SURPRISE, Ariz. – Kyle Nobach singled with two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the 10th inning to send Oregon State to a 4-3 win over Michigan State Saturday afternoon at Surprise Stadium.
Brooklyn may be thousands of miles from the Pacific Northwest, but Michael Conforto says he feels right at home.
The Mets’ 2014 first-round draft pick out of Oregon State went 1-for-4 with a run in his professional debut for the Brooklyn Cyclones at MCU Park Saturday night. The Cyclones beat the Williamsport Crosscutters, 8-4, in the Class A New York-Penn League game.
“It’s a new chapter in my life,” said Conforto, 21, who batted fourth and was the Cyclones’ designated hitter. “I’m very, very excited to start here in Brooklyn.”
Conforto, a lefthanded-hitting outfielder who was the 10th overall pick in the June draft, flied out in his first two at-bats before hitting a hard ground-ball single into rightfield in the sixth inning. He grounded out to short in the seventh.
“There was a little sigh of relief there,” Conforto said of his first professional hit. “It’s good to get that first one out of the way. But I felt good at the plate. I felt like I was seeing the ball well, I put some good swings on the ball and had some good at-bats.”
Said Cyclones manager Tom Gamboa: “It was a nice debut for Michael. Everyone is real happy for him. As good a player as he is, I think his quality as a person might even be better. Sometimes number-one picks, they don’t fit in. This guy, his personality is so affable and pleasant, he mingled [well] with everybody.”
The native of Washington state said he is enjoying his time in Brooklyn.
“New York’s great,” he said. “The food is awesome. I’ve definitely had quite a few sandwiches and some Italian food. I love it. The people are great here. Obviously, they love baseball, and that’s all I could ask for.”
Conforto finished his college career in early June with a .340 batting average, .463 on-base percentage and .557 slugging percentage in three seasons. He led the Pac-12 in on-base percentage and slugging last season.
ESPN’s Keith Law has Conforto ranked 32nd on his list of the top 50 prospects in baseball, calling him “the most advanced college bat in the draft class this year.” He also wrote, “He’s very close to major league-ready.”
“I can promise I’m going to work hard, come to work every day and do all the things I need to play at a high level and get myself up to par with these guys that are playing real well right now,” Conforto said. “I want to try to help this team win.
“I’m going to be working on every facet of my game. It’s my job now, and that’s pretty cool that I get to say that.”
CARY, N.C.. – Andrew Moore is one of 24 players who will comprise the final 2014 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team roster, it was announced on Monday.
The squad will be comprised of 12 pitchers and 12 position players, and Moore, who pitched in five innings during the team’s training camps, is one of three players from the Pac-12 Conference on the club.
Moore struck out eight in five innings, which included a start, during the training camp. Opponents batted .222 against him as he allowed four hits, one run and one walk.
It’s the first USA experience for Moore, who is also the eighth Oregon State player to don the red, white and blue for the Collegiate National Team.
Team USA has Monday off before opening a five-game series with Chinese Taipei Tuesday in Cary. The teams also play Wednesday in Shelby, N.C., Thursday in Charlotte, N.C. and Friday and Saturday at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, the Triple-A home of Tampa Bay’s top affiliate.
From there, Team USA plays a three-game friendship series versus Japan in North Carolina before leaving for Honkbal – Haarlem Baseball Week in The Netherlands starting July 11.
The nine-day tournament will be followed up by a five-game series against Cuba in Havana, which will conclude on July 27, ending the team’s tour.
A full schedule and roster can be found by visiting usabaseball.com.