Six-run fourth propels No. 6 OSU past Gonzaga

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. — The sixth-ranked Oregon State baseball team sent 10 batters to the plate in a six-run fourth inning to overcome an early deficit in a 9-2 win over Gonzaga Saturday at Palm Springs Stadium.

The six-run fourth was the Beavers' third multiple-run inning of the early season following a three-run third and two-run fifth against Utah Valley on Friday.

Max Gordon and Tyler Smith both walked to open the fourth before Michael Conforto drove in the inning's first run with a single through the right side. Danny Hayes followed that up with a sacrifice fly to left to tie the score at two.

Gabe Clark's first career hit was also his first career RBI as a single to left scored Conforto, the game-winning run. Two batters later, Jerad Casper gave OSU (2-0) a three-run cushion with a two-run double. Andy Peterson ended OSU's scoring by reaching on an error on a bunt, allowing Casper to score from third.

The scoring onslaught came after the Beavers failed to get a runner on base the first three innings against Gonzaga left-handed starter Marco Gonzales, who was a member of the 2012 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team along with Conforto and Dan Child.

Gonzales had thrown 45 pitches through the first three innings but OSU's six-run fourth forced him into 24 pitches that inning alone. The lefty ended the game allowing six runs and eight hits through six innings of work to take the loss. He is 0-1 this season.

Matt Boyd made his first start since the 2010 season — his freshman campaign — and picked up the win after scattering six hits and two runs in seven innings. The lefty walked one and struck out four.

Gonzaga (1-2) opened the game's scoring with two runs in the second. Zach Abbruzza and Gonzales reached on singles, with the former scoring on a single off the bat of Cory LeBrun. Cabe Reiten followed that up with a squeeze to score Gonzales.

Smith, Conforto and Rodriguez each had two hits to pace the Beavers — the latter two had two hits in Friday's win against Utah Valley — while Casper posted two RBIs to lead OSU.

Oregon State plays UC Riverside today.

OREGON 3, HAWAII 0 — At Honolulu, 15th-ranked Oregon got a strong start from Jake Reed and stellar plays by left-fielder Brett Thomas and shortstop J.J. Altobelli in the season opener late Friday night.

Reed (1-0), a sophomore right-hander, set the tone in his debut as the Ducks' Friday starter, tossing six scoreless innings and allowing four hits and two walks while striking out seven. By the time he exited, Oregon had a three-run lead and senior lefty Christian Jones slammed the door with three blank frames in his first action since 2011 following shoulder surgery.

Juniors Aaron Payne and Thomas, along with senior Altobelli each drove in a run.

With the Ducks nursing a 2-0 lead in the sixth, Reed walked leadoff batter Stephen Ventimilia, who stole second. After Kalei Hanawahine struck out swinging, Pi'ikea Kitamura hit a ball to the left-center field gap that appeared destined to be an extra-base, run-producing hit, but Thomas laid out to make a diving grab for the second out, on which Hanawahine tagged up and advanced to third.

Reed then retired cleanup hitter Marc Flores on a liner that Altobelli ranged deep to his right for.

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