WALNUT CREEK, Calif. – Oregon State sophomore outfielder Michael Conforto was named the Pac-12 Conference’s Player of the Year on Wednesday, while right-handed pitcher Andrew Moore is the Freshman of the Year and Pat Casey is its Coach of the Year.
The Pac-12 announced its postseason honors on Wednesday, and in addition to the trio’s recognition, seven Beavers were named to the league’s first team.
For Casey, it’s the fifth Pac-12 Coach of the Year honor of his career. Since 1999, he also earned the honor in 2005, 2006 and 2011 and is the 2013 winner after guiding the Beavers to a 45-10 record and 24-6 mark in conference play. The team’s .800 winning percentage in Pac-12 play is the best by any club since the then-Pac-10 unified prior to the 1999 season.
OSU’s 45 wins mark also just the second time in school history the Beavers won at least 40 during the regular season. The Beavers finished with winning records in all but two weekends of play this season and recorded sweeps in eight, including five against Pac-12 foes.
Conforto gives the Beavers three players of the year since 1999, and is the first since Cole Gillespie in 2006, who won it after Jacoby Ellsbury in 2005.
Conforto, the Pac-12’s Freshman of the Year in 2012, batted .332 during the regular season and finished second in the Pac-12 with nine home runs. He is also tops in the league with 37 walks.
A native of Woodinville, Wash., Conforto is the first player to earn player of the year honors the year after being named the freshman of the year since the league began the latter award in 1999.
The honor adds to an already impressive list of awards this season for Conforto, who was also named the Pac-12’s Offensive Player of the Week twice.
Moore, meanwhile, gives the Beavers two consecutive Freshmen of the Year after Conforto’s honor in 2012. The Beavers join Stanford (2010-11) as the only Pac-12 clubs to earn the honor in consecutive seasons.
Moore was certainly deserving of the award after leading the Pac-12 with 12 victories, which places him in a tie for third nationally. He posted a 1.22 earned run average during the regular season, good for second in the league and finished with a 0.93 WHIP (walks plus hits per nine innings).
Moore enters the postseason on a seven-game win streak and was named the Pac-12’s Pitcher of the Week May 20 after throwing a two-hit shutout in OSU’s 9-0 win over Oregon. He has allowed just two earned runs in his last 42 innings of work.
A school record seven Oregon State baseball players have been named to the Pac-12 Conference’s First-Team, as announced by the league Wednesday when its 25-man first team was announced.
The Beavers’ entire starting staff, Matt Boyd, Andrew Moore and Ben Wetzler, were named to the first team as were outfielders Michael Conforto and Dylan Davis, infielder Tyler Smith and catcher Jake Rodriguez. Conforto and Smith are back-to-back selections after being named first team in 2012.
Pitcher Scott Schultz and infielder Andy Peterson have also been named honorable mention. Schultz collected 10 saves during the regular season while Peterson batted .341 with five doubles and 26 RBI.
Conforto was also named the Pac-12’s Player of the Year and Moore was named its Freshman Of The Year.
The seven selections surpasses the 2005 Oregon State team for most in school history as that club tallied six.
Boyd went 10-3 during the regular season and accumulated a 2.09 earned run average, three complete games and 98 strikeouts. He was named the Pac-12’s Pitcher of the Week twice and threw a one-hit shutout against Arizona State in March. It was the first time in 30 years the Sun Devils had been one-hit.
Moore, meanwhile, enters the postseason with a Pac-12 leading 12 victories and is second in the league with a 1.22 ERA. He threw three shutouts, including two consecutive to end the regular season. Opponents have scored just two earned runs in his last 42 innings of work. He is on a seven-game win streak.
Wetzler carries a 7-1 mark into the postseason, and is on a seven-game win streak over his last eight starts. He has a 2.10 ERA in 73 innings, and has posted one shutout. The lefty has earned his second league honor after being named honorable mention last season.
Conforto has a .332 batting average and was just one of two Oregon State players to play in all 55 games during the regular season. He leads Oregon State with nine home runs and is second on the club with 42 runs batted in, which is tied for eighth in the Pac-12. He also leads the league with 37 walks.
Davis is the Pac-12’s RBI leader with 53, including 34 in conference games. He also leads the Pac-12 with 20 doubles – which places him in the top 10 in OSU single-season history – and his .344 batting average is good for sixth. He is also 8-for-10 in stolen bases and has just one error in 95 chances.
Smith played in 46 games at short for the Beavers, batting .306 with seven doubles, two home runs and 23 RBI. He missed 12 games midway through the season due to injury, and the Beavers went 7-5 in his absence but OSU was 38-5 with him in the lineup.
Last, but certainly not least, is Rodriguez, whose work behind the plate and stalled opponents’ running games. He and fellow catcher Nate Esposito kept opponents from stealing a base in 20 straight games for Sunday; Rodriguez had thrown out 13 straight. Opponents were just 11-for-30 (36.6 percent) in stolen-base attempts against him this season. Rodriguez also batted .272 with nine doubles, two home runs and 32 RBI.
The Beavers turn their sights to UTSA, whom OSU will host Friday in the club’s opening game of the Corvallis Regjonal. First pitch is slated for 5:05 p.m. PT and can be seen live on ESPN3.com.