PULLMAN, Wash. – Michael Conforto hit a three-run home run in the third inning to break the Oregon State single-season RBI record with 69 as the Beavers gave Pat Casey his program-tying 613th win with a 7-5 victory over Washington State Sunday at Bailey-Brayton Field.
Conforto surpassed the previous record holder, Joe Gerber, who had 67 in the 2000 season. Now at 69 RBI on the year, Conforto, if the season ended today, would lead the Pac-12 Conference, the first Beaver to do so since Jim Wilson led the Pac-10 North with 62 in 1982.
Conforto’s home run was also his 13th of the season, tying him with Al Hunsinger (1980), Gerber (1999), Cole Gillespie (2006) and Stefen Romero (2010) for the fourth-most in a single-season. Conforto needs one to tie Bob McNair (1980) for third-most and is two shy of No. 2 Hunsinger (1981).
Sunday’s win, which gave the Beavers their first series win at Washington State since 2006, marked the 613th for head coach Pat Casey since coming to Corvallis in 1995. That ties Jack Riley for the most in a career at Oregon State.
Oregon State tallied 15 hits in the win, with Kavin Keyes, Ryan Dunn and Tyler Smith tying for the team lead with three apiece. Max Gordon also had two hits in the win as eight of nine Beavers in the lineup posted at least one.
Danny Hayes extended his hit streak to eight games with a double in the ninth. The designated hitter finished the series 6-for-11 with three home runs and eight RBI.
Gordon drove in the Beavers’ (35-18 overall, 15-12 Pac-12 Conference) first run of the game with a double in the third that was hit just inside the first base bag. He moved to third when Tyler Smith reached on an infield single and scored on Conforto’s three-run home run.
Dunn added to the Beavers’ lead in the fifth when he doubled past the third-base bag, scoring Conforto and Hayes.
Washington State (26-26, 11-16) broke into the Beavers’ lead with two sacrifice flies in the fourth for a 4-2 OSU advantage. The Cougars scored their third run when Collin Slaybaugh tripled to center in the fifth, putting OSU up 6-3.
The Beavers scored one in the sixth and the Cougars tallied a solo run in the seventh for the 7-4 final.
Dan Child worked eight innings in a start and allowed 11 hits and four runs while throwing 114 pitches. The right-hander struck out two to get the win and improve to 6-3 this season.
Dylan Davis picked up the final out in the ninth for his first career save.
Matt Boyd came in on relief of Child in the ninth and got the first out of the inning before giving way to Cole Brocker, who picked up the second out of the inning. He played first base for the team’s second out of the inning, a 4-6 fielder’s choice, then allowed a single to Slaybaugh that netted Washington State its fifth run.
Washington State starter Kyle Swannack scattered eight hits and five runs in four innings. He struck out one and took the loss to drop to 3-5.
Oregon State returns home for its final three games of the season next weekend when hosting Oregon in the Civil War presented by the Northwest Ford Dealers and PacificSource Health Plans. The clubs play at 5:35 p.m. PT Friday to open the series.
OREGON STATE NOTES: Joe Gerber had 67 RBI for the Beavers in 2000 and 57 in 1999 … He remains the lone Beaver with two years ranked in the top 10 in OSU history … Jack Riley went 613-411-5 in 22 years as Oregon State’s head coach, from 1973-94 … Pat Casey’s 613th win tied him for 13th in Pac-12 history … Arizona State’s former head coach Pat Murphy is 12th with 629 wins … Michael Conforto and Danny Hayes combined for five home runs against the Cougars … Hayes had eight RBI against WSU and 10 on the week after driving in two against Portland Tuesday.