Beavs sweep as Conforto sets all-time mark

IT'S BEEN THE year of the pitcher at Oregon State, with three front-line starters racking up wins by the bushel load. But junior Michael Conforto ensured on Sunday we wouldn't overlook the RBI men. Conforto homered twice and broke the school career RBI record Sunday as No. 2-ranked Oregon State routed UCLA 11-2 at Goss Stadium to complete a weekend sweep of UCLA, the defending NCAA champions.

Michael Conforto surpassed 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 to right field in the eighth inning to finish the day with five RBIs. He now has 177 career RBIs -- Andy Jarvis (2000-03) held the old Oregon State 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 in Game 2 of the NCAA Super Regional last year.

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.

Oregon State is 13-1 in their last 14 and 18-2 in their last 20 contests. 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 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.

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 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.

In a sedies that looks like it could decide the Pac-12, OSU resumes conference play against Washington at 4 p.m. Friday at Goss Stadium in the opener of a huge three-game series.

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