Beavers open Pac-12 play with win over Arizona

Beavers open Pac-12 play with win over Arizona

TUCSON, Ariz. – Michael Conforto hit a three-run home run and Matt Boyd limited Arizona to two hits and two runs in seven innings to pace the third-ranked Oregon State baseball team to a 6-2 win over the 20th-ranked Wildcats to open Pac-12 Conference play Friday night at Hi Corbett Field.

The win pushed Oregon State to a 17-1 mark while Arizona dropped to 15-6.

“This is a very good start to Pac-12 play,” Oregon State head coach Pat Casey said. “Both teams came into the game playing well so it was important to get out to an early lead. Michael did that for us and Matt pitched very well in the win.”

Conforto staked the Beavers to the 3-0 lead before Arizona could register an out in the first inning. Max Gordon reached on a single, and Tyler Smith was hit by a pitch, setting the table for Conforto. The sophomore hit a towering fly that cleared the fence in left for his fifth home run of the season.

Boyd, meanwhile, held perhaps the Pac-12’s hottest offensive club to just two hits and two runs – one earned – over seven innings in his first career start against a league foe. He earned the win to improve to 4-0 this season.

Boyd improved to 6-0 in seven career starts and the lefty is 5-0 in March in 20 appearances, lowering his earned run average in the month to 1.69.

Up 3-1 after two, the Beavers pushed their lead to 5-1 when Kavin Keyes singled home a run in the third and watched as the next batter, Jake Rodriguez, grounded out to drive in the Beavers’ fifth run. OSU allowed an Arizona run on a double in the third, but pushed the lead to 6-2 on a Joey Jansen infield single in the fifth.

Conforto ended the game with a team-leading three hits as Oregon State finished with 14 overall. Smith, Keyes, Jansen and Dylan Davis all had two to support Conforto’s night.

The Beavers hit Arizona starter Konner Wade hard, to the tune of 12 base hits. The righty gave up six runs and walked one while striking out two. He was saddled with the loss and dropped to 2-1 on the year.

Oregon State and Arizona continue the series Saturday night at Hi Corbett Field. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m. PT and the game can be watched live via a stream on pac-12.com.