May 10, 2013
STANFORD, Calif. - Senior RHP Mark Appel threw 103 pitches through five innings and gave up a season-high five earned runs in an abnormal outing as No. 5 Oregon State took the Pac-12 Conference baseball series opener Friday night, 7-3.
Brian Ragira was 4-for-4 on the night and set up 19th-ranked Stanford's three-run fourth, but postgame fireworks were the only ones the Cardinal would produce as its offense failed to catch up with the Beavers' bats in front of a season-high 3,576 fans at Sunken Diamond.
Oregon State (39-8 overall, 18-4 Pac-12) gained early momentum when an errant throw to first by Alex Blandino on the first play of the game led to an unearned run.
Beavers starter Matt Boyd (10-2) struck out the side in the bottom of the first, leaving Ragira stranded after a first-pitch single to left.
Kavin Keyes worked the count in the second inning, forcing Appel (8-4) to throw 10 pitches, before hitting a grounder up the middle that resulted in a double play.
Max Gordon made a spectacular diving catch in the fourth, laying out on the warning track to steal one from leadoff hitter Austin Slater. Ragira changed the Cardinal luck with a single to right and Austin Wilson followed up with a double. Danny Diekroeger drew a walk on a full count, setting up Blandino's bases-clearing double to right.
Diekroeger slid under the tag at home, beating out the throw to put the Cardinal ahead, 3-1.
Not to be outdone, Oregon State fired right back as Dylan Davis posted three RBI on a double down the leftfield line after Gordon was hit by a pitch, Andy Peterson singled to center and Michael Confronto walked.
Appel, who fanned four, matched a season-high with five walks before Kavin Keyes hit a grounder to score two more to give Oregon State a 6-3 lead.
The Cardinal left two stranded in a scoreless bottom half as it would go on to drop its third straight.
Davis hit a leadoff triple off the rightfield wall to start the seventh and Barnes hit a sac fly to left.
Having thrown only 0.2 innings entering the contest, Jordan Kutzer entered in the seventh and hit Jake Rodriguez before sending Keyes down swinging. Rodriguez was retired on Drew Jackson's 4-6 putout to end the seventh.
Smith reached on an error by Jackson to start the eighth. After Peterson reached on a bunt, Conforto grounded into the second of three Cardinal double plays.
Hopes of starting a rally in the eighth were banished as Blandino flew out to second, and Jose and Whiting were sent down on strikes.
Tony Bryant struck out six in 2.2 innings of relief for Oregon State.
The Cardinal will take on the Beavers in game two of the series at 2 p.m. (PT) on Saturday.