MichealConfortoOregonStateFeatured

Beavers bash their way into Game 3 with 21 hits against Kansas State

MichealConfortoOregonStateFeaturedCORVALLIS, Ore. – Michael Conforto and Dylan Davis had done it before, but that was more than two years ago when they were high school seniors at Redmond (Wash.) High.

This time, it was a much bigger stage – with the bright TV lights of ESPN in the first inning of the second game of the Corvallis Super Regional – and the best friends ignited a hitting display of awe-inspiring proportions, belting back-to-back two-out home runs to right center field. Oregon State turned that into a five-run outburst and the Beavers never glanced back en route to a 12-4 victory that evened the best-of-three series at a game each.

“The top of the first really told the story of the game,” Kansas State coach Brad Hill said. “Back-to-back home runs really got the crowd involved and you could tell the team just really fed off of that.

“Our freshman on the mound (Blake McFadden) just got a little shell-shocked and we couldn’t shut it down, so that was pretty much it.”

OSU (49-11) didn’t ease up. The Beavers rolled to a 9-1 lead through three innings – K-State’s 1 coming on a solo homer to right by Jared King that felt like an afterthought – and were never truly threatened.

“It set the tone – it was nice – but I thought we were going to play well regardless if we scored in the first inning,” OSU coach Pat Casey said. “I thought our players would come and respond. Somebody mentioned it last night – I think Conforto talked about the fact that we had lost to UCLA Friday night, we lost to Washington State and we lost to Oregon. We thought we would respond.”

Andrew Moore threw a career-high 124 pitches, struck out a career-high nine and improved to 14-1 in a phenomenal all-American freshman season. He loaded the bases in the ninth before giving way to Scott Schultz, who got the final three outs while allowing just one inherited runner to score.

“It was definitely huge coming out with Michael and Dylan getting the first two home runs,” Moore said. “That was huge because it allowed me to kind of relax and just get that energy going early on. I think we definitely fed off of that the entire game.”

For the Wildcats (45-18), it was the worst loss since a 13-2 loss to West Virginia in the Big XII Conference opener.

“It’s been a while since we’ve been kicked like that,” Hill said. “It will be interesting. Obviously they’ve got a great team over there, too. They are playing at home, and have been in this situation three or four times now.”

Andrew Moore and Dylan Davis discuss Oregon State’s fast start.

Oregon State coach Pat Casey’s opening comments on the win over Kansas State.

Kansas State coach Brad Hill addresses the media after the loss to Oregon State.

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    Oregon State fans eagerly await Will Call, player and released tickets two hours before the game.
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    Oregon State works crisply through batting practice. The Beavers finished with 21 hits in the game.
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    Kansas State coach Brad Hill and OSU coach Pat Casey take in the National Anthem.
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    Brad Hill, Pat Casey and the umpires meet at the plate.
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    K-State starter Blake McFadden got two quick outs, then surrendered four earned runs - two on back-to-back homers - and did not escape the first inning.
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    OSU outfielder Michael Conforto rounds second after knocking a solo homer out to right center in the first inning.
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    Michael Conforto (8) is congratulated by third base coach Andy Jenkins after hitting a solo homer.
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    OSU outfielder Dylan Davis jogs home after homering in the first inning to give OSU a 2-0 lead.
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    Danny Hayes gave the Beavers three-straight extra-base hits with this double.
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    Blake McFadden threw 23 pitches in 2/3 of an inning.
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    Ryan Barnes and Kavin Keyes both scored on Jake Rodriguez's single in the first, making it 5-0 Beavers before Kansas State had even approached the plate.
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    Pat Casey converses with home plate umpire Jay Asher as the Beavers try to get catcher Jake Rodriguez ready to warm up Andrew Moore for the bottom of the first inning.
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    Andrew Moore was efficient through eight innings, though he did allow a season-high four runs while throwing a career high 124 pitches.
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    Third baseman Kavin Keyes catches a pop up in the first inning.
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    OSU pitcher Ben Wetzler's sweat-stained hat. Wetzler will start Monday's game with Kansas State.
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    Danny Hayes (9) greets Andy Peterson (14) at home in the second inning.
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    Andrew Moore struck out a career-high nine batters as he improved to 14-1.
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    Kansas State's Jared King passes third base coach Mike Clement after hitting a solo homer in the second inning.
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    Kansas State's bullpen was a busy place from the first inning on. The Wildcats used six pitchers in the 12-4 loss.
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    Reliever Jake Doller jogs to the mound in the third inning for the Wildcats.
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    Ryan Barnes extended his hitting streak to 12 games, going 2-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored.
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    Kavin Keyes leads off first as Shane Conlon tries to hold him on. Keyes hit 4-for-5 with four runs scored.
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    Jordan Witcig, Kansas State's third reliever, gave up three hits and a run in 1 1/3 innings.
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    The Beavers confab during a pitching change.
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    First base coach Aaron Matthews high-5s Andy Peterson, who hit 2-for-6 with an RBI and a run scored.
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    OSU fans started posing for pictures during pitching changes in the seventh inning.
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    This fan got excited and danced to Y-M-C-A following the seventh-inning stretch.
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    Senior reserve Joey Matthews got a double on a dying quail to center in the ninth inning. It was his only at-bat. He scored on Tyler Smith's single.
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    Andrew Moore greets reliever Scott Schultz after loading the bases in the bottom of the ninth.
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    Scott Schultz, who threw just four pitches in Saturday's loss, needed 15 pitches to get the final three outs on Sunday.
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    There were no rally caps in the K-State dugout on Sunday.
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    Beaver fans applaud after Oregon State recorded the final out of the 12-4 victory to force a Game 3 Monday night in the Corvallis Super Regional.
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    Dylan Davis and Michael Conforto homered in back-to-back at-bats for the first time since they were high school teammates. They combined to hit 4-for-11 with four RBIs.
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