Cardinal Rally For Win Over Beavers

This year's Stanford Cardinal baseball team has an uncanny knack for getting big hits in key situations. In Thursday's game at Oregon State, the Cardinal trailed 7-4 in the top of the eighth, but two home runs later, the game was all knotted up at seven apiece. Then in the top of the ninth, Stanford pushed across four more scores before holding off the Beavers in the bottom half of the inning for an 11-8, series-opening victory. Here is a complete recap.

Thursday's contest between Stanford and Oregon State was another thrilling Pac-10 baseball game with the Cardinal coming out on top by an 11-8 score.  The Cardinal trailed 7-4 heading into the eighth, but with three runs in that eighth inning and then four more in the ninth, Stanford recorded the victory to improve to 24-4 on the season (3-1 in the Pac-10).

Stanford took the early lead in this game with a single run in the top of the first inning.  It came on an inside-the-park homer off the bat of third baseman Jonny Ash.  Ash smoked a ball to deep right center field and OSU right fielder Jacoby Ellsbury could not make the catch up against the wall on a diving attempt.  He fell to the ground on the play and Ash raced around the bases for the home run.  Ellsbury was injured on the play and had to leave the game.

Cardinal starter Mark Romanczuk worked a 1-2-3 first inning, but ran into some serious trouble in the bottom of the second.  With one out, Andy Jenkins reached on an error by Ash and then moved to second when Aaron Mathews singled.  #7 hitter Paul Richie was up next and the Beaver catcher belted a three-run homer to left to make it a 3-1 Oregon State lead.

The Beavers weren't done though as after a walk and a single to the next two batters, new right fielder Chris Campos laced a double into left scoring two for a 5-1 OSU advantage.

Stanford quickly responded with three runs of their own against Oregon State starter Andy Baldwin in the top of the third.  Jed Lowrie doubled off the wall in left with one out which was followed by a walk to Danny Putnam.  First baseman John Mayberry, Jr. then delivered a home run of his own - a three run blast - to cut into the lead at 5-4.  For Mayberry, it was his seventh home run of the season.

That would be all the Cardinal would get though until the eighth inning as OSU added to their lead against Romanczuk.  The sophomore lefty actually settled down in the third and fourth innings putting up zeros in both frames.  In the bottom of the fifth, with the score still 5-4, Shea McFeely doubled with one out and scored on Jenkins' two-out single.  Then in the bottom of the sixth, Richie doubled to lead off and scored two batters later on a Tyler Graham single.  Romanczuk was pulled with one out and two on in that bottom of the sixth with the score reading Oregon State 7, Stanford 4.

Freshman Jeff Stimpson came on to relieve Romanczuk at this point and the young right hander did an excellent job getting out of the jam.  He got a ground out and a fly out from the first two batters he faced to retire the side and keep the score at 7-4.

After Stanford was again stifled in the top of the seventh, Stimpson set down the first two batters of the bottom of the inning before he was pulled in favor of Mark Jecmen.  Jecmen came on and struck out the only batter he would face in the game to end the inning.

Finally in the top of the eighth, with the score still 7-4 in favor of Oregon State, the Cardinal offense would break through.  Mayberry, Jr. got things started with a mammoth solo home run to left to make it a 7-5 game.  After a pitching change, Donny Lucy singled and then Brian Hall smoked a home run down the right field line to tie the game up.  Stanford would go down quietly after the tying home run, but the damage had been done. 

Closer David O'Hagan relieved Jecmen to start the bottom of the eighth and the senior right hander worked a perfect 1-2-3 frame recording a strike out in the process.

In the top of the ninth, Ash led off by reaching on an error by the shortstop.  After Lowrie struck out, Putnam came through with a clutch two-strike double to right center field as Ash moved to third on the play.  Then after Mayberry, Jr. was intentionally walked, Lucy delivered the go-ahead hit with a single into right field scoring both Ash and Putnam for a 9-7 Stanford lead.

After Hall flied out for the second out of the inning, pinch-hitter Jim Rapoport singled home Mayberry for Stanford's tenth run of the game and then Minaker singled home Lucy to make it 11-7.  Over the last two innings of this ballgame, the Cardinal offense plated seven runs on seven hits.

O'Hagan surrendered a leadoff homer to Campos in the bottom of the ninth, but then quickly set down the next three hitters (two by strike out) to end the game.

Game Notes:
* Mayberry, Jr. led the offense tonight with a 2-for-4, 2 HR, 4 RBI effort.  He's now tied with Lowrie for the team-lead (and conference-lead) in homers with eight.

* Other multi-hit games tonight came from Lowrie (2-for-5, 2B), Lucy (2-for-5, 2 RBI), Hall (2-for-5, HR, 2 RBI), and Minaker (2-for-5, RBI).

* Hall (13 games), Ash (ten games), and Mayberry, Jr. (seven games) each extended hitting streaks tonight.

* Romanczuk was roughed up today for seven runs (six earned) in 5 1/3 innings.  He walked two and struck out four.

* O'Hagan gets his fourth win of the season tonight with two innings of relief work.  He surrendered one run on one hit with no walks and three K's.

* With four more home runs tonight, Stanford has now hit 40 in their first 28 games of the season.

Stanford       1 0 3  0 0 0  0 3 4   -   11  15   1
Oregon State   0 5 0  0 1 1  0 0 1   -    8  11   2

WP: David O'Hagan (4-0)
LP: Kevin Gunderson (5-1)

HR: Stanford - John Mayberry, Jr. 2 (7, 8), Jonny Ash (4), Brian Hall (5) ; Oregon State - Paul Richie (2), Chris Campos (4)

Records: #1 Stanford (24-4, 3-1), Oregon State (18-10, 3-4)

* These two teams will continue this three-game series tomorrow at 5:00pm.  Blake Holler (3-1, 3.89) is scheduled to start on the mound for the Cardinal while Oregon State is expected to counter with Jake Postlewait (6-1, 3.04).  Postlewait is the ace of the OSU staff, but was held back one more day for this series.

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