After going 2-8 in their last 10 games, Oregon State really needed a solid win to close out the season and make their case to the NCAA, and they got one today, knocking off the ninth ranked Stanford Cardinal 9-1 to avoid the series sweep and close the season with a win. The Beavers finish the season 34-22, with a 16-14 PAC-12 record.
After 19 scoreless innings against Stanford, the Beavers finally got a run on the scoreboard in the top of the second. Jake Dukart opened the inning with a single, and then a Garret Forrester walk moved him up to second base. A fielding error allowed Greg Fuchs to reach base, loading the bases with one out. A Matthew Gretler double then scored Dukart and Forrester, giving the Beavers their first runs of the series and 2-0 lead.
With two outs down in the top of the fourth, the Beavers found a way to add more runs to their total. A Stanford error put Wade Meckler on third base, and then Justin Boyd fouled off 5 pitches before hitting a single to right to bring Meckler home. Troy Claunch then extended his hitting streak to 17 games with a single that moved Boyd to third, and then a double steal from Claunch and Boyd gave the Beavers a 4-0 lead.
Stanford got a run back in the bottom of the fourth with a Drew Bowser double that scored Christian Robinson, but the Beavers wouldn’t give up many more hits. Starter Jake Pfennigs pitched for 6.0 innings, during which he allowed 5 hits and one earned run on the way to his fifth win of the season, giving him a 5-0 record.
After a scoreless fifth, things started to heat up again in the sixth. Singles by Kyle Dernedde and Wade Meckler got the Beavers some baserunners, and then a sac bunt from Justin Boyd resulted in a throwing error, which allowed Dernedde to score and Boyd and Meckler to reach second and third, respectively.
A Troy Claunch single scored Meckler, and set up a Garret Forrester single to score Boyd a couple batters later. After six, the Beavers led 7-1, but they weren’t finished. In the top of the seventh, a single from Kyle Dernedde and a Wade Meckler walk gave the Beavers another runner in scoring position, and a Matthew Boyd single gave them another run. 8-1.
The Beavers would get one more run in the top of the ninth, from who else but Troy Claunch, picking up his third hit of the day and his second RBI. He scored Kyle Dernedde, who had reached on balls earlier. Dernedde also had a solid day at the plate, with his 2 hits and 2 walks giving him 3 runs.
With the Beavers struggling of late, a 9-1 win over the ninth ranked team in the nation puts a solid cap on the regular season. The Beavers still look set to represent Oregon State in postseason play, but we won’t know where they’ll be going and what seed they’ll be getting until Monday, when the NCAA will announce their selections. ESPN 2 will be airing the selection show at 9 AM PT.