The baseball team’s highly-anticipated visit to has devolved into a painful trip to forget. The No. 9 Cardinal beat the Beavers 8-5 Saturday night at Sunken Diamond, clinching a decisive series victory in a matchup of perennial Pac-12 powers.
For the second consecutive night, the Beavers made things interesting with a late-game rally. And for the second consecutive night, that rally came up short. Oregon State (12-7, 1-4 Pac-12) lost for the fifth time in the last six games and suffered its second consecutive series defeat, with both coming against conference opponents.
It’s the first time the Beavers have been three-games-under . 500 in conference play since 2010, when they finished 12-15 in what was then the Pac-10. Much like Friday night’s , when the Cardinal opened up a 9-3 lead before withstanding a late OSU comeback, Game 2 featured a little ninth-inning drama.
The Beavers scored five runs over the final three innings and sent the tying run to the plate twice in the ninth, a stunning development considering they trailed 8-0 after six innings. But in the ninth, grounded out with the bases loaded to make the second out, and grounded out with runners on second and third to make the final out, ending the comeback bid. Without the last-gasp effort, the game would have been a laugher.
Stanford (12-6, 3-2) chased starter (1-3) in the fifth inning, torched the Beavers’ bullpen for the second consecutive night and controlled things throughout as it beat OSU for the fourth time in a row. The Cardinal mashed 14 hits, including another home run, as five different Stanford batters finished with multi-hit nights. Sophomore slugger Branden Montgomery, who bullied Beavers pitching for the second night in a row, looked like the best player on the field, hitting a two-run homer in the fourth — his second in the series — and clubbing a two-run double in the sixth.
Montgomery finished 2 for 3 with five RBIs and one run scored, and he enters Sunday’s series finale ranked first in the Pac-12 in slugging percentage (. 818), second in batting average (. 418) and fourth in homers (six).
Alberto Rios added three hits and two runs scored, while Eddie Park, Malcom Moore and Carter Graham each had two hits for Stanford, which used a four-run sixth inning to break open a 4-0 game. Freshman right-hander Matt Moore threw the best game of his young career to earn his third win, striking out six and surrendering just one run over six dominant innings. Kmatz, on the other hand, suffered his third consecutive defeat, allowing four runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings.
Stanford also touch up reliever Ian Lawson for four runs and five hits in the sixth inning, which proved to be the difference. went 2 for 4 with an RBI double in the eighth and went 2 for 5 with an RBI double in the ninth. But it wasn’t enough on a night the Beavers went 4 for 18 with runners on base, including just 2 for 14 with runners in scoring position.
Oregon State will try to avoid the sweep on Sunday, when the teams play the series finale at noon at Sunken Diamond. The game is airing live on the Pac-12 Networks. — | | 503-294-5183 | | Subscribe to The Oregonian/OregonLive and for the latest news and top stories.