April 13, 2008
Corvallis, Ore. -
No. 10 Stanford (17-11-1, 6-3 Pac-10) stayed tied for first place at the top of the Pac-10 standings after a 4-2 victory over two-time defending College World Series champions Oregon State (16-12, 4-5 Pac-10) in the rubber game of a three-game conference series at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field on Sunday. Stanford and Arizona State are now co-leading the conference with 6-3 league marks. The Cardinal extended its three-game regular season series win streak to 10 with the win and stayed unbeaten in rubber games, series finales and on weekends.
"We've been able to play very well this season particularly when there is a lot on the line," said Stanford head coach Mark Marquess.
"In order to keep pace in the Pac-10 you've got to win series," added Cord Phelps, who was 5-for-10 with two homers and seven RBI in the first two games versus the Beavers before going 0-for-4 on Sunday. "Even though we lost Friday night, this series turned out well with the wins on Saturday and Sunday. It was a hostile environment and pretty intense playing against the two-time defending national champions on their home field."
Jeffrey Inman (5-0) earned his fourth consecutive rubber game victory on the mound Sunday by not allowing an earned run and scattering seven hits and three walks with two strikeouts over 6.1 innings of work.
"If anybody doesn't want to be there in that spot they shouldn't be playing in baseball," said Inman about winning his fourth straight rubber game.
Inman gave way to Drew Storen (1.0 IP) with the Cardinal leading 2-1, the tying run on second base and one out in the bottom of the seventh after Garrett Nash singled and was sacrificed to second base by Chris Hopkins to start the seventh. Storen got the final two outs in the inning to leave Nash stranded at third base and then picked up the first out in the top of the eighth before Hancock (1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO) came into the contest. Hancock retired both batters he faced in the eighth and the first hitter in the ninth before allowing a double to Daniel Robertson, a walk to Nash and a single to Hopkins to load the bases with one out in the ninth and bring the winning run to the plate.
(0.2 IP) was able to preserve the lead and earn his first collegiate save when he came into the game and got the second out of the ninth on pinch-hitter Lonnie Lechelt's sacrifice fly and the final out of the game when Jason Ogata lined out to Joey August
in left field.
"They told me to be ready to face right-handed hitters, and I was really excited to come into the ballgame in that situation," said Marshall. "I wanted to throw strikes and keep the ball down. I believed in my stuff and that if I kept the ball in the bottom of the zone that I could get guys out. I'm happy that it fell to me for the final two outs."
Oregon State had scored the first run of the ballgame in the second inning to take an early 1-0 lead. Drew George singled with two outs, moved to second when Inman threw a pickoff attempt into the stands and scored on a double by Jordan Lennerton.
Stanford had the bases loaded with no outs but couldn't score in the top of the fifth before breaking through with one run in the sixth to tie the contest at 1-1. Brendan Domaracki started the sixth inning rally with a one-out walk and moved to second on a Reyes wild pitch but was thrown out at home by Wallace trying to score on Joey August's single to left field. August was able to move to second on Wallace's throw home and scored to tie game at 1-1 when Jason Castro greeted reliever Kraig Sitton (0.2 IP, 1 H) with a clutch two-out RBI single.
Stanford went ahead 2-1 with a run in the seventh off losing pitcher Mark Grbavac (0.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB). Grbavac issued a one-out walk to Ben Clowe to get the Cardinal started before allowing the first of Zach Jones' two doubles and Jake Schlander's team-leading fifth sacrifice fly that plated Clowe.
Stanford added two important insurance runs in the top of the ninth when Sean Ratliff and Clowe led off the inning with back-to-back jacks.
Oregon State starter Jorge Reyes (5.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 SO) was perfect through the first four frames and kept the Cardinal scoreless through five innings after getting out of a bases loaded situation with no outs in the top of the fifth unscathed.
Jones (2-4, 2 2B) was the only Stanford player with more than one hit.
Lennerton (2-4, 2B, RBI) and Joey Wong (2-4) had a pair of hits each for Oregon State.
Stanford will be back in action Monday when the Cardinal hosts Santa Clara in a non-conference game at Klein Field at Sunken Diamond. First pitch is scheduled for 6 pm, PT. Neither team has announced a starting pitcher for the contest.