Matt Boyd said he was mad and angry after the Beavers dropped Friday night’s Pac-12 baseball series opener at Oregon.
“We’re going to win the series and it starts with tomorrow,” Boyd said confidently.
Following Saturday’s 9-0 win to even the series, Oregon State second baseman Andy Peterson talked about the importance of Sunday’s finale.
“We’ve got to come out with this momentum going right now,” he said. “Got to come out and really respond and sort of put them in their place.”
Peterson tried to back track a little when asked what he meant about that final part of the statement.
“We really feel we’re the best team in this league and we’ve really got to show it,” he said. “We still have five games left in the season. Really got to come out and get a little rhythm going into the postseason.”
You can’t blame either Boyd or Peterson for, what could be considered, brash statements. You have to play the game with confidence, right?
“Typically we have a lot of confidence to ourselves,” sophomore left fielder Michael Conforto said after Sunday’s 12-2 win to clinch the series. “I think a lot of emotions came out this weekend and we were a little frustrated after the Friday night game. I understand why things like that were said. But we’re always confident like that, within ourselves, so we were just really juiced.”
Conforto sure did his part to keep the Beavers, who moved up to No. 4 on Monday, confident. Conforto’s monster grand slam that landed on the roof over the Ducks’ bullpen in right gave OSU a 6-0 lead in the second. His solo shot in the sixth on Saturday gave the Beavers a 1-0 lead.
After starting 0 for 5 in the series, Conforto went 5 for 7 with two homers and seven RBIs to give him nine homers and 41 RBIs for the season.
Not only did the Beavers (43-9, 22-5) win the series, it gave them a two-game lead in the conference over Oregon (43-13, 20-7) and UCLA (37-15, 20-7) with three conference games to go for all three.
“It’s huge,” junior pitcher Ben Wetzler said. “We’re just one step closer to our goal of winning the Pac-12 title, and then our big goal of getting to the sunny place in Nebraska.”
Wetzler was referencing Omaha, site of the College World Series.
The teams aren’t done playing each other as they meet at 5:35 p.m. today in a nonconference battle in Goss Stadium.
And while the conference series may be over, there’s plenty left to play for tonight.
“(Sunday’s game was) the one that’s worth all the money but still it’s still a Civil War game (today) and we’re still playing a good club,” center fielder Max Gordon said. “Just because we won two this weekend doesn’t mean we can come out (today) and play. We’ve got to really bring it again. They’re a good club.”
Added Conforto: “We just take it as it’s another game. Obviously it’s another Civil War game so we’ll be real excited for it. It’s going to be a great homecoming after winning the series here. … We’re going to come out like we did (Sunday) and (Saturday), hopefully, and hit the ball around and pitch really well.”
Freshman right-hander Andrew Moore, who tossed a two-hit shutout against the Ducks on Saturday, was named the Pac-12’s pitcher of the week on Monday.
Moore broke Sam Gaviglio’s school freshman record of 10 wins with his 11th on Sunday. He lowered his ERA to 1.34.
Tough on Sundays
The Beavers have played 13 games on Sunday and have won all 13.
They are 6-0 on the road, 6-0 at home and 1-0 at a neutral site.
Not only have they gone undefeated, but they have been dominant, outscoring opponents 99-29.