OSU’s Conforto named freshman of the year



WALNUT CREEK, Calif. – Oregon State outfielder Michael Conforto has been named the Pac-12 Conference’s Freshman of the Year, as announced by the league office on Wednesday. Conforto is a First-Team All-League selection, as is junior Tyler Smith, while freshman Jace Fry has been named honorable mention.

The selections were made by the league’s coaches with the stipulation that they not vote for their own players.

Conforto took the league by storm this season, ranking first in runs batted in (71) – which also set the OSU record – and tied for first with 13 home runs. He was also first in the regular season in slugging percentage (.603), second in total bases (123), seventh in on-base percentage (.435) and 11th in batting average (.343). He was just outside the top 10 with 70 hits.

It seemed as though he got better as the year wore on evidenced by the fact he lead the league with eight home runs and 36 RBI in Pac-12 games while posting a .537 slugging percentage, which was sixth in the conference.

Conforto is the first Beaver to be named the league’s Freshman of the Year since Darwin Barney in 2005.

For Smith, it’s his second career league honor as he was named honorable mention in 2011 as a sophomore. He finished eighth in the league with a .350 batting average and fifth with a .440 on-base percentage. He collected 69 hits with 34 RBI in 54 games this season.

Fry takes the honorable mention honor after finishing the regular season with a 5-3 record and 2.48 earned run average in 12 games, all starts. He struck out 49 in 83 1/3 innings and held opponents to a .215 batting average. Opponents managed just six extra base hits off Fry.