CORVALLIS — Oregon State freshmen Jake Thompson and Trent Shelton combined on a two-hitter and the Beavers stretched their winning streak over Portland to 19 consecutive games with a 5-0 victory over the Pilots before a crowd of 2,342 at Goss Stadium on Tuesday night.
Designated hitter Gabe Clark doubled, singled, drove in a run and scored once and left fielder Michael Conforto drove in three runs for the Beavers (10-3 overall). They are 6-1 since suffering back-to-back losses to Nebraska and Michigan State in the first two games of the Aramark Pac-12/Big Ten Tournament at Surprise, Ariz., on Feb. 21-22.
A right-hander from Siuslaw High School in Florence, Thompson (3-0) had a career-high seven strikeouts; his former best was three, in a seven-inning stint against Pacific on Feb. 17 in his career debut. It was also a season-high for Oregon State pitchers and he became the first pitcher in the Pacific-12 Conference this year to notch three wins.
Caleb Whalen's single to left field in the third inning and Kevin Wade's single with two outs in the ninth were the only hits for the Pilots (2-10), whose last win over the Beavers was 20-13 in 12 innings at Goss Stadium on April 25, 2006. Oregon State has won 25 of the last 26 games in a series it now leads 159-60.
A lefty, Shelton relieved Thompson with a runner at first and no outs in the sixth. He immediately got a double play and then retired the next nine Pilots in order before Wade's hit. He had three strikeouts and earned his first career save.
The Beavers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the third inning. Michael Howard's leadoff single and two two-out walks loaded the bases for Conforto, who drilled a two-run single into right field. Oregon State made it 5-0 in the fourth on an RBI double by Clark, an RBI single by Andy Peterson and a bases-loaded walk to Conforto.
Conforto moved into a first-place tie with A.J. Reed of Kentucky for the national lead in RBI (20). He walked twice and now leads the country in that category (15), and also took a double away from Whalen with a leaping catch against the left-field wall leading off the ninth inning.
The Beavers continue their 10-game homestand at 5:05 p.m. Friday in the opener of a four-game series against Northern Illinois. Oregon State leads the all-time series 3-0 but it will be the first trip to Corvallis for the Huskies, members of the Mid-American Conference; the previous encounters were played in Arizona.
OREGON 10-4, SEATTLE 2-3 — At Eugene, Tyler Baumgartner had six hits and three RBI, including the game winner in the ninth inning of Game 2, to lead No. 14 Oregon to a doubleheader sweep of Seattle University at PK Park.
Baumgartner went 6-for-10 with a double and a triple to push the Ducks (10-3) to the wins. He led eight Ducks who finished with multiple hits over the two games. Mitchell Tolman was 3-for-6 with two RBI, while Aaron Payne, Mark Karaviotis, Austin Grebeck, A.J. Balta, Kyle Garlick and Steven Packard each had two hits. Garlick added a pair of RBIs.
In the opener, Baumgartner came up a home run shy of hitting for the cycle, going 3-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs. Aaron Payne and Austin Grebeck each went 2-for-4, with Payne scoring two runs and driving in one, while Grebeck had a run scored and an RBI.
In Game 2, Baumgartner delivered a two-out RBI in the bottom of the eighth inning to give the Ducks a sweep of the doubleheader.
Karaviotis, Oregon's freshman shortstop, scored the go-ahead run after starting the rally with a bunt single to lead off the inning. He advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Payne and then beat center fielder Chase Fields' throw to the plate on the Baumgartner hit.
Oregon opens a three-game series against Ohio State on Friday.