Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Cats Come Up Short, Swept By Beavers
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: March 17, 2013
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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March 17, 2013

Oregon State 8, Arizona 4 (Box Score)

TUCSON, Ariz. - Michael Conforto homered for the second time in the series and Jake Rodriguez came off the bench and drove in five runs to lead fourth-ranked Oregon State to a three-game sweep of No. 20 Arizona with an 8-4 victory on Sunday afternoon at Hi Corbett Field.

Buoyed by Conforto's solo home run in the first inning, Oregon State (19-1, 3-0 Pac-12) was staked to an early lead and never looked back. The Beavers later broke open a 3-1 contest by scoring four times in the sixth, before holding off Arizona (15-8, 0-3 Pac-12) in the late innings.

Arizona starter Cody Moffett pitched into the sixth inning, but surrendered a leadoff double to Danny Hayes before walking Barnes. Nick Cunningham relieved Moffett, but an error led to a run and Jake Rodriguez later doubled in three runs to push the Beavers' advantage to 7-1.

Rodriguez, who did not start the game, came off the bench in the third inning and finished the contest 2-for-2 with five RBI. He had a pair of doubles and a sacrifice fly in his plate appearances.

The Wildcats fought back with a run in the bottom of the sixth after Kevin Newman tripled and was driven by a Jordan Bergersingle.

Trailing 7-2, Arizona added two runs in the bottom of the seventh and put the tying run at the plate. Johnny Field ignited a two-out rally with a solo home run the left field. Brandon Dixon followed with a double, and he scored on Trent Gilbert's RBI single to cut the deficit to 7-4.

Newman, who finished 3-for-5, added another single, which brought the tying run to the plate against reliever Max Engelbrekt. However, Sam Parris popped up to end the inning, stranding two of Arizona's 11 runners left on base in the game.

The Beavers added a key insurance run in the top of the eighth after Max Gordon reached on a bunt base hit before he was sacrificed to second. A wild pitch allowed Gordon to advance to third, before Rodriguez collected another RBI on a sacrifice fly to re-extend the lead to four runs.

In the bottom of the eighth, Arizona again threatened and put two on with two outs for Field. The Beavers went to closer Scott Schultz, who induced an inning-ending groundout to leave two more Wildcats stranded.

Schultz went on to work the ninth to close out the game, earning his fourth save of the season. The righty pitched 1.1 scoreless innings with a strikeout and a walk.

Ben Wetztler, who started and went 4.2 innings on the mound, did not qualify for the win. Instead, Brandon Jackson (W, 4-0), who worked 1.1 innings and gave up two runs, was credited with the win in relief after taking over with a runner on third in the sixth.

Moffett (L, 2-1) suffered the loss after giving up five runs on seven hits and three walks over five-plus innings. Cunningham allowed three runs - two earned - on two hits and a walk over 3.0 innings of relief for Arizona. Tyger Talley struck out two in a scoreless ninth inning.

Arizona stranded 22 runners in the series and went a combined 5-for-24 (.208) with runners in scoring position in the series.

The three-game sweep marks the first time Oregon State as swept the Wildcats in Tucson. For Arizona, it last was swept in a weekend series by California in April of 2010.

The Wildcats are on the road next weekend for a three-game set at No. 14 Oregon (15-6, 2-1 Pac-12). The set begins on Friday at 6 p.m. (PDT) at PK Park in Eugene, Ore. The game is scheduled to be broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks.

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