With head coach Mark Marquess just one win away from becoming the fifth coach in NCAA history to reach 1,600 career wins, No. 15 Stanford baseball (14-9, 2-4 Pac-12) missed the opportunity to deliver the victory over the home weekend, dropping three straight against top-ranked Oregon State (24-1, 9-0).
Despite keeping Friday’s game close, the Cardinal were overpowered by the Beaver offense, allowing a combined 25 runs in three games.
Needing to get a strong start again the top-ranked Beavers, Stanford instead found itself trailing early on Friday, as Oregon State picked up a run just three batters into the game after a leadoff single and RBI double. After the early knocks, sophomore starter Kris Bubic found his rhythm, escaping a bases-loaded jam in the third while striking out six in 5.2 innings.
Oregon State added to its advantage in the fifth, where another RBI double increased its lead to 2-0. Stanford would respond, however, in the bottom of the frame, creating a run with some small ball play. With junior Mikey Diekroeger on base after a walk and single from sophomore Brandon Wulff, the Cardinal relied on a sacrifice bunt from senior Jack Klein and RBI sacrifice fly to center from junior Matt Winaker to bring a run across. The tally was just the third run Oregon State ace Luke Heimlich has allowed this season.
The Cardinal had a golden opportunity with the tying run on third with one out in the eighth, but Heimlich responded by forcing two ground outs, ending the threat. Oregon State would add a run in the ninth frame, stretching the final score to 3-1 and ending freshman Will Matthiessen’s 16.2-inning scoreless streak to start his career.
After the close game one, Stanford looked to improve on Saturday. Instead, the game was an offensive exhibition, with the top two pitching units in the Pac-12 Conference giving up 20 earned runs and 36 hits in the 15-7 Oregon State win.
Although Stanford led 1-0 after the first inning, the Beavers were quick to respond, scoring four in the second frame after five straight hitters reached base. The Cardinal tied up the game at four-all in the third off a home run by senior Alex Dunlap and used the momentum to swing a 6-4 lead in the fourth.
The hits would keep coming, as Oregon State proved why it is the top team in the nation, scoring in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings to retake a two-run lead. An RBI double to right center by sophomore Duke Kinamon put Stanford within reach, but the Beavers shut down the Cardinal in the eighth, bringing seven across in a monster frame that all but decided the game.
Despite outhitting Oregon State 9-8 on Sunday, Stanford was held scoreless for the afternoon, falling 7-0 against the Beavers. Senior Chris Castellanos saw his 10-game win streak snapped in his complete-game effort. The lefty gave up just three earned runs, but costly errors in the third and seventh innings and too many runners left on base proved the Cardinal’s undoing.
Stanford had opportunities in almost every inning, stranding runners in eight of nine frames. After the offensive explosion on Saturday, the team couldn’t manage to get runners across, ending the weekend sweep with a shutout.
The Cardinal will hope to recover from the weekend series and clinch the 1,600th victory for Coach Marquess on Tuesday against Cal. The matchup will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Sunken Diamond.
Contact Laura Anderson at lauraand ‘at’ stanford.edu.