Beavers baseball wins opener at Nevada

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RENO, Nev. – Tyler Smith hit his first home run of the season and the Oregon State baseball team opened its two-game midweek series at Nevada with a 6-5 win over the Wolfpack Monday afternoon at Peccole Park.

Smith hit the first pitch he saw from starter Troy Marks in the third inning over the left field fence, driving in three and putting the Beavers ahead for good after OSU found itself down two runs early.

Nevada made it interesting, scoring three runs in the eighth off reliever Matt Boyd. Closer Tony Bryant came in with one down and the Wolfpack managed to load the bases before Austin Byler struck out on a 1-2 pitch with two outs, preserving the one-run OSU lead.

Bryant proceeded to work a scoreless ninth for his sixth save of the season.

Taylor Starr made the start and worked four innings, allowing three hits and two runs with three strikeouts. He got the win to improve to 2-1 this season.

Brooks Klein drove in Nevada’s first run in the first on a single, then scored when Carlos Escobar doubled to left center. Starr managed to get a double play to end the inning, with the Beavers down 2-0.

That stayed until the third when OSU rallied for the first time. John Tommasini reached on a fielder’s choice, then moved to third when Joey Matthews singled through the right side on a hit and run.

Smith’s home run, a shot to left, was the third of his career and he drove in his 24th, 25th and 26th runs of the season.

The Beavers (19-11 overall) added to the lead in the seventh. Kavin Keyes, pinch hitting for Matthews, flew out to center for a sacrifice fly and saw OSU add a run on a throwing error on the play. Two batters later, Michael Conforto drilled a single to center, scoring a run.

Marks took the loss for Nevada (16-15) and dropped to 0-3 this season. He allowed three hits and three runs in five innings of work.

Jake Rodriguez led the Beavers’ offensive attack with two hits, extending his hit streak to a season-long five games.

The Beavers conclude their midweek series with Nevada Tuesday at 1 p.m. PT (broadcast at 12:30 PM – 960 the Sports Legend) at Peccole Park.