PALM SPRINGS, Calif. – The sixth-ranked Oregon State baseball team sent 10 batters to the plate in a six-run fourth inning to overcome an early deficit in a 9-2 win over Gonzaga Saturday at Palm Springs Stadium.
The win sent the Beavers to a 2-0 record at the Palm Springs Tournament, with Oregon State continuing play Sunday against UC Riverside at 1 p.m. Gonzaga, meanwhile, dropped to 1-2 this season.
The six-run fourth was the Beavers’ third multiple-run inning of the early season following a three-run third and two-run fifth against Utah Valley on Friday. OSU later tacked on three in the eighth for its fourth of the year.
Max Gordon and Tyler Smith both walked to open the fourth before Michael Conforto drove in the inning’s first run with a single through the right side. Danny Hayes followed that up with a sacrifice fly to left to tie the score at two.
Gabe Clark’s first career hit was also his first career RBI as a single to left scored Conforto, the game-winning run. Two batters later, Jerad Casper gave OSU a three-run cushion with a two-run double. Andy Peterson ended OSU’s scoring by reaching on an error on a bunt, allowing Casper to score from third.
The scoring onslaught came after the Beavers failed to get a runner on base the first three innings against Gonzaga left-handed starter Marco Gonzales, who was a member of the 2012 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team along with Conforto and Dan Child.
“This was again a good job by our offense to come back from an early deficit and especially against a very good pitcher in Marco Gonzales,” Oregon State head coach Pat Casey said. “Matt (Boyd) threw very well for us in his first start. I’m impressed with his effort.”
Gonzales had thrown 45 pitches through the first three innings but OSU’s six-run fourth forced him into 24 pitches that inning alone. The lefty ended the game allowing six runs and eight hits through six innings of work to take the loss. He is 0-1 this season.
Boyd made his first start since the 2010 season – his freshman campaign – and picked up the win after scattering six hits and two runs in seven innings. The lefty walked one and struck out four.
Gonzaga opened the game’s scoring with two runs in the second. Zach Abbruzza and Gonzales reached on singles, with the former scoring on a single off the bat of Cory LeBrun. Cabe Reiten followed that up with a squeeze to score Gonzales.
The Beavers tacked on three insurance runs in the eighth. Jansen singled home Rodriguez with no outs to begin the scoring for his first career RBI. Smith later singled to center for the second run of the inning and Keyes drove in a run after being hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
Smith, Conforto and Rodriguez each had two hits to pace the Beavers – the latter two had two hits in Friday’s win against Utah Valley – while Casper posted two RBI to lead OSU.
The Beavers continue play at the Palm Springs Tournament Sunday at 1 p.m. PT against UC Riverside. The game can be heard live on the Beaver Sports Radio Network and Beaver Nation Online (ousbeavers.com).