KEIZER, Ore. – Dylan Davis’s seventh-inning grand slam broke a 2-2 tie and No. 2-ranked Oregon State defeated Portland 8-4 on Tuesday before a sellout crowd of 4,226 at Volcanoes Stadium.
Davis powered a 3-2 curveball from reliever J.R. Bunda on to the berm behind the left-field fence for his first career grand slam and his sixth homer of the season. He also drove in OSU’s second run with a third-inning sacrifice fly and his five RBIs upped his season total to a career-high 62, first in the Pacific-12 Conference. Davis also led the Pac-12 in RBIs in 2013 with 61.
The Beavers built a 2-0 lead through six innings off Portland ace Travis Radke before the Pilots scored twice in the top of the seventh to forge a 2-2 deadlock. However, Radke was pulled to start the seventh and the Beavers replied quickly off three relievers to break the game back open.
Austin Kelly hit Trever Morrison and Jeff Hendrix to put two runners on base. He retired Andy Peterson on a line drive to right field for the second out but reliever Brandon Snyder’s first pitch hit Michael Conforto to load the bases, bringing on Bunda for a more favorable righty-righty matchup.
Davis lined into an inning-ended double play with the bases loaded in the fifth but he left no doubt when given a second chance two innings later. Bunda fell behind 3-0, got two strikes and a foul ball on curveballs, but did not fool Davis on his seventh pitch of the at-bat.
It was the 12th consecutive win overall for OSU (39-8), which leads second-place Washington (19-5 Pac-12) by one game in its bid to repeat as Pac-12 champions. The Beavers have won 14 of their last 15 games and are 19-2 in their last 21 heading into this weekend’s crucial home series with the Huskies.
Davis made his fourth start of the season and blanked the Pilots on one hit through a career-high five innings. He struck out five, walked two, got nine outs on ground balls and left with a 2-0 lead, but was not involved in the decision.
The Beavers are 3-0 against Portland in 2014 and their current winning streak (21) in a series that dates to 1909 tied a school record established between 1959-69. Portland’s last victory was 20-13 in 12 innings on April 25, 2006, at Goss Stadium; OSU now leads the all-time series 161-60.
OSU tacked on its final two runs in the eighth on an RBI triple by Jeff Hendrix and a run-scoring single by Michael Conforto. Nick Rulli knocked in OSU’s first run in the second inning.
Davis was 2-for-4 with five RBIs; Hendrix singled, tripled and scored twice; Conforto reached base safely four times in five plate appearances and Gabe Clark singled twice to pace an 11-hit attack. It was OSU’s third consecutive game with 11 or more hits and they have scored 28 runs in that span.
The Beavers 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.