Hayes Homer Helps Beavers Eek Out Sweep

Danny Hayes hammered a "no-doubt" homer over the trees in right field to get Oregon St. off to a good start Sunday at Stanford.

Final Score: Oregon St. 5 Stanford 4

A towering two run homer by Danny Hayes to start the 2nd inning after Dylan Davis had walked, and a spectacular 6-4-2 double play, where Andy Peterson threw Austin Wilson out at the plate, were the big plays of the game for Oregon St., but scoring the 2 runs that would prove to be the decisive ones in the 5th inning without getting a hit was just as important to the Beavers getting the win that completed their 3rd consecutive Pac-12 series sweep, and second in a row at Stanford's Sunken Diamond.

Matt Boyd and Andrew Moore again deserve part of the credit as well, as for the second weekend in a row, both went deep into their games in the process of getting their wins, and as a result, keeping Scott Schultz out of games until late Sunday afternoon. Today, he was really needed, and induced the double play ball Peterson delivered to Nate Esposito, who was starting in place of Jake Rodriguez, who was suspended for a game after being ejected Saturday. Schultz then got out of the 8th inning with a strikeout, and set Stanford down in order in the bottom of the 9th inning to earn his 10th save of the season.

Oregon St. won despite getting only 3 hits by drawing 9 walks and being hit by pitches 4 times, 3 by first time Stanford starter Sam Lindquist, who ultimately took the loss, and dropped to 2-2.

The last 2 were against Tyler Smith and Peterson to start off the 5th inning, and the problem didn't end when Garrett Hughes took over, as Hughes hit Hayes after walking Michael Conforto, scoring Smith. Peterson subsequently scored on a sacrifice fly by Kavin Keyes, which made it 5-0 Oregon St. after 5 innings.

The Beavers had to hang on though, and ultimately turn to Schultz, after Oregon St. stranded Keyes at 3rd base in the 8th inning, and loaded the bases with 1 out in the 9th inning, but were unable to add any insurance runs in either case.

The Cardinal cut the deficit by 2 runs in both the 6th and 8th innings to make things uncomfortable for the Beavers.

Back to back singles by Justin Ringo and Austin Slater to lead off the 6th put Stanford in position to score, and it could have been even more had Peterson not thrown a double play ball away, necessitating a double play.

The Cardinal scored two more in the 8th, after Tony Bryant, who had taken over for Beaver starter Ben Wetzler part way through the 7th, issued back to back leadoff walks to Austin Slater and Brian Ragira. That was the end for Bryant, but Slater scored when Wilson doubled, and Ragira scored to pull within a run when Hayes' throw to the plate was high.

Things turned in the next at bat though, as Schultz induced a grounder that looked like a double play ball that would have allowed Wilson to score the game tieing run had Peterson not elected to get the second out at the plate instead of at first base.

Schultz then got out of the inning with a strike out, and opened the 9th inning with another, before back to back ground outs through Peterson to Hayes ended it.

Ben Wetzler worked 1 out into the 7th inning, earning his 6th consecutive Sunday win, improving him to 6-1 for the season.

6th ranked Oregon St. opened a full 1 game lead over Oregon, who completed a 3 game non-conference series sweep at Ohio St. earlier in the day with a 1-0 win, in the Pac-12 race.

The Beavers and Ducks square off in a weekend series at PK Park in Eugene starting next Friday evening at 6 PM, with the conference championship probably at stake.

Oregon St. will enter the Civil War showdown with a record of 41-8, tieing the 2005 team for most wins in the regular season, and a 20-4 Pac-12 record, surpassing that '05 team for most conference wins since the reunification of the Pac in 1999. The 20 conference wins also equals the 1993 team's record in the Pac-10 Northern Division for second most conference wins in a season ever, behind the 22-5 mark of the 1994 team.

Stanford, who entered the weekend ranked #25, slipped to 26-20, and 11-13 in the Pac-12, leaving their post season hopes in serious jeopardy, after 5 straight losses, with series at rival California and against UCLA, the 3rd place team in the conference, still ahead.

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com

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