 13-1 in their last 14 and 18-2 in their last 20.

Junior lefty Jace Fry gave up two runs in the first inning and then shut the Bruins (23-25-1, 10-14) down on two hits over the next seven innings for his 10th win in 11 decisions. Fry struck out seven, walked two and improved his home record to 5-1 this season and 9-3 lifetime.

UCLA jumped ahead 2-0 in the first on Nick Kern’s two-run triple. The Beavers pulled even on a two-run homer by Jeff Hendrix in the third inning. UCLA dodged a bullet when Conforto grounded out with the bases loaded to end the fifth, but it was not as fortunate in his next two at-bats in suffering its sixth consecutive loss.

Hendrix was 3-for-5 with two runs and two RBIs. He hit .444 (8-18) in four games during the week, with a homer, two doubles, six runs, five RBIs, two stolen bases and the game-winning RBI in a 4-3, 12-inning nonconference victory at Oregon on May 6.

Ice added four singles and an RBI; Peterson singled, doubled and scored twice and first baseman Gabe Clark doubled, singled and scored as the Beavers battered starter Cody Poteet and three relievers for 15 hits. They have now won four consecutive series against UCLA and are 9-3 in the rivalry since 2011, inclusive.

OSU has swept five Pac-12 series and is 8-1 in all conference series this spring.

The crowd of 3,209 raised the season total to 55,153 in 20 openings, an average of 2,758 per date. The Beavers have drawn 2,032 or more fans to every game.

The Beavers meet Portland at 5:35 p.m. Tuesday at Volcanoes Stadium in Keizer. They have defeated the Pilots twice this year and 20 consecutive times overall.

They resume Pac-12 Conference play against Washington at 4 p.m. Friday at Goss Stadium in the opener of a three-game series.

For more information on the Oregon State baseball team, follow the club’s official Twitter account at Twitter.com/Beaver_Baseball or by Facebook at Facebook.com/OregonStateBaseball.