CORVALLIS, OR - Travis Eckert battled into the eighth inning and KJ Harrison drove in three runs for Oregon State, which captured a three-game series with a 5-3 victory over visiting Arizona on Sunday afternoon at Goss Stadium.
Arizona (24-13, 9-9) struck for a first-inning run and had Eckert on the ropes with a bases-loaded jam in the second inning, but the right-hander wiggled out of his own trouble and then turned in a strong effort the rest of the way.
Cody Ramer drew a walk, Ryan Aguilar reached on an error and Joseph Maggi reached on a bunt single to load the bases. Then Eckert struck out Justin Behnke, induced Scott Kingery into a soft pop out and was able to get Kevin Newman to fly out to center field to end the threat.
Eckert's magician-like work to escape the jam kept the Beavers tailing by just one. They wasted no time tying the game.
Arizona starter Bobby Dalbec walked the first batter he faced in the home half of the second. Two outs later, Billy King lined a sharp single to center to drive in Harrison with a two-out RBI.
Oregon State (25-12, 8-7 Pac-12) took the lead in the fourth when Michael Howard led off with a solo home run to right field.
The Beavers added two more runs in the fifth, capitalizing on their own bases-loaded opportunity.
Dalbec walked the first two batters he faced, then a bunt advanced both into scoring position. The Wildcats elected to intentionally walk Jeff Hendrix, and Harrison responded with a two-run single to left field.
By then, Eckert had settled in and received an insurance run in the seventh for a 5-1 lead. He worked into the eighth without another run allowed until Bobby Dalbec crushed a home run to center field.
Eckert (W, 4-0) was lifted at that point, but had allowed only two runs on five hits and three walks. He also struck out four in 7.1 innings.
Reliever Luke Heimlich struggled, surrendering back-to-back hits and a walk to load the bases. In his place, Mitch Hickey gave up a sacrifice fly to pinch-hitter Michael Hoard, but the Wildcats could never draw closer than 5-3.
Hickey tossed a clean ninth inning to preserve his fifth save of the season.
Dalbec (L, 2-4) took the loss in just his second career start. He was charged for four runs on four hits and six walks, with only two strikeouts over five complete innings.
Relievers Cameron Ming, Robby Medel and Tyger Talley held the Beavers to one run on three hits over the final three innings, but the two-run eighth was the only rally Arizona mounted.
The Wildcats matched Oregon State with seven base hits in the contest, but Arizona was only 3-for-15 with runners on base, including 0-for-3 with the bases loaded.
Arizona will return home to begin a five-game homestand beginning Wednesday, April 22, for a non-conference game against Arizona State. The game will be televised live on the Pac-12 Network beginning at 7 p.m. (MST).
GAME NOTES: Bobby Dalbec hit his Pac-12-leading 12th home run of the season, including his fifth in the last five games … Each of Dalbec's last three home runs have come in the eighth inning or later … Dalbec extended his hitting streak to 14 games … Scott Kingery saw a 12-game hit streak snapped … Arizona has collected an extra base hit in 26 consecutive games … The Wildcats, who scored in the top of the first inning, entered the game 16-3 when scoring first this season and 11-2 when posting a run in the opening inning … Kingery was hitless for only the fourth time this season. It was the first game that Kingery and Kevin Newman were both held hitless this season.