Offense Non-Existent in 3-1 Loss

Ben Rowe of Oregon State threw a four-hit complete-game to lead the Beavers to a 3-1 victory over the Stanford Cardinal on Friday night in Corvallis. It was the first time since May of 1999 that the Card were held to under five hits in a game as the loss sent them to an even .500 in Pac-10 play. Read on for a complete recap.

Times are tough right now for the Stanford Cardinal hitters as they were four-hit this evening by Ben Rowe of the Oregon State Beavers in a 3-1 loss.  With the defeat, the Card fall to an even 5-5 in conference play and they are now 3 1/2 games behind the USC Trojans in the Pac-10 race.  Because of the loss tonight, it sets up two absolute must-win games for Stanford this weekend if they hope to claim their 5th Pac-10 title in the last six years.

This game was a pitcher's duel from start to finish between Rowe and Stanford starter Jeremy Guthrie.  Through three innings, each team had mustered only one hit and neither had mounted a serious rally.  Then in the top of the fourth inning, Ryan Garko led off with a deep home run to left field, his 8th homer of the year, to put the Cardinal ahead 1-0.  But the lead would be short-lived, as the Beavers responded with three runs of their own in the bottom of the fourth off Guthrie.  #3 hitter Chris Biles led off with a double down the right field line and then was moved over to third on a sacrifice bunt.  It looked like Guthrie was going to get out of the inning when he got the next hitter, Andy Jarvis, to ground out to first base for the second out.  But it was not to be as Seth Pietsch then stepped to the plate and singled home Biles from third to tie the game at 1-1.  Catcher Wick Udy was the next hitter and he singled to left field moving Pietsch to second and then Pietsch scored the go-ahead run when the following batter, J.R. Runyon singled up the middle for a 2-1 lead.  Then Guthrie was overcome with some rare wildness as he walked #9 hitter Will Hudson to load the bases and then he walked Tom Creighton on four pitches forcing home the third run of the inning.  Before Guthrie was finally able to get out of the inning, it was a 3-1 Oregon State lead and that's all Ben Rowe would need.

Rowe, who entered the game with a 5.86 ERA, set down the Cardinal hitters 1-2-3 in the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings as a runner didn't reach base after the Garko homer until Andy Topham reached on an error with one out in the eighth.  Topham though was stranded on the base paths as pinch-hitter Chris Carter grounded out and then Chris O'Riordan flied out to end the inning.  Then in the ninth with one out, Ryan Garko reached first with a single down the right field line, Stanford's first hit since the fourth inning.  After a Jason Cooper fly out, Carlos Quentin reached on an infield single bringing the go-ahead run to the plate.  But Danny Putnam could not come through in the clutch as he flied out to center field to end the game sending Stanford to .500 in conference play.

Game Notes :
* Chris O'Riordan finished the evening 0-for-4 snapping his 12-game hitting streak.  He also did not reach base in this game snapping his streak of 38 consecutive games (every game in 2002) that he had reached base safely.

* Jeremy Guthrie threw all eight innings for Stanford but was the hard-luck loser as he saw his 11-game winning streak come to an end.  Guthrie gave up eight hits, three runs, three walks while recording five strikeouts.

* OSU starter Ben Rowe went the distance giving up just the one run on four hits.  He did not walk a batter while picking-up four strikeouts.  Rowe gave up four runs in just 1 1/3 innings in his start versus UCLA last weekend.

* This was the first night game ever played at Goss Stadium in Corvallis.

Stanford      0 0 0  1 0 0  0 0 0   -   1   4   1
Oregon State  0 0 0  3 0 0  0 0 0   -   3   8   1

The series will continue tomorrow afternoon at 4pm with Tim Cunningham (5-2, 4.24) on the mound for the Cardinal.  Oregon State is expected to start Stephen Copeland (4-2, 5.78).


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