Card Can't Come Through Late In Loss To OSU

Stanford had to battle back again in their game tonight against the Oregon State Beavers, but this time came up one hit short in their 5-4 loss. The Cardinal put numerous runners in scoring position over the final two innings, but could not get that big hit to put them over the top. On the bright side, reliever Matt Manship came through with an excellent outing in long relief in what was easily the best performance of his season.

Stanford jumped on the board first in this game with a single run in the top of the first inning.  Sam Fuld led the game off with a ringing double and he would then advance to third on a fly out off the bat of Jonny AshJed Lowrie was up next and the Cardinal second baseman grounded a ball to third that was booted by OSU third baseman Shea McFeely for an error.  Fuld scored on the play as Lowrie was credited with an RBI.

Blake Holler worked around a leadoff single in the bottom of the first inning to put up a zero, but he could not keep the Beavers off the scoreboard in the second.  Aaron Mathews led off the inning with a triple to right and then two batters later, #7 hitter Mike Lissman launched a two-run home run to put Oregon State in front by a 2-1 scorer.

Holler had more problems in the third when the first two batters reached on a single and an error committed by the Cardinal hurler.  The freshman lefty though was able to get out of the frame without any damage as he set down the next three batters in order.

But in the fourth, Lissman again delivered a big hit to extend the OSU lead.  Paul Richie singled to start the inning and then Lissman smoked another two-run homer to make it a 4-1 game.  After setting down the next two batters, Holler surrendered a single and a walk which ended his evening.

Sophomore Matt Manship was summoned from the bullpen and the 6'4" righty struggled early as he uncorked a wild pitch and then balked home a run.  But he would strike out the #3 hitter McFeely to end the inning and keep the score at 5-1.

Meanwhile, Stanford could do very little against the Beavers starter Jake Postlewait.  Postlewait is the ace of this Oregon State staff, but was held back to start the second game of this series.  He brought a 6-1 record and a 3.04 ERA into today's game and is certainly one of the top pitchers in the conference.

He set down the Cardinal in order in the third and fourth innings before giving up a solo homer to Brian Hall to start the top of the fifth.  For Hall, it was his sixth home run of the season which ties a career-high as it made the score 5-2 Beavers. 

Stanford had a chance for more in that fifth inning as they put runners on the corners with one out, but Ash grounded into a 4-6-3 double play ending the rally.

Neither team scored in the sixth and seventh innings today as the 5-2 score was maintained.  Stanford had just a two-out single from Putnam in the top of the sixth during that stretch.  While on the other side, Manship was doing an excellent job keeping the Oregon State hitters at bay.

With Postlewait still on the mound, the Cardinal would cut into the Oregon State lead with two runs in the top of the eighth.  Ash drew a one-out walk and then Lowrie belted a two-run homer to center field to make it a 5-4 game.  For Lowrie, it was his team-leading ninth bomb of the season.

After Mayberry, Jr. followed the Lowrie blast with a single, Postlewait was removed from the game in favor or lefty Kevin Gunderson (2.16 ERA, .157 opposing average, was the losing pitcher in last night's game).  Gunderson walked Putnam to put two runners on and then a passed ball advanced the runners into scoring position.

But the theme of the evening for Stanford was their lack of clutch hitting.  Catcher Donny Lucy took a called strike three for the second out of the inning.  Then after an intentional walk to Hall to load the bases, Chris Minaker grounded into a fielders choice to end the threat.

Manship would put up another zero in the bottom of the eighth so the Cardinal hitters went back to work in the ninth still trailing by just one run. 

DH Ryan Seawell got things started with a big two-strike double to the right center field gap.  He would be removed from the game in favor of Jim Rapoport as Coach Marquess put his fastest bench player in to run at second.  Fuld was up next and he did his job getting the runner over to third with a ground out to first base.  But again, Stanford could not get a runner home from third with less than two outs.  Ash lined out softly to shortstop then after a walk to Lowrie and a pitching change, Mayberry, Jr. struck out swinging to end the contest.

Game Notes:
* One huge positive in this loss was the re-emergence of Matt Manship.  Manship was expected to be the #2 starter this season, but after a rough January practice season and a poor first start of the year, he was moved to the bullpen.  Manship brought a 5.11 ERA into today's game, but certainly didn't pitch that way tonight.  In 4 1/3 innings of relief work, Manship did not allow a run on just two hits.  He walked two and struck out four.  His season ERA is now down to 3.78 (with a stellar .222 opposing average).

* Starter Blake Holler was roughed up for five runs (all earned) on seven hits in 3 2/3 innings.  He walked one and struck out two.

* Hall extended his career-high hitting streak to 14 games with a 2-for-3, HR, RBI effort today.

* Ash's ten-game hitting streak came to an end tonight with an 0-for-4 performance.

* Other than Hall, multi-hit games tonight came from Fuld (2-for-5, 2B) and Seawell (2-for-4, 2B).

* Lowrie's three RBI today gives him 40 for the season (four ahead of Mayberry for the team-lead).

* Postlewait, the Oregon State starter, went 7 1/3 innings today yielding four runs on nine hits.  He runs his record to an impressive 7-1 on the season.

Stanford       1 0 0  0 1 0  0 2 0   -   4  10   1
Oregon State   0 2 0  3 0 0  0 0 x   -   5   9   1

WP: Jake Postlewait (7-1)
LP: Blake Holler (3-2)
S: Ben Rowe (1)

HR: Stanford - Jed Lowrie (9), Brian Hall (6) ; Oregon State - Mike Lissman 2 (3, 4)

Records: #1 Stanford (24-5, 3-2), Oregon State (19-10, 4-4)

* These two teams will play the rubber game of this three-game series tomorrow afternoon at 12:00pm.  Jeff Gilmore (5-1, 4.71) is scheduled to start on the hill for the Cardinal while the Beavers are expected to counter with freshman right hander Dallas Buck (1-2, 3.86).  Stanford has won all eight of their series played this season (they're a perfect 2-0 in rubber games this year).

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