Baseball: Beavs with much-needed series win

OREGON STATE NEEDED this one. Travis Eckert scattered five hits and two runs over 7 1/3 innings and K.J. Harrison drove in three runs to send the Beavers' baseball team to a 5-3 win over Arizona Sunday at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field. The win sent the Beavers to the series victory over the Wildcats for the third consecutive season and first time at Goss Stadium since 2010.

OSU improved to 25-12 overall this season and 8-7 in Pac-12 Conference play. The Beavs are in sixth place in the Pac-12, four and a half games out of first. The Wildcats dropped to 24-13 overall and 9-9 in the Pac-12.

Eckert threw a season-high 121 pitches, allowing a run-scoring single off the bat of Riley Moore in the first before settling down to hold Arizona scoreless until Bobby Dalbec hit a solo home run in the eighth.

Eckert walked three and struck out four to improve to 4-0 on the year. He helped the Beavers hold the Pac-12’s most potent offense to seven runs and 16 hits in 27 innings during the series. OSU’s starters, specifically, allowed just 13 hits and six runs in 23 1/3 innings.

Harrison teamed with Michael Howard and Billy King to produce the Beavers’ offense. Harrison drove in two runs on the first pitch he saw from Arizona’s Dalbec in the fifth to put OSU up, 4-1. Then in the seventh, he hit a sacrifice fly to drive in the Beavers’ last run of the win.

King, with the Beavers trailing 1-0 in the second, singled up the middle of Dalbec to tie the score at one. He watched as Howard jumped on the first pitch he saw to lead off the fourth for his third home run of the season.

King and Howard each tallied two hits in the win, which saw the Beavers collect seven overall off four Arizona pitchers. Dalbec, who started and later moved to designated hitter, was charged with the loss after allowing four hits and four runs in five innings. He dropped to 2-4 on the year.

Dalbec and Zach Gibbons each had two hits for Arizona, which also finished with seven on the day.

Mitch Hickey came into a dangerous situation in the eighth, and held the Wildcats to just two runs in the inning. He got out of a bases-loaded jam, then set the Wildcats down 1-2-3 in the ninth for his fifth save of the season.

Oregon State returns to action Friday when opening a three-game series against No. 10 USC at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field.

The teams play at 5:35 p.m. Friday, 1:35 p.m. on Saturday and 1:05 p.m. Sunday. Tickets for all three games remain and can be purchased by visiting beavertickets.com or calling 800-GOBEAVS.

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