Stanford baseball (14-9, 6-6 Pac-12) got its mojo back in Corvallis, Oregon, taking the series against the No. 3 Oregon State Beavers (20-7, 7-5 Pac-12) over the weekend. After losing their first two series in Pac-12 play in early March and dropping out of the Top 25 this past week, the Cardinal have bounced back to win two straight series.
In the first game of the series on Friday, the Cardinal eked out a close win against the Beavers in extra innings. Senior starting pitcher Alex Williams pitched 6.1 innings and gave up zero runs. Beavers starting pitcher Cooper Hjerpe exceeded Williams’ efforts, however, going eight innings and giving up only two hits and zero runs.
At the top of the 10th inning with the score tied at 0-0 with zero outs, junior catcher Kody Huff hit a double to right center. On the following at-bat, do-it-all freshman outfielder/pitcher Braden Montgomery hit a double to send Huff to home plate. This run would be all the Cardinal needed, as junior relief pitcher Quinn Mathews kept the Beavers’ hitters at bay and the Cardinal took the 1-0 victory.
The second game of the series was another low-scoring, extra-inning thriller. After Oregon State center fielder Jacob Melton hit a double and advanced to third on a wild pitch, first baseman Garret Forrester hit a single up the middle to score Melton in the bottom of the 4th. A single and a fly out advanced Forrester to third base, and shortstop Jabin Trosky hit a sacrifice fly to bring Forrester home. After the fourth inning, the Beavers held a 2-0 lead.
At the top of the fifth inning, junior shortstop Adam Crampton got a walk and junior outfielder Brock Jones hit a double to keep runners on third and second with nobody out. Fifth-year senior left fielder Joe Lomuscio flew out to center field to score Crampton. Sophomore first baseman Graham Carter then hit a single to bring Jones home and knot the game up at 2-2. After a series of scoreless innings, Beavers left fielder Austin Meckler hit a double with two outs in the bottom of the 11th inning. Right fielder Justin Boyd hit a single to score Meckler, and the Beavers won 3-2.
In the third game of the series, the Cardinal had to mount a massive comeback. After three innings, Oregon State led 5-0. In the top of the fourth inning, the Cardinal put up three runs to pull closer to the Beavers, headlined by a double by Huff, which scored Graham. At the top of the sixth inning, Graham scored again, this time on a wild pitch. Shortly thereafter, sophomore third baseman Drew Bowser reached base on an error by Beavers third baseman Kyle Dernedde. This error scored both Huff and junior infielder Brett Barrera, and the Cardinal pulled ahead 6-5.
In the eighth inning, infielder/outfielder Tommy Troy hit a double to score Bowser and Jones and add insurance to the Cardinal’s lead. After sophomore Drew Dowd’s rough pitching start, Mathews took the mound and gave up only one earned run in seven innings of work. Stanford won the game 8-5 and took its second straight series.
Looking ahead, Stanford will play a midweek game on Tuesday against the Saint Mary’s Gaels before hosting Arizona State at Sunken Diamond over the weekend. At times this year, the Cardinal have lived up to their preseason top-10 ranking, but they must show more consistency across Pac-12 play if they want to host a regional or super regional in the NCAA tournament.