Final Score: Oregon State 5, Stanford 2 (Box score)
With Oregon State needing a win to solidify a berth into the NCAA postseason, and Stanford needing a win to help make a case as a bubble team, the Beavers won the battle in Sunday's rubber game, defeating the Cardinal 5-2.
The Beavers, who seem so much better when getting strong starting pitching (well, duh), got a great performance from Tyler Waldron. Waldron, who was working off four days rest after defeating Oregon on Tuesday, pitched six and two thirds innings, giving up a run on five hits while striking out five. On Tuesday, Waldron worked seven and a third innings, striking out ten Ducks. That's two back-to-back great starts from the sophomore from Pilot Hill, California, and only means good things for Oregon State's potential run in the playoffs.
The final linescore is not what you'd expect from the two best defensive clubs in the Pac-10. Oregon State won the game with five runs on five hits and an error... Stanford, on the other hand, had two runs on five hits with a four errors. Two of Oregon State's five runs were unearned.
For the second straight game, Stanford got on the board first, scoring a run in the first inning. In today's game, the Cardinal got a lead-off double from Colin Welsh and then executed the game well, getting two ground balls to the right side to score Welsh.
The Beavers, while leaving runners stranded on base left and right, would counter in the second and third innings, scoring a run in each inning. In the second, the Beavers loaded the bases by way of two Stanford errors and a walk by starter Brent Mooneham. Joey Wong would then score on yet another walk by Mooneyham, but a lazy fly ball from Ryan Ortiz left the bases loaded to end the inning. In the third, the Beavers loaded the bases yet again due to a walk, a hit batter, and a missed catch by a Stanford outfielder. Carter Bell would score Jared Norris from third on a sacrifice fly, but the Beavers would leave two more on base in the inning.
After three scoreless innings, the Beavers would widen the gap with three runs in the top of the seventh. In the top of the seventh last night, both the Beavers and the Cardinal scored two runs due to errors, past balls, and wild pitches... in the seventh inning of Sunday's game, Koa Kahalehoe came through with a double to left center with two men on base. Those two runners-- Ryan Ortiz and Jared Norris-- would score on the double, and John Wallace would drive in Kahalehoe with a single.
Stanford would fight back with a run in the bottom of the seventh off of a Adam Gaylord single, but Josh Osich would retire the side in the eighth, and closer Kevin Rhoderick would finish off the Cardinal in the ninth to get his eighth save of the year.
The loss puts Stanford at 30-25 on the season and 13-14 on the Pac-10, and virtually eliminates them from post-season consideration a year after tying for third place in the 2008 CWS in Omaha.
Oregon State finishes the year at 35-17, and 15-12 in Pac-10 play. The Beavers dropped four of five series' in the middle of the Pac-10 schedule, but finished on a high note by defeating Stanford due to Sunday's rubber game. That makes for series wins over Oregon, Cal, Arizona, Arizona State and Stanford, and losses to USC, UCLA, Washington, and Washington State.
The Beavers will now await their tournament fate, which will be announced during the NCAA Baseball Selection show tomorrow morning on ESPN.