Jacob Melton Named Pac-12 Player of The Year; Eight Beavers Selected To First Team
SAN FRANCISCO – Oregon State outfielder Jacob Melton has been named the Pac-12 Conference's Player of the Year, as voted upon by the league's coaches and announced on Tuesday.
Melton is the sixth Beaver to named the conference's Player of the Year since the then-Pac-10 combined divisions in 1999. He joins Jacoby Ellsbury (2005), Cole Gillespie (2006), Michael Conforto (2013 and 2014), Nick Madrigal (2017) and Adley Rutschman (2019).
Melton, a Medford, Ore., native, led the Pac-12 with 71 RBI during the 2022 regular season. He was first with a .702 slugging percentage, tied for second with 19 stolen bases, tied for third with 20 doubles, tied for fourth with 57 runs, tied for fifth with 15 home runs, seventh with 75 hits, tied for ninth with three triples and tied for 10th with a .429 on-base percentage.
Melton headlines a list of eight Beavers who were named First-Team All-Pac-12, and is joined by left-handed pitcher infielder Travis Bazzana, right-handed pitcher Ryan Brown, right-handed pitcher Ben Ferrer, first baseman Garret Forrester, Cooper Hjerpe, catcher Gavin Logan and outfielder Wade Meckler. Outfielder Justin Boyd and right-handed pitcher Jacob Kmatz were each named honorable mention while Bazzana and Boyd were named to the All-Defensive Team.
Bazzana batted .321 through the regular season, totaling 14 doubles, four triples, four home runs and 41 RBI with nine stolen bases. He also committed just one error in 209 chances for a .995 fielding percentage.
Brown enters Wednesday's Pac-12 opener with a 4-0 record and 3.71 earned run average in 24 appearances, totaling 26 2/3 inning. His nine saves on the year are tied for first in the Pac-12.
Ferrer has a 3-0 record and 1.97 ERA in 19 games this season, making one start. The righty has struck out 65 in 50 1/3 innings, limiting opponents to a .156 batting average against. He has also issued just 10 walks and sports a 0.72 WHIP.
Forrester hit his fourth home run of the season Saturday and is batting .326 with 10 doubles, 39 RBI and 51 walks. His 51 walks drawn rank first in the Pac-12, and his .480 on-base percentage is second only to Boyd's .484 in the Pac-12 statistical rankings.
Hjerpe enters the Pac-12 Tournament with a 9-2 record and 2.36 ERA in 14 starts. The lefty has struck out 135 in 84 innings, which ranks fourth in the nation. Opponents are batting just .188 against him and he has a 0.88 WHIP thanks to just 57 hits and 17 walks allowed this year.
Logan enters the postseason with seven doubles, two triples, two home runs and 28 RBI in 35 games, and the backstop is batting .276 with 17 walks. He sports a 1.000 fielding percentage and has committed just four passed balls, among the fewest in the Pac-12.
Meckler, meanwhile, has reached base safely in 52 of the Beavers' 54 games this year. He is batting .354 with 20 doubles, two triples, two home runs and 28 RBI, while swiping 11 bases. He is the only Beaver to play in all 54 games this season.
Boyd is batting .351 while playing in and starting 50 games. He leads the Pac-12 with 22 stolen bases and has totaled nine doubles, three triples and seven home runs with 45 RBI. He also has a .991 fielding percentage.
Kmatz has anchored the Saturday spot in the Beavers' rotation, and is 8-1 with a 3.82 ERA in his first season in Corvallis. He has struck out 58 to just 12 walks in 68 1/3 innings, posting a 1.11 WHIP.
Oregon State hits the road for the Pac-12 Tournament, which starts Wednesday in Scottsdale, Ariz. The Beavers are the No. 2 seed in the tournament and will open at 4:45 p.m. PT versus Washington.
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