Beavers Sweep Cal With 4-2 Baseball Win

April 3, 2005

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State pushed its winning streak to seven games by beating California 4-2 in Pacific-10 baseball Sunday afternoon at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field. The victory gave OSU (24-4 overall, 3-0 Pacific-10) a sweep of the three-game series as Jacoby Ellsbury was 3-for-3 with a pair of stolen bases, Jonah Nickerson pitched six innings for the win and Nate Fogle earned the save.

OSU, ranked 27th in the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll and 18th by Baseball America magazine, now go to Stanford next weekend for a matchup of the only teams unbeaten in Pac-10 play. Both are one-half game behind leader Arizona in the conference race.

'Cal (20-12, 3-3) is going to win a lot of games in the Pac-10,' OSU head coach Pat Casey said. 'With the road we've got here - going to Stanford and Arizona, the two teams picked to win it, for six straight - we obviously have to stay focused and do some things offensively. We've got to get a little more efficient in what we're doing.

'But when you sweep a series in the Pac-10, you enjoy it for the day and then figure out what you're going to do the next weekend. For right now, I just feel good for the guys. We had a great team effort. I thought the pitching all weekend kept us in a position where we could make the moves we wanted to make.'

With Nickerson running his record to 6-0 on Sunday and Fogle earning his fourth save, the Beavers wrapped up the weekend allowing just five runs in three games.

'We've got no complaints. Our pitching staff was outstanding,' Casey said. 'Jonah just battled; I thought he was good, especially after he got extended in the first inning.'

Nickerson had to throw 36 pitches go get through the first inning, but he made it a scoreless frame by striking out Matt Einspahr with the bases loaded after Einspahr had fouled off five two-strike pitches.

'That's tough, after you've got to throw that many pitches in the first inning, to come back and be sharp and give us six,' Casey said.

Nickerson didn't allow a run until the fifth, when Mike Van Winden led off with an infield single and scored on Allen Craig's homer to leftfield that made it 4-2. The third through fifth hitters in the Cal order were coming up, but the sophomore righthander got the trio with the help of a double play and then retired the Bears in order in the sixth.

'We thought about pulling him after five but he wanted to go back out, and he was outstanding,' Casey said of Nickerson, who allowed five hits and three walks while striking out eight.

After Nickerson had worked out of the first inning, the Beavers immediately forced Cal to again play from behind by scoring in the bottom of the inning. Ellsbury walked, stole second and took third on an error on the play, then scored on Chris Campos' sacrifice fly.

The Beavers made it 4-0 with three runs in the second inning, aided by a pair of Cal errors. Ellsbury had a run-scoring single in the inning and Ryan Gipson squeezed home another run. Each team had seven hits in the game, and all four of OSU's runs were unearned.

Ellsbury's three hits pushed his batting average to .448 this season and he now has 16 stolen bases. He also has a 10-game hitting streak to go with the 14-gamer he had to start the season.

After Fogle retired six of the first eight hitters he faced, Cal threatened in the ninth inning, putting the tying runs on base with one out. Fogle then struck Craig out looking and fanned Chris Errecart - who was 5-for-10 with three doubles in the series at that point - swinging to end the game.

'The emotions were running high,' said Fogle, whose save moved him into a tie for seventh on OSU's list of all-time single-season leaders. 'I wanted to come in there and finish the game for our team. I didn't want Gundy (Kevin Gunderson) to come in; he's been getting a lot of innings this week.

'I just wanted to throw strikes. I wanted them to get hits off me; I'd been wild a little bit. I wanted them to beat me instead of beating myself. That was the big thing, throwing strikes and locating my pitches.'

Said Casey: 'That last pitch was filthy. I'm excited for him and I'm happy for the club. I don't have to tell anybody how good Stanford is going to be, especially in their own ballpark, and I know we'll be excited to go down there and play.'

Oregon State moved 20 games over .500 for the first time since finishing the 1998 season with a 35-14-1 record. OSU's sweep was its first in the conference since taking three games from Washington State in 2002.

Michael Cooper took the loss for California, allowing the four unearned runs on five hits and three walks while striking out two. Errecart was 2-for-4 with a double for the Golden Bears.

OREGON STATE 4, CALIFORNIA 2

California    000 020 000 - 2 7 0Oregon State  130 000 00X - 4 7 0

Cooper, Morrow (6), Swanson (8), Talbott (8) and Bussiere. Nickerson, Fogle (7) and Jenkins. W-Nickerson (6-0). L-Cooper (3-1). Sv-Fogle (4). 2B-Errecart (UC). HR-Craig (UC).

HITS: California 7 (Van Winden 1x4, Craig 1x4, Errecart 2x4, Boesch 1x3, Einspahr 1x4, Holder 1x3), Oregon State 7 (Ellsbury 3x3, Jenkins 1x3, Wagner 1x3, McFeely 1x4, Lissman 1x4). RUNS BATTED IN: California 2 (Craig 2), Oregon State 3 (Ellsbury 1, Campos 1, Gipson 1).

California 2 (20-12,3-3 Pac-10)               Oregon State 4 (24-4,3-0 Pac-10)

Player AB R H BI Player AB R H BI--------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------Mike Van Winden 1b......... 4 1 1 0 Jacoby Ellsbury cf......... 3 1 3 1Allen Craig lf............. 4 1 1 2 Tyler Graham lf............ 4 0 0 0Chris Errecart rf.......... 4 0 2 0 Chris Campos 1b............ 2 0 0 1Brennan Boesch cf.......... 3 0 1 0 Andy Jenkins c............. 3 0 1 0Josh Satin 2b.............. 3 0 0 0 Darwin Barney ss........... 3 1 0 0Matt Einspahr 3b........... 4 0 1 0 Geoff Wagner rf............ 3 0 1 0Garrett Bussiere c......... 4 0 0 0 Danny Anderson pr/rf...... 1 0 0 0James Holder dh............ 3 0 1 0 Shea McFeely 3b............ 4 1 1 0Kyle Spraker ss............ 3 0 0 0 Mike Lissman dh............ 4 1 1 0 Stephen Carlson ph........ 1 0 0 0 Ryan Gipson 2b............. 0 0 0 1Michael Cooper p........... 0 0 0 0 Joey Ledesma ph........... 1 0 0 0 Brandon Morrow p.......... 0 0 0 0 Chris Kunda 2b............ 1 0 0 0 Matt Swanson p............ 0 0 0 0 Jonah Nickerson p.......... 0 0 0 0 Travis Talbott p.......... 0 0 0 0 Nate Fogle p.............. 0 0 0 0Totals..................... 33 2 7 2 Totals..................... 29 4 7 3

Score by Innings R H E-------------------------------------------California.......... 000 020 000 - 2 7 4Oregon State........ 130 000 00X - 4 7 0-------------------------------------------

E - Einspahr; Bussiere; Spraker 2. DP - California 1; Oregon St. 1. LOB - California10; Oregon St. 10. 2B - Errecart. HR - Craig. HBP - Errecart; Campos. SH - Jenkins;Gipson. SF - Campos. SB - Craig; Ellsbury 2.

California IP H R ER BB SO------------------------------------------------Michael Cooper L,3-1...... 5.0 5 4 0 3 2Brandon Morrow ............ 2.0 1 0 0 2 1Matt Swanson .............. 0.2 0 0 0 0 0Travis Talbott ............ 0.1 1 0 0 0 1

Oregon State IP H R ER BB SO------------------------------------------------Jonah Nickerson W,6-0..... 6.0 5 2 2 3 8Nate Fogle S,4............ 3.0 2 0 0 2 5

HBP - by Nickerson (Errecart); by Morrow (Campos). BK - Cooper. PB - Bussiere.

Umpires - HP: Dwayne Finley 1B: Kelly Gonzales 3B: Larry RandallStart: 1:10 pm Time: 2:54 Attendance: 573

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