Jacob Kmatz strikes out 10, Oregon State baseball slugs past Michigan Wolverines

Oregon State Beavers Jacob Kmatz

Oregon State right-hander Jacob Kmatz finished with a career-high 10 strikeouts as the Beavers beat the Michigan Wolverines Saturday in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Mario Terrana)Mario Terrana

The Oregon State baseball team’s offensive slumber didn’t last long.

Less than 24 hours to be exact.

The No. 7 Beavers rebounded from their first loss of the season with another scoring barrage, blasting the Michigan Wolverines 11-1 in seven innings Saturday afternoon at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

Oregon State (6-1), which was held to a season-low four runs and struck out a school-record 23 times Friday night, responded by run-ruling the Wolverines (2-4) in its second game at the Kubota College Baseball Series.

All nine starters recorded at least one hit and six of them recorded at least one RBI, as the Beavers’ lineup pounded out 13 hits and reached double digits in scoring for the fourth time in six games.

The fireworks started in the second inning, when Oregon State sent seven batters to the plate and scored three runs to snatch a 3-1 lead. Designated hitter Jacob Krieg drove in the first run, smacking an RBI single to left to score Gavin Turley, and Jabin Trosky followed with a two-run double to left, scoring Dallas Macias and Krieg. It was the first at-bat of the season for Trosky, who started at shortstop for Elijah Hainline and missed all of 2023 after undergoing season-ending arm surgery.

An inning later, Turley hit his third home run of the season — a two-run shot that sailed 438 feet into the second deck in left field — and the rout was on. The Beavers batted in only six innings and put up crooked numbers in four of them, erasing the sting of their Friday night defeat against No. 2 Arkansas and dominant left-hander Hagen Smith.

Turley, who struck out four times against the Razorbacks, redeemed himself with a 2-for-3 Saturday that included three RBIs, three runs scored, a walk and that towering homer. Micah McDowell (2 for 3, double, three runs scored), Mason Guerra (2 for 4, two RBIs) and Macias (2 for 3, one RBI, one run scored) also had multi-hit games. The run-rule went into effect in the sixth, when Guerra chopped a two-run single to left and Krieg drew a bases-loaded walk, giving OSU a 10-run edge.

The Beavers have now scored 67 runs and amassed 76 hits this season, an average of 11.2 and 12.7, respectively, per game.

Nearly lost amid all the offense was a dominant start by junior right-hander Jacob Kmatz, who cruised to his first win of the season with one of the most electric performances of his college career. Kmatz (1-0) overpowered the Wolverines over 5 1/3 innings, allowing just one run on three hits, while recording a career-high 10 strikeouts.

Kmatz made just one mistake all game — a second-inning belt-high fastball that Jonathan Kim hit into the right-field bleachers — as he mowed through the Michigan lineup. Kmatz fanned four of the first six batters he faced and recorded multiple strikeouts in four different innings, all while throwing 53 of his 82 pitches for strikes.

It was an encouraging outing for a player who missed the 2023 postseason with an injury and lasted just three innings in his first start of 2024 last week.

Next up: The Beavers play Oklahoma State at 3 p.m. Sunday in their third and final game of the round-robin series.

Joe Freeman | jfreeman@oregonian.com | 503-294-5183 | @BlazerFreeman | Subscribe to The Oregonian/OregonLive newsletters and podcasts for the latest news and top stories.

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