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Beavers down USC to start three- game series

CORVALLIS — Oregon State's Chris Hopkins was 2-for-4 with a double, three runs batted in and a stolen base as the eighth-ranked Beavers beat Southern California 9-5 in Pac-10 Conference baseball Thursday at Goss Stadium.

Mike Stutes allowed two runs in 62/3 innings for OSU (24-6 overall, 1-3 Pac-10), which remained unbeaten in seven home games this season.

The Beavers and Trojans (18-13, 1-3) continue their series today and Saturday.

Hopkins extended his hitting streak to seven games, and those are the seven games OSU has played since the junior center fielder moved into the leadoff spot. Since March 16, Hopkins is 17-for-31 with a home run, four doubles, seven RBIs, 14 runs scored and five stolen bases. He's raised his batting average from .147 to .338.

"I'm comfortable doing that — very, very comfortable, actually," Hopkins said of hitting leadoff. "That's my job."

The win ended a three-game losing streak for OSU and gave the Beavers their first conference victory of the season.

"It just felt good to get a win," Hopkins said. "We got swept at Arizona; we knew we had to come back and win and we did that."

OSU extended its home winning streak to 12 games over the past two seasons, and the Beavers are 60-9 at home since the start of the 2005 season.

Stutes improved his record to 7-1 this season. He allowed two runs on five hits and one walk while striking out six. USC didn't score off Stutes until the sixth, and the junior right-hander allowed just one hit and one walk in his first five innings.

OSU's Darwin Barney also extended his hitting streak to seven games, going 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs, and John Wallace was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs for the Beavers.