Athlete of the Week
Published: Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 00:03
It took the No. 4 Oregon State baseball team’s offense until the fourth game of the series to break out, and it was sophomore outfielder Michael Conforto leading the way for the Beavers.
Conforto went on a tear on Saturday and Sunday, making it look like he was in the Home Run Derby, rather than playing a game.
In the four-game series against Bryant University, Conforto had seven hits in 12 at-bats, including four home runs and 12 runs batted in.
His performance in the four-game sweep, which gave the Beavers a 12-0 record, made him an easy choice for The Daily Barometer’s Athlete of the Week.
The highlight of his weekend was a sixth-inning grand slam on Sunday, which gave OSU a 9-0 lead.
It seemed improbable for Conforto to top the grand slam, but he did just that when he sent a three-run home run well over the scoreboard in right-center field one inning later.
“The ball looks huge right now,” Conforto said on Sunday. “Sometimes when you’re swinging it good, you have a lot of confidence and I feel really relaxed up there.”
The home runs on Sunday were his third and fourth of the season. He hit a two-run home run in each game in Saturday’s doubleheader.
Conforto was a Second Team All-American as a freshman in 2012. He led the Pac-12 in RBIs with 76, and was tied for first in home runs with 13.
Before the series with Bryant, Conforto was off to a fairly slow start given the high expectations after his standout freshman year. He had not hit a home run and had only tallied four RBIs in the first eight games.
It was only a matter of time before Conforto broke out.
“I knew I was swinging it well and good things were coming because I was hitting balls hard,” Conforto said. “It showed [Sunday], I guess.”