All posts by Aaron Yost

Aaron Yost is a freelance sports reporter, writer and photographer with a career spanning more than three decades at five different newspapers in Oregon. He has covered the Pac-10/Pac-12 Conference on a regular basis since 1993.

Inside the Pac-12: On heels of 1-0 Oregon State victory, conference title remains at large

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Three Northwest players made sure any decision on the 2014 Pac-12 Conference champion will remain for another day as freshman catcher Logan Ice drilled an RBI double off the right field wall in the bottom of the ninth at Goss Stadium to lift No. 2 Oregon State to a 1-0 victory over No. 5 Washington.

Ice’s one-out hit off reliever Troy Rallings – who had riled up Beaver Believers the night before with his antics in a 4-2 Huskies win – made a complete-game winner of Jace Fry and plated Dylan Davis. Davis had led off the ninth with a single that helped lead to the exit of UW starter Tyler Davis. Continue reading Inside the Pac-12: On heels of 1-0 Oregon State victory, conference title remains at large

Inside the Pac-12: Contender building in the Northwest

When Pat Casey built Oregon State into a perennial contender, he did so with Pacific Northwest recruits. From 2005-07, the Beavers appeared in three straight College World Series, winning two titles, and had Oregonians as the Friday night starters each year.

Stars of those teams came from places like Madras, Ontario, Salem, Forest Grove, Hillsboro, Oregon City, Portland. And there was a strong presence of players from north of the Oregon-Washington border, too. Continue reading Inside the Pac-12: Contender building in the Northwest

Inside the Pac-12: Slumping Bruins battle on

Lost amidst the carnage of an 0-3 Pac-12 Conference weekend for the UCLA Bruins is the way they continue to take every setback in stride.

College World Series champions last June, the Bruins (23-24-1, 10-13 Pac-12) are barely a bubble team this season, struggling with injuries throughout the roster.

Continue reading Inside the Pac-12: Slumping Bruins battle on

Inside the Pac-12: A Mother’s Day gift at Goss

“He doesn’t have to take me anywhere after that,” Tracie Conforto said right after hugging her son, Oregon State junior outfielder Michael Conforto, in the stands at Goss Stadium on Sunday.

“That” was the younger Conforto’s two-homer, five RBI performance in an 11-2 victory over UCLA. The win gives OSU a full-game lead over Washington for the Pac-12 Conference title with the Huskies coming into Goss next weekend for a three-game showdown. Continue reading Inside the Pac-12: A Mother’s Day gift at Goss

Around the WCC: Father-son combination finally happens at San Francisco

Nino Giarratano was named the head coach at San Francisco 16 years ago or shortly after Nico Giarratano left short pants behind.

For years, Nino heard about Nico’s prowess on the baseball field through text messages from Brenda Giarratano and phone calls, his coaching duties preventing him from seeing his son develop as a competitor and ballplayer. Continue reading Around the WCC: Father-son combination finally happens at San Francisco

Big 12 contender: Oklahoma State closing on first conference title

There’s a new sheriff in Big 12 baseball – or at least a strong contender for the title – as Oklahoma State has built up a three-game lead in the win column on the Cowboys’ nearest competitor.

The Pokes from Stillwater are no pushovers in the conference after taking 2 of 3 from Texas last weekend to 31-13 overall and 13-5 in the conference.

The Cowboys are stepping outside of conference this weekend, facing Arizona State in a three-game set, and finish the year against last-place Kansas State and struggling Oklahoma. They’re ranked as high as No. 9 and have a climbing RPI – sufficient to have them drawing attention in the race for an NCAA Regional.

For more on how things have changed at OK-State, which has never won a Big 12 regular season title, click here: Shifting mindset has Oklahoma State rising in Big 12

WCC profile: Zimmer adjusting to changing roles, expectations

Bradley Zimmer isn’t out to blaze any new trails, just to find some consistency.

It’s been a challenge for the University of San Francisco junior. He’s the highest profile player on a team battling to find its way in the West Coast Conference.

A 2013 WCC all-star, Zimmer is one of the top draft-eligible juniors in the country, a 6-foot-5, 205-pound center fielder who can hit and run. He turned a sure single into a standup triple in a recent game with Portland. That led to a big ninth inning as the Dons (20-22, 8-13) salvaged a win over the Pilots.

Batting lead off, Zimmer went 3-for-4 in that victory, the second half of a doubleheader. Hitting third in the first game, he was 1-for-4. Continue reading WCC profile: Zimmer adjusting to changing roles, expectations

Inside the Pac-12: Oregon State shows its mettle in sweep of Ducks

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Six days ago, Oregon State blew a 6-1 lead in a loss to Sacramento State.

The Beavers underwent a “come-to-Jesus” talking to from senior pitcher Ben Wetzler. Since then, the Beavers have been both resilient, patient and unbeatable.

Junior lefthander Jace Fry allowed one hit in eight innings, Michael Conforto had a first-inning solo home run and fifth-ranked Oregon State won its fourth straight in finishing off a Pac-12 Conference sweep of arch rival Oregon at Goss Stadium on Sunday with a 7-1 victory. Continue reading Inside the Pac-12: Oregon State shows its mettle in sweep of Ducks